When I was in my mid-twenties, I started lamenting that I didn’t keep a sketchbook. It seemed like a good way to keep my artistic interests alive, while spending my days working for mr. big corporation. So one day I bought a really pretty sketchbook with grandiose plans to fill it up. As it turned out, all those smooth, bright white pages were really intimidating, despite having done lots of drawing up through my teen years. The book felt too precious – I couldn’t bring myself to sully the pages and start sketching.
So it sat on a shelf, until one day, I started to notice the zillions of doodles I had scribbled on post-its, and notes from work meetings and massage school, on envelopes and scraps of paper. Brandishing a glue-stick, I decided to compile all these little bursts of creative energy in my sketchbook that was gathering dust. These were far from masterpieces, mind you. To give the book a little more cohesiveness, I took a hint from my childhood sticker collection, organizing them by subject. Alas, there were no unicorns, but there were lots of fancy goldfish, people dying of boredom, and even the documentation of a breakup. The pages started to fill up, and before I knew it, I felt ready to tackle the real thing. Doodles, the gateway drug to sketching.
I now have several sketchbooks of various sizes, filled to varying degrees, and they have become my most precious belongings, as they hold those fleeting ideas – the ones that are gone in a second if you don’t write them down… all just waiting to become paintings. They contain brainstorming sessions, and all styles of drawing. They offer inspiration when I need it most. Do you keep a sketchbook or art journal? I’d love to see a page from your book, you can attach a link in the comments (at least I think you can…).