Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sketchbooks . . .

What is it about sketchbooks that makes me hate them so?

Is it the blank pages staring up at me?  Is it paperwork or is it the endless possibilities?

Let me tell you all about my sketchbook problem . . . The problem is that I hate doing sketchbooks!  Most all of my classes require one per semester.  At least one hundred pages, most of the time more. I see you looking at me and judgin'.  "One hundred or more?  For a whole semester? That's nothing Alisha, you crazy!"

I've got a real problem, guys.  And I'm talking about it tonight because Finals start tomorrow and my 200 page sketchbook is due . . . you guessed it, tomorrow.

I had great plans at the beginning of the semester to be so on top of this sketchbook.  A certain amount every day and then some extra on the weekends resulting in an early finish.  So if I had it all planned out why am I stressing so much the night before?

I've got issues.

Issues with consistency; and that's a real problem when you're trying to become an artist (or pretty much anything else I'm almost sure).  There's something about doing the same thing over and over again every single day that brings this black cloud over my head and a weight on my shoulders.

Now with sketchbooks, I know consistency is especially important.  You gotta keep up those drawing and observational skills.  So many teachers and professional artists have pounded this into my head.  This is the one thing above anything else that will help you succeed in life as an artist.

I know it all in my heart, but my head fights me (or is it the other way around?).  One of my professors, Don Seegmiller, has said something time and again that gives me hope.  He explained that when he first started art as a career that it felt like drudgery as well.  It wasn't his passion, but after a lot of hard work and a lot of time it became his passion.  It went from a chore to a habit that he loved.

So rationally, I know that right now it feels like drudgery, but I know that given time it will become my one passion.  It's the time thing that's getting me (I'm so impatient).  So right now I hate sketchbooks, but I gotta keep plodding along and working through it and eventually you'll never see me without one.

So how about you guys?  What are your experiences with sketchbooks? Love 'em?  Hate 'em?  Any fantastic advice that has really helped you and might help me?

Till next week -

- Alisha



  1. I love sketchbooks and hate them. 1 sketchbook with 100 pages front and back is my personal goal. It's blisteringly difficult! But even looking back a week or so before where I am now, I feel improvement. I hate them because it's easy to sketch and draw but hard to finish work, so sketchbooks become an easy thing to fall back on instead of making me push myself to finish stuff.

  2. You make a really good point that I never thought about: Not having the inclination to finish. I agree, sketchbooks are a magical place where if you don't like where something is going, you can move onto something else. Leaving pieces unfinished and so you're not making yourself work out technical problems and learning from that.

    Thanks Zach, your insights are always welcome!