Hobby Corner: Keeping a Sketchbook

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Welcome to another edition of Hobby Corner, a monthly edition I introduced to talk about my hobbies and interests other than reading. It’s always important to not forget these things, so here I am to talk about some of mine.

This month’s topic: art!

Today specifically, though, I wanted to talk about keeping a sketchbook and why doing so can be beneficial not only to those who are visually creative, but also for those that might need a way to escape for a little while.

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I’ve always had sketchbooks of various kinds, but my favorite is the Canson XL mixed media sketchbook in size 5.5 in x 8.5 in. It’s perfect for pencil drawings but can also be used for water color, acrylic, pen, or whatever else you want to use really. (Obviously depending on your medium will depend on the quality of the paper.) The sketchbook I have now is one that I had gotten many months ago but had barely used until very recently because I had gotten into a drawing funk.

Much like a reading slump, a drawing funk/slump happens to me quite frequently now that I’m not taking art classes or anything like that. I’ve always loved to draw and to be creative, but my drawing time fell to the wayside as I became much more of a reader than I’ve ever been. Every time I’ve painted or drawn something detailed or whatever over the last year I’ve had that feeling of “I need more, more, more,” and I’d do it more often around those times, but then it would dwindle and die very quickly.

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So I’ve been following some artists on YouTube and listening to them talk about how much they enjoy art, which made me miss doing art, and then I read an article that really inspired me about keeping a sketchbook. She talked about how not only does keeping a sketchbook keep your creativity flowing, but it can also help with emotional distress and a needed release in the times that I really need it.

And, frankly, she’s right. For someone like me who loves to do creative things regardless of what it is or what medium (making art, listening to music, writing, etc), I think doing something like this will really help to keep my interests and my momentum and desire for drawing going. I won’t feel that dreaded slump or that high and need when I finally do draw or paint or whatever after months of not doing so.

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So I’m taking on one of the challenges she suggested in her post: draw at least one thing in my sketchbook every day for a year. Even if I don’t do it every day, as long as I draw multiple times a week that will be good enough for me.

Art has been such an integral part of my life that I can’t imagine ever not having it be in my life somehow. I may not become a professional artist, but I’ll be able to see my progression, to see what I can create, to do studies and take notes and more.

So why should you keep a sketchbook?

  • It’s an emotional release. If you’re feeling happy, draw something that represents happiness to you. If you’re feeling angry, use dark, bold strokes to represent it. If you’re feeling sad, draw something that represents sadness to you. It’s a healthy way of dealing with emotions, and even if you don’t know what to draw, that’s okay because it leads to my next point:
  • You can make it your own. A sketchbook isn’t going to be graded (unless you’re in school and you need one for a grade), you don’t even have to show it to anyone if you don’t want to. You can write in it, put magazine clippings in it, cut up pages, do whatever you want. No one’s going to judge you for it.
  • It’s a place where you can dream big or small. And by that I mean you can create as much or as little as you want. Getting your ideas and thoughts out can be extremely rewarding and all you have to do is draw what you think needs to be drawn.

Let Nela said in the article: keep the sketchbook with you at all times (sketchbooks come in a variety of sizes, page textures, etc, so find the one that fits you), because if you don’t keep it with you then you’re never going to draw. But if you have a scrap piece of paper or a receipt or napkin, draw on it then stick it in your sketchbook later.

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Art is one of those things that I’m very passionate about, and I know that, for me at least, keeping a sketchbook will help to keep that passion alive.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Do you have a sketchbook? How do you use it? Do you use it like a diary? Or are your works more open to the public? Tell me all the things!

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6 thoughts on “Hobby Corner: Keeping a Sketchbook

  1. I haven’t kept up a sketchbook in years (since switching from an art major to a comm major as a freshman) but I’m so glad that you’re finding it so helpful! Art was not for me, but I’ve been knitting, and keep a knitting project on me basically at all times now for similar reasons!

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  2. Pingback: December 2016 Wrap Up | Reader Rayna

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