Hello all. Lately I've been struggling to drawing on my sketchbook. It's not a motivation problem at all nor is it a "creative block"(whatever that means). But I've found myself to be much more creative and loose when I'm making those back of the envelop drawings. For some reason the. sketchbook has become this sacred place and it's very intimidating. I've been drawing for maybe a while and I haven't had this problem since visual arts in high school where we were graded on our sketchbooks.
I've filled sketchbook before, I'm not sure where this is coming from. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm felling quite anxious, as if i was going to have to present my sb to some imaginary client.
I guess it's a mindset issue? When I'm drawing outside my sketchbook my thoughts usually are " hmm what will I draw today? Pirate-ninja-knights with jetpacks!! Fuck ye". However my sketchbook has become a classroom type environment where I'm so focused on studying and improving. Im not sure why this fun, adventurous spirit is lost the moment I open a bound book.
Last edited by Saraiva; November 17th, 2012 at 05:48 AM.
Please stop by my sketchbook!
My sketchbook thread:
I use copy-printer paper that I carry around. NOTHING is cheaper then that haha.
"I wish to paint in such a manner as if I were photographing dreams" - Zdzislaw BeksinskiMy Happy Little Sketchbook, please check it out and help me get better!
I just get whatever is on sale and toned ones so I don't have to stare at all that white.
It is just a matter of getting used to it. There was a time when I reserved my sketchbook for those rare precious sketches; it remained mostly empty. School forced me to use heavy bound hardcover books, and didn't even allow me to tear anything out. This felt uncomfortable for a couple of weeks, and then it got the status of the back of an envelope...
Grinnikend door het leven...
Spill something on it. Then it'll be messed up and you'll have to use it up or toss it... Or maybe scribble some marks on all the pages, so they're no longer new and unspoiled and precious.
Actually, I second the suggestions of cheap-ass sketchbooks (I use those really cheap-ass unlined memo pads from the stationery store for thumbnails and rough doodles... The pads fall apart when you're halfway through, so it's impossible to be precious.) And I was also going to suggest copy paper on a clipboard. I used that as my "sketchbook" for years. The nice thing about that is you can organize the sketches however you want in folders later, or throw out the garbage ones. Plus it's a perpetual sketchbook - just keep adding pages!
You could also stick plain copy paper in a binder... Again, perpetual sketchbook with removable pages. Don't like something? Take it out! Filling up too many pages with garbage? No problem, add more pages!
Or you could do what I do and have a big stack of identical sketchbooks in stock. There's no point in being precious with a sketchbook when you know there's a dozen more exactly like it sitting in the corner.
One of the best pieces of wisdom I remember is
"Your sketchbook is a personal workbook. It's to figure out problems you're having."
That's why I stopped caring about sketchbook brand, if I mess it up, or if my drawings are pretty so people can sift through my book.
Sketches are for studies, they're to get ideas out. It's ok to have sketchbooks full of crap. It's ok to have lots of mistakes in them. It's ok to write notes, poetry, random thoughts, your grocery list and other babble in your sketchbook.
You however, may not want to write personal information and your diary in it - if you intend to show your crap to everyone else/ or lose it - but usually it's just for the latter - if you lose it and don't want your diary/sketchbook to talk about the wild orgy you had at 2 am with the cow and the lamp post.
Not all your sketchbooks are meant to be shown, so don't worry about it. Just show off the pieces you like, so just draw.
Last edited by Arshes Nei; October 23rd, 2012 at 02:09 PM.
I think the reason of this is because we see lots of pro artists doing amazing stuff in their sketchbooks, that we want to use it only when super inspired or with a great idea... I have a moleskine I use for everything, but I have a cheaper sketchbook that I use for study, instead of sketching.
The only thing I do now is to warm up before using the moleskine, just so I don't waste a page with an absolutly crap drawing...
I've never understood this ridiculous "sketchbook-as-object" cult. Just fucking draw in it. If you happen to be the sort of person who naturally produces beautiful art object sketchbooks, goody for you. If not, who cares?
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"Work is more fun than fun."
"Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
I use 110lb card stock for all of my drawings including my scribbles. Its better than most of the sketchbooks I've ever had, and it's a fraction of the price.
I've had this same fear untill recently, I guess it's hard cos you don't want someone to sift through your book and be like "wtf is this".
Just recently I've been starting to draw in my precious moleskin without caring, I just think fuck that I'm completing a sketchbook for once from front to back. I might start doing the printer paper on a clipboard thing, sounds like the best plan and I have a ton of the paper lying about.
