Do you need a Sketchbook?

“My Sketchbook is a witness of what I am experiencing, scribbling things whenever they happen.” Vincent Van Gogh
Probably to most artists it would sound a normal thing to have, but to me it never crossed my mind until I recently received an invite from Jessica Abel to attend a sketchbook webinar, Sketchbook Revival, which unfortunately  I was not able to catch. But the idea remained, looking at all my tiny little pieces scattered everywhere and some that I would love to know where have they all disappeared.

A sketchbook goes beyond the mere exercise of just jotting down doodles. It is a much-needed help for the mind to know that all your ideas, notes and anything creative related is in one place. When you need it you know where to look.

It will become your best loyal friend.

I thought there were going to be only drawings there but now it has become where I download from my mind, everything that is related to my creative work.

This results in a practice that then evolves, and allows you to experiment with many different angles and perspective of the story or vision you are trying to express beforehand.sketchbook1

Through this practice, much of the anxiety related to manifesting an idea or vision disappear, because when you will eventually put everything on the final canvas or piece, you would have already acquired the knowledge for each element that you will express. In a case of a painting, you have decided the forms, the colors, tried the different mediums and chosen the one that resonates best with your idea.

I really never used to do it. I would plan everything in my head and start creating directly on the piece forcing myself to get it right on the first go. Most of the time it did, but imagine the stress! When I used to paint with oils it was easy, you just put another layer and another one until it feels right.

But with the mediums I am working now, the little time available and that these designs will have to be applied to products, each one with its own necessities, it is a very different story.

Necessity is the mother of invention. When the need for something becomes essential, you are forced to find ways of getting or achieving it. (Wikipedia)

I would say Necessity is the Mother of All Knowledge too, once you have a need you find the solution and as a result, you acquire the knowledge.sketchbookSo sketching everything beforehand has become the solution, which I share now with you in case you are not familiar with it, or you have not thought about it.


Now my process goes as follows:

  1. I have an idea about a design. I write it down.
  2. I go into research both online and in nature to look for those forms and colors that resonate with that idea.
  3. Then among all that I have chosen, I pinpoint the ones that feel I am capable of doing and start sketching.
  4. Little by little, my style emerges and out of all that, something unique comes out that I like and sparks a joy.
    This for me is fundamental as it is the emotion I wish to cause to those that will look at it. The message.
  5. Then come the colors. On another piece of paper, finally, the freedom to try any medium or a mix of, which will be in line with the drawing.

Once everything feels right, we transfer all that onto the final paper or canvas. By now you have acquired the knowledge, and the vision will be manifested smoothly, without having to think. Everything will just flow and you can really enjoy the process, and sometimes you will experience unexpected surprises and twists to make your creation even more special, beyond your expectations.

I found this article very easy to read to get you started.10 easy sketchbook tips


I made my own sketchbook,  it becomes much more special than buying it in a shop. I had a lot of papers that had been stamped only on one side and were not needed anymore, with a cardboard from a finished drawing paper block and a colorful sketch of a Dandelion I did last year, I got my new SketchBook! This practice of making my own stuff started as a necessity many years ago but it is something I much prefer and continue to do.

My next one on the list is the Time Tracker Agenda but that will be another post.

Do you have any sketchbook or Notebook to jot down your ideas, or do you think you could need one?



2 thoughts on “Do you need a Sketchbook?

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