I have always been a doodler! I can’t help myself. It seems that when there is paper or mark making tools in my presence I have to hold myself back not to use them to create. I suppose that is the reason why I love using sketchbooks. Journals or sketchbooks are the best places to express myself without the fear of what the final product will look like and how I interpret the process of getting to the final product.
When I began my teaching career, I had a daily planner that I would plan for lessons and schedules. I noticed that my planners began with the routine scheduling but before long they took on a whole new life. I began drawing and creating as I scheduled. I wasn’t worried about what my page looked like because it was just a plan. And then some of my plans became the students assignments with no expectations that any drawing would be perfectly executed or resemble the finished piece.
Some things I have learned along the way are number 1 – don’t get attached to any of those pages. They are practice pages and can be replicated by you if you feel there is a great piece of art waiting to be created. You can collage, draw, paint, experiment with media and just have fun trying out new ways to express yourself.
Number 2 – Make mistakes and play. Remember if you are not happy or are frustrated with a piece, you can tear the sheet out or collage it onto another page. You can also simply paint over it and create some depth in your next piece. Use your imagination because there are no rules when it comes to sketchbooks.
Number 3 – Have it with you at all times and have several different size sketchbooks. I used to think that I should have larger sketchbooks, but now I have all sizes. If it stays in the art room as practice for a painting then it can be large. If it is travelling with me to teach classes or for me to draw in, then I want it small.
And lastly, number 4 – sketchbooks can be therapeutic. You can record your personal expression within them without having to share it with anyone, like confiding in a friend. They can document our lives. I love to create covers for my sketchbooks that help me to relate to the mindset that I am in when I begin filling the pages. I hope that you will consider becoming a sketchbook lover to fill all those doodles in while you continue your art journey.