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  1. #1
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    Sacred Sketchbook

    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.


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    Have you tried buying a really cheap and crappy doodlebook? Like those school notebooks that have lines etc?
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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    Have you tried buying a really cheap and crappy doodlebook? Like those school notebooks that have lines etc?
    I have a small, size A5 clipboard, with pieces of scrap printer paper. It also works well to counter that sense of wasting expensive paper. :-)
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    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 Beksinski
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  7. #5
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    I just get whatever is on sale and toned ones so I don't have to stare at all that white.

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    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...
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    I always use print paper for serious creative work. I guess that´s normal then.

    I have a big hand-made sketchbook which I consecrated from the start as "The Place to Study Anatomy". It works but took me 2 years to fill half of it.

  10. #8
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    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.

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  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saraiva View Post
    Hello all. Lately I've been struggling at 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 8 years and I haven't had this problem since ap visual arts in high school where we were graded on our sketchbooks.
    I've filled a bunch without much of a hassle, 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.
    at thr end of the day its just paper...

    the most wasteful thing you can do is not to draw in your sketchbook...if your sketchbook could talk it would say feed me your art!!! lol

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  14. #10
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    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 01:09 PM.

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  16. #11
    Vinicam is offline Five percent inspiration and ninety five percent transpiration.
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    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...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinicam View Post
    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...
    There's no such thing as "wasting" a page in a sketchbook as long as you're putting something in it...

    (Though I confess I also have regular-everyday-sketchbooks that get filled up quickly and fancy-schmancy sketchbooks for "finished" stuff that get filled up slowly...)

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  19. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    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.
    Kinda want to do this now just to see what people would say...
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    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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  22. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinicam View Post
    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...
    Don't confuse posting with the public vs what artists draw.

    Let's look at some of Alphonse Mucha's sketchbooks.

    Sacred Sketchbook
    http://www.4ojos.com/blog/imagenes/o...ketchbooks.jpg

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