Yesterday I mustered up my courage and ventured to unknown places to do one thing. Draw. Since I moved to Nashville, I’ve been nervous to wonder around by myself, and as a consequence my sketchbook has suffered. Back in Florida, I spent a lot of my time in cafés and books stores, constantly doodling. Occasionally I would meet up with my dear friends Jen and Kiki after work and just geek out about art. I miss those days!
Now that I’m in Nashville, in the heart of downtown, it’s the prime situation to explore a new city on foot! But that didn’t quite happen. Upon moving in with Mr. Honiball, I immediately obsessed over work and turned down all fun activities. Work work work and essentially very little Tori sketchbook adventure time.
You maybe be thinking, Tori, you can do all those things now, the cafés and book store adventures. I sold my car since I moved up here and therefore it feels like my run away exit security has vanished. I have very short stubby legs and guarantee you I will trip and face plant while making this hypothetical escape.
Keeping a sketchbook is very important, it’s a sacred place for mistakes and discoveries to happen. As I mentioned before, a lot of my work now happens on loose leaf paper and it has to be presentable. I’ve lost the touch of being loose with my sketches and not allowing moments for bad drawings as I should.
Yesterday was a very strange experience but I’m so happy it happened. I checked out a café I’ve always been curious about, ordered myself some tea and loaded hashbrowns and, as luck was on my side, a pretty lady was sitting right across from me! I did ask for her permission to draw her (I have a rule to ask if they are within five foot radius of me). Yes I felt incredibly uncomfortable with what I was producing and totally felt like I was in a fish bowl. Ohhhhh an artist in the wild!!! I’ve lost my ways of sneakily drawing people in public! Of course I had those typical I hate what I’m drawing artists feels. But I needed a kick in the butt and to experience humiliation in my art. I took the first step in reconnecting with my sketchbook and reclaiming non-discriminating art time.
I can’t describe how important sketchbooks are to me. Most of you know I’m crazy obsessed with process work. In order to be efficient with process work, you have to constantly explore your ability in a safe zone, sketchbooks. My professor in college, Mr. Mike Hodges, always emphasized that you should practice techniques BEFORE working on a final piece. Trying something new on a crucial assignment is nerve wracking, the pressure to get it right the first time is immense and not knowing what to do is awful experience.
With that said, sketchbooks are essential to an artist’s growth. Make time with your sketchbook and make those mistakes!
I would love to hear about your sketchbook experience in the comments below. Everything about it! If you’re new to the sketchbook world or are struggling, we are in this together! Cheers to reclaiming sketchbook time!