Thursday 27 June 2024

It's Only a Sketchbook...

Image shows a scan of the inside cover of my sketchbook, with a small watercolour drawing of lavender and butter flies, and the words, Remember, it's only a sketchbook. Go wild and have fun, in hand-lettering.
I pasted this reminder into the front of my new sketchbook...

Hello, and hope you're well, thriving, and enjoying whatever season it is with you, to the max.

This week, always pulled from digital watercolour to splash around its more real equivalent by sunlight and heat...I finally started a new sketchbook.

Why, "Finally"?

I say "Finally," because I'd been dancing around the brink of starting the wretched sketchbook  for weeks...doodling, sticking to digital, or using loose paper. And all because that first page feels more pressurised, somehow. There's a delight in the possibility of filling all those blank pages, yes...but...

-What if I mess something up and have to look at it until sketchbook is finished, every time I flip through?

-What can I possibly do that really represents where I am now for the lifetime of the sketchbook?

And so on, and so on.

If you're ever faced with blank paper, new sketch book, new journal, new project,   (or a blank screen) maybe you can relate?

(I think maybe digital art, with its oh-so-handy "Control Z" function to undo the last action, also makes me, still, more nervous of paper than is warranted).

In any event...

As you can gather from this , I am not only a recovering perfectionist, but also the queen of overthinking. And in the scale of things going on in the world, let's face it, minor points like these are excellent "problems," to have.

And so, I finally stopped myself and just got.into. it. (yay!) by deciding:

1) To create a piece of art to stick in the front *first*.

2) To encourage imperfection, wildness and experimentation in that drawing, and set  that as the tone for the new sketchbook instead.

3)  To remember, in fact, that the whole point of sketchbooks is supposed to be practice and play, not perfection,

4) To bear in mind that "done" is (almost) always better than perfect,  and 

5)  To finish the sketchbook ASAP, so that having things hanging around won't be a problem anyway. 

And so far...

And so far, the new strategy is working. Whenever I open the sketchbook, I see something that I hated as I was doing it, but which in its weird, imperfect and totally overworked way, is kinda-growing on me...

Closeup of the butterflies and lavender on first image

and the words of reminder that, "It's only a sketchbook...Go wild and have fun".

Maybe I might even borrow that thought as a metaphor for life in general :-) .

Thanks for reading down this far, and hope it helps in some way.

More soon.