Sketchbooks – beware!! A place where ideas can die. A brainstorm on the brainstorm device.
I as many artists do hold sketchbooks in an almost sacred high regard. They are intimately personal, show workings, ideas – good and bad, notes and miscellany…some so personal that they are out of bounds to all viewers other than to the hand that created them.
So inestimably useful in the genesis of new ideas and pushing existing ones – and entire practices on, a sketchbook is an incredibly powerful tool – in my opinion even more so as an essentially ancient device in a world which is becoming evermore electronic and technologically advanced.
But beware! A sketchbook to an avid user can also be where ideas are stored safely away- only to be hidden by the proceeding page and another slightly different idea laid down. As a melting point type of artist who works instinctively and intuitively every single one of these drawings subliminally inform all future works but for real focussed work I think one must be careful not to leave these drawings in the vaults of history and to eternal redundancy.
Quite often I work in an essentially spontaneous manner – cultivating ideas and stealing time to do so as and when I can during my working day, this results in a sometimes fragmented and fractured mass of drawings accumulating that I try to look through as often as possible so as to glean as many of the developments relevant to my work at the time as I can. Sometimes this trawling helps and sometimes I have to look at the problem on the page before with fresh eyes but the sketchbook is an invaluable and reassuring resource that underpins my practice.
No matter what type of art (or anything for that matter) you indulge in I can guarantee the use – even light use of a sketchbook will inform, develop – and