I have a similar problem, as well as something almost opposite. When I have crappy paper, I feel free to draw on it but it tends to be a lot of idle doodling -- scribbles, circles, stacks of cubes in sloppy perspective. When I have a sketchbook I don't want to waste pages and end up not drawing anything. But lately I've found it effective to get nice paper, either loose or in a pad, and practice on that. I find for some reason that because it's a high-quality piece of paper, I am somewhat more focused on what I'm doing in order to justify the investment, while at the same time since it's not stuck in a book I don't feel like I'm stuck with it if it doesn't turn out well.
Once you get better at drawing, you will find it easier to get looser at drawing instead of becoming analytical about every detail(particularly when drawing from imagination). Most of the time I doodle subjects of which I am already good at drawing, and that probably plays a big part in why quick napkin sketches might feel like the better of your imaginary works.
To get into my creative mode, I sketch things without a sense of right or wrong. As I build up the image, I try to see things within the sketched lines; to let the sketch on the paper inspire what the picture will eventually become. I would put little marks here and there, all over the place; my pen drifts from point to point, and with each mark, the image comes closer to life(representation). I also put some loose lines or values to suggest local values or shades and perspective. The important thing here is to think in terms of the bigger picture. What I would establish here is the concept.
I get into my analytical mode after I have done the creative mode sketching, with a decently refined image where then I start drawing with a sense of right or wrong. The right or wrong in my case, lies in the or accuracy of lighting, form, perspective, details, and etc; the fundamentals. What I am doing here is thinking in terms of the smaller pictures in order to refine the concept.
You can say the image goes from chaos to order.
Twinkle, twinkle little star
I don't wonder what you are
For by spectroscopic ken
I know that you are hydrogen - Ian D.
Solution = multiple sketchbooks!
(I've got about 5 or 6 going right now. . .)
Thats also my solution! I have several ones going, one for anatomy, one for drawing from life (a5 so I can take it everywhere) and a dummy where I just scribble out ideas. Those are technical aspects of having a dummy, the mindset about a dummy is an ideas book. Its the seed for a good concept for what COULD be awesome! As long as you can read whats in it then that should be fine. Even though I'm saying this quite easily I also struggle with this problem at times.
Good luck with finding a workaround,
If you are proud of what you did yesterday,
you haven`t done today
SKETCHB(. ) ( .)K
Another vote for multiple sketchbooks here. I got one sketchbook that I don't allow myself to do anything serious in--its only purpose is to be a sketchbook for me to make really bad drawings. Once you set up a sketchbook that way, it's hard to feel intimidated, since the only way to fail would then be to make a *good* drawing... And that would still be a win.
Borrowing from all of the ideas here and some from Matt Archambault, I have a nice toned sketchbook for doing finished drawings that I'm going to take a long time with. If someone asked to see my sketchbook that would be the one. The other I kind of made into a day planner and keep all notes, appointments etc. in it. I find it makes me want to carry it around and I end up drawing it it more because of that. Nobody is ever going to see it, in fact it is going in a box in the garage when it is full.
I also set a goal for myself to try and complete one sketchbook every couple of months. I'm not sure this is the best way to go, but it gives me an idea of how much drawing i need to do vs. how much I have been doing.
I switched from working on loose paper to working in sketchbooks when I continually lost, got wet or stepped on my loose paper drawings. I'd think to myself "hey, where is that comic idea I wrote down?" and three hours later I'd still be shuffling papers trying to find it. Now I just buy those cheap black hardcover sketchbooks and have 3 or 4 going. It only takes me 10 minutes or so to track them down and flip through them to find the one I want.
Even worse is piles of mixed sketchbooks, art books AND loose scraps (got a lot of piles like that.) Oh, and too many identical manila folders containing potentially either sketches or project notes for work. Tracking down a specific folder can get interesting, especially if I forgot to label it...
One of the things that got me to work more and love working more was just LETTING GO. Not every piece in a sketchbook has to be a finished piece. Not everything in a sketchbook has to be serious in subject or in effort put forth. As artists, we are visual storytellers and its good practice to get everything in our heads out on paper in some way. Another thing that helped me was learning to embrace mistakes and irregularities. Interesting pieces are not always perfect. A quirky gesture or the way ink accidentally dripped on your page can be more captivating than a polished technical drawing. Learn to love worn out pages. Sometimes I'll have marker tests, song lyrics, unused thumbnails, or a watercolor stain on my page, and I'll draw right over that. Maybe even incorporate some of those elements into whatever I'm drawing.
Try constructing a sketchbook for yourself. I gathered up unused scraps of different paper types and made a rough bound sketchbook from those. Filling it up with doodles is even twice as satisfying!
I'm glad my "nice sketchbook" that filled up slowly got water damaged. Only a few pieces were severely affected, but it turned the paper into a stained yellow tone with wavy texture. For some reason that helped me fill the book faster with more vigor. Since my "nice sketchbook" was damaged, I could do anything I wanted in it. And that was much more fun.