I’ve been keeping a sketchbook consistantly this semester to organize all of my thoughts, thumbnails, and small studies from my four studio classes in one place. Oftentimes, ideas I generate for one class work well in another and help me to focus my thoughts. In previous semesters, I kept notes from each class separate, but I always had to be flipping back and forth between the two or three sketchbooks to retrieve things that I wanted to explore further either on my own time or in another class. With all of my notes and drawings in one place, I have a lot less to worry about in terms of staying organized. There it all is, right where I need it–with me.
But keeping four studio’s worth of drawings in one place means that I am filling it up very quickly. We’re only 4 weeks in and I’ve already gone through a huge chunk of the paper in the sketch book with things these eyes, and that contour line drawing of a landscape. Luckily I do have spare sketchbooks floating around that I can start once this one is filled up. I always feel sad switching to a new sketchbook once an old one is full because there are so many great ideas in that old sketch book and I am afraid that I am going to forget about them once I move on to another one. I have gone back to many of my old sketchbooks from time to time to refresh myself of what is in them, but still, its not the same as having it available to me at a moment’s notice. If only I could have the world’s largest sketchbook that could also fit in my pocket. Now that sounds like a good way to stay organized and have all of my sketches in one place. That also sounds a little bit like something Apple would make. Get on that Apple people.
I know that a lot of my classmates have really small moleskin sketchbooks that they take with them to do little doodles in. Books that size are really great for travel but its not like you can do any assigned drawings in them so they need a second larger sketch book anyway. I’m happy with my 9×12, even if it can be cumbersome to bring everywhere I go.
It also helps me to feel more attached to my sketchbook and treat it better if I put stickers on the cover. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe because I’ve invested those stickers into that sketchbook: they can never be put on anything else, so I’d better treat that book nicely or I will have wasted those stickers. I suppose that makes sense to me emotionally, even if logically, those stickers are worth about 5 cents each.
Anyway, sketchbooks are awesome if you’re trying to get better at drawing or if you have an overactive imagination and need to get that whirlwind on paper in order to harvest from the constant stream of ideas. Many people keep sketchbooks for different reasons and they are useful to all art disciplines. They also make nice surrogate journals if you’re in the mood for writing. 😀