Exercise 1.1: What is your relationship with your sketchbook?

Questions from the handbook to answer:

Do you already keep a sketchbook?

Yes, I have kept a few over the years from school onwards. The newest being the A2 sketchbooks from my last unit of this course.

Is it an extension of you?

No, I wish it was and I’m trying to change my mindset about it but I really struggle to get it out of the drawer.

Does it feel like a best friend?

No, more like someone you didn’t really know in class at school that you pass in the hallway sometimes but have nothing to say to each other.

Is it just a functional object that holds your ideas?

The one that I used for the previous unit was to an extent but mostly for showing my best work only (which I know is bad).

Are you scared of your sketchbook?

YES… I struggle to draw in them as I always feel like my art isn’t worthy of being in one.

Are you being too functional?

YES! I need to stop using my sketchbook as a display book and start using it properly. I have just been brainwashed from learning art at school that my sketchbook is something precious and to add perfect work in.

Are you being too emotional?

No. My sketchbooks don’t have much life in them as they are all just too ‘perfect’ but in a bad way.

Do you need to be more attached to your sketchbook pages?

No. I am overly attached which is why I tear the pages out that I don’t find attractive. It’s so stupid.

Or, do you need to be more detached?

Yes! I need to be able to use my sketchbook as an ‘idea generator’ that I don’t care about making mistakes in.

Images of my sketchbook from my previous unit on this course so that you can see what I’m talking about ‘perfection-wise’ and how I need to completely change my attitude regarding how to use a sketchbook properly:

As you can see from the images the sketchbook was firstly way to big! That’s the first thing I regretted. I am overly-neat when it comes to presenting my work in a sketchbook and need to get out of this mindset which is why I decided to study this unit. Anything remotely artistic is drawn on a separate piece of paper then cut down, stuck in and displayed.

Response to OCA questionnaire comments:

The comment that relate to me at the moment:

“A love hate relationship really. Once I am sketching in my sketch book I enjoy it, but I don’t like the thought of using it. I am always in a rush to try and start out my piece and I feel like my sketchbook is a waste of time. Although I know this isn’t the case and I actually come up with more ideas or better ideas through using it. I think I dislike my sketchbook when I am feeling lazy or if I am excited by a piece and I want to start straight away”. – Lola O’Shea

The comment that I would like to apply to my sketchbook process in the future:

“Since starting this course my relationship with my sketchbook is more exciting, I love spending time with it, adding to it and looking through it on a daily basis, it always makes me happy as it’s who I am creatively. My sketchbook is what comes from inside me, its me on a plate”. – Ruth Goodwin

What do you notice about your selections?

A lot of people have the same thoughts that I have and feel the same way about their sketchbooks.

My visual response to the question “What is your relationship with your sketchbook?”.

Simply put: I ponder if my work is neat enough, then I tear out the pages I don’t like and end up with pretty much nothing!

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