In the age of Gratitude Journals, Line A Day Diary’s and Happiness Planner’s it seems the humble blank sketchbook has been pushed aside. Increasingly there are more artists and designers sharing there ‘page a day’ online and the benefits are not exclusive to full-time artists. So I want to encourage to keep a daily sketchbook.
The queen of a ‘page per day’ has to be Samantha Dion Baker whose feed is enough to stop your scrolling in your tracks. Her detailed pages combine sketches, hand drawn type and diary entries that share her day to day life in New York as a designer. Don’t get put off by her beautifully hand crafted pages, as her account has been going for over three years.
I started my page a day sketchbook at a moment of needs must, endless boredom, frustration and a need to feel productive whilst off work sick on the sofa. Little did I know that the thoughtfulness of composition, consistency of honing my skills and mindfulness of not staring at the screen would become my healthiest creative habit to date.
Here is one of my first pages from an early sketchbook, which does really go to show that Malcolm Gladwell was on to something when he was barking on about 10,000 hours. Practise, practise really does pay off.
Sketchbook pages can document days out, forcing you to pay attention to what’s around you and really notice your surroundings.
It’s easy when you’re on holiday or travelling to keep up a page a day, not so easy when seemingly nothing is happening, but when you pay attention to boredom it becomes unbelievably interesting. For me, this is where the magic happens.
Suddenly keeping a daily sketchbook becomes more than just sitting down with a pencil, it starts to seep into all aspects of the day, suddenly you wake up, your eyes are open and you begin to notice the little things, looking for something that will make the cut and feature in your page.
Keeping a record helps to track the days that might have go by without a blink of an eye.
The thing about keeping a sketchbook is that the magic happens when you tend to your practise and by ensuring you make time for it. I know that if I can’t manage to carve out 30 minutes for drawing my day, somewhere amidst the noise and haste, life is really off balance.
Sharing your sketchbook online helps you stay accountable and forces you to keep up the habit. Like all creative endeavours not every page will be a success, but done is better than perfect. You have to be prepared to accept some days will be a drag and you’ll question if your dog drew those lines on page. But other days all things will come together and your work will start to flourish.
Keeping a daily sketchbook is a commitment, but it forces you to wake up to what’s around you, gives you a sense of accomplishment and allows you to share your creativity with a supportive community.
Now go and channel your inner Samuel Peeps and start your own ‘page per day’ sketchbook.
Claire & co.