Sketchbook Adventures

“I give up freely what is not serving me. I release it to make space for what inspires me” —Anonymous

When I was younger, I always wanted to be the person who carried around their secret little book of drawings and writings; the thing that was held close and so special to someone of the creative mind. I recall being in elementary school and carrying notebooks around; designing clothes, writing music lyrics. I did it because it felt important to my life, special somehow. I wanted so badly to be an artist, and at that time in my youth I was adamant about the fact that true artists carried around these books. Of course this was all some weird prerequisite I seemed to make up in my brain. I must have seen it happen once or twice and thought “That’s it! That book is the secret!” I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of collecting your creative thoughts and dreams in one convenient little article that is kept close by wherever you go. It’s weird how things happen though, throughout your life, because I went through a period where I had no idea what I was doing artistically. When I got a little older though, I began, without knowing it, carrying around a sketchbook and a journal (not one convenient article, but it still counts). I started sketching things around me and writing whatever came to my mind, just because I liked how the pen felt being dragged across paper.

I’m thinking now that the book is both the secret and not at the same time. A teacher at Marywood once said that “you are never more observant than when you have this,” holding up his sketchbook; and he was right. It takes such focused observation in order to capture what you are looking at, with your own hands. I think for the point of practice the skecthbook is necessary; for those times when a large canvas just isn’t approrpiate. I also feel that an artist’s “secret book” is their safe haven. A place for them to work through creative issues and deal with what they are feeling. It is a place for them to be open to make a mistake without the fear of judgement or failure. Ultimately it is their creative mind unfolding on the sheets of sheltered paper within a closed book. The book, though, is at the same time, not the secret. The secret is our connection to our mind and our ideas. The book is just used as a messenger; a means to get across the chaos occuring in the mind of an artist. The true power though, comes from our ability to desire the expression in our minds. We first need to have the urge to get out what we feel is the true nature of our human emotions. Our skecthbook is our portal; for us and others to venture into worlds never otherwise seen.

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