From my art classes in high school to my studios in college, I have always been encouraged to keep a sketchbook. Before this year, I have always viewed this as another thing to put on my to-do list, rather than embracing it as an opportunity to further my skills. However, this year is the first time I have seen first hand the value it has.
To me, a sketchbook is a space to try new things. It is rare, for a designer, to find a space to create without someone waiting to critique or rushing to make a deadline. A sketchbook provides this free space. It is so easy to create within what we are comfortable. As a young designer, the discussion of discovering your “style” often arises. This discussion is often ended by one of my professors claiming that we are “too young to have a style already.” And he is right. College is the time to expand our exposure to as many styles and techniques as possible. I find a sketchbook to be the perfect place to try new things. With a sketchbook, you can make your sketches as public or private as you would like. This relieves any pressure to perform or to have a purpose behind a sketch. It is a space that allows me to express myself.
Another important reason to keep a sketchbook is it encourages creativity. Personally, I have a small sketchbook that is easily portable. Being able to have instant access allows me to continually sketch ideas when I have them no matter where I may be. Gillian Tracy, from http://www.gilliantracey.com/blog/2015/4/29/3-reasons-to-keep-a-sketchbook, says, “The more you fill the pages of your sketchbook and flex your creativity muscles, the easier your ideas and imagination will flow.” Sketchbooks encourages creativity, and not just when creativity is required.
For these reasons, I would encourage artists of all age to keep a sketchbook!