What’s In Your Sketchbook?
To be fair, I’ll include a few pages from my own. But here’s the thing with me and sketchbooks: I don’t have an “official” sketchbook.
In truth, any piece of paper within arm’s reach qualifies as a drawing surface. As a result, my doodles and sketches and moments of brilliant insight are strewn about like ashes on a sea. Maybe that’s not such a good analogy. Maybe a dandelion in the wind. Whatever. For all my sense of orderliness, a regular sketchbook falls into a much looser category.
The point though, is that sketchbooks can be truly lovely, as can be seen via the traveling Sketchbook Project. Or in the lush genius of the 2010 publication of Street Sketchbook, recently shared by Brain Pickings (a terrific site with an ongoing must-see collection of wonderful stuff).
Clearly, sketchbooks have been elevated to works of art in and of themselves, and I think, rightly so.
My first sketchbook seduction came from Peter Beard’s marvelous diaries in The Adventures And Misadventures of Peter Beard In Africa. Deliciously detailed and jam-packed with words, illustrations and photos, newsprint and objects, the end-product of his runaway artistic sensibilities, his passion for form and love for Africa was occasionally disturbing, but always stunning.
By comparison to Beard, or the fantastic pages of Street Sketchbook, my own pages seem tame, bordering on dull. (Except for the random game of hangman.)
But I know, and you now know too, that I haven’t made a ritual of keeping a sketchbook, nor sketched with the intent for those pages to become a final, messy, glorious product. I’d like to someday, so I’ll add it to my list …. in the meantime, the important thing is simply to sketch.
Draw. Write. Cut. Paste. Thoughts, ideas, dreams; record them by hand. It’s a wonderful process – whether in a book meant for sketching, or on the back of a cereal box, or the edge of a client proposal … express yourself.
So ~ what’s in your sketchbook?