Starting, keeping and maintaining a sketchbook is daunting. This is the case whether you are an artist working out ideas or a business person keeping track of trends and projects. Even a seasoned keeper of a sketchbook can find themselves staring at that empty page and thinking “what next?”
There are many ways to get around this predicament and maintain an interesting and engaging collection of drawings and impressions over time. One way is to give yourself daily exercises to do in your sketchbook that enable you to put pen to paper. Even just writing out a grocery list or a to-do list is something. Add some images and you are well on your way! But this may not be enough. For drier times in your book, outside help is available.
Years ago, Danny Gregory, author of Everyday Matters, created the Every Day Matters Challenge where each day you could find a suggestion, a nudge, of what to try in your sketchbook. EDM is now a huge collection of ideas that have inspired even the most timid newcomers to begin drawing. And that is all it takes, beginning. I recommend to all of my students to join this group if they need ideas on what to draw and support on maintaining their sketchbook work.
Recently I heard of something called The Sketchbook Tour where sketchers are challenged to fill up a moleskin journal with sketches and then return it to them where it will then go on tour to various cities and finally back to Brooklyn to be cataloged and kept there for all to see. Adam and I both have signed up to be a part of this. It will be a fun opportunity to create a themed journal and become part of a lasting public art project. Even better, it will give us more reasons to draw. Drawing begets drawing. The more we draw, the more we draw and the more comfortable with drawing you will become.
So whether you are starting small with the day to day or want to tackle a whole themed journal for an art show, just draw. You’ll be amazed at how much you like it.
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