Sketchbooks are my personal amusement park where I play with color and form to keep my creative ideas flowing. I have some that I use for collage and color samples and others where I draw ideas for my doll business. They are an important part of my art making process, a visual way to talk myself through 3D problems. I rarely share them online because they are a judgement-free zone for me, no comments or comparisons allowed!
My friend Anne of My Giant Strawberry blog has a series of artist interviews on her blog called "Sketchbook Conversations" where she talks to artists about their sketchbooks. She recently interviewed me about my sketchbooks. You can read the full interview here. Anne also teaches art classes on Skillshare if you would like guidance learning watercolors or starting your own sketchbook.
Today I'm adding to Anne's "conversations" by sharing my favorite reasons to keep a sketchbook.
1. Sketchbooks are often inexpensive and available in a wealth of sizes, paper types and shapes.
2. Sketchbooks don't need a power source (other than your imagination) and you never have to worry about backing them up.
3. They are tactile and accept all sorts of art tools. I love using whatever tools are inspiring me in the moment!
4. A sketchbook can be a secret place to play in without judgement. Make mistakes, explore different perspectives, try out new ideas. Only by making messes and mistakes do we learn new skills. Go ahead, try something unexpected. It might be a turning point for you!
5. A sketchbook is portable - you can take it anywhere with you. Take it across town or on vacation, to the dentist's office or a coffee shop.
6. If you draw something you don't like you can tear it out or paste new work over it. No one will be the wiser!
7. A sketchbook is a great place to store random ideas and details to return to later when you are ready to develop them further.
8. Sketchbooks document your progress over time and show how your style evolved. You can refer back to earlier sketches to see how far you've come and perhaps revisit a dormant idea.
9. Sketchbooks allow you to develop a visual shorthand to help capture ideas quickly. A particular shape might refer to a particular product or texture for you. You can then focus on what changes you're making rather than redraw the entire form each time.
10. You may surprise yourself with the quality of art you produce in your sketchbook. Online friends, fans and customers love seeing our art process so share your favorites if you are so inclined.
Do you keep a sketchbook of ideas and drawings? Do you share it with others?