I don’t really get on with sketchbooks. I find it much more satisfying to sit with a lump of clay and create something than draw out lots of designs before deciding which to make.
I’m better at the 3D than the 2D and always have been. At uni, where sketchbooks were obligatory, I used to put them to the back of my mind. Make my pieces, experiment with the clay in my hands. I’d then open up those dreaded blank pages and draw the things I’d previously discovered through experimentation.
During the Crafts Council Hothouse programme we discussed the development of work and sketchbooks were mentioned time and time again. Surprisingly I found that other artists felt the same way and it was mainly the ceramicists in the group who had a similar viewpoint. There’s just something about those blank white pages staring at you.
After much persuasion, I decided to start a sketchbook, or developmental diary as I like to call it. For me it isn’t an ‘arty’ book filled with drawings and sketches, it’s a note pad… that I sometimes draw in. This task has helped me so much over the past year. It’s become like a journal for me, if I have an idea I draw it and make notes. Not every idea is followed through but it’s a nice way to get it out of my mind.
It’s so helpful when I get into the studio. I can have a quick flick through and see what ideas I had last week, last month, last year. I have somewhere to begin my creative process from. Often things don’t turn out the way that I first imagined but that’s all part of the creative process. The new and improved ideas also get jotted down and the process continues. Its satisfying to have a record of where the idea began and how its developed into the final product.
If, like me, you’re a bit of a sketchbook dodger I set you a challenge. Take yourself to your favourite art shop, buy yourself a shiny new ‘sketchbook’, arm yourself with your chosen mark making tool and start developing! If you decide to take on my challenge I’d love to see how you get on. Post your photos to facebook, twitter, instagram or pinterest and tag me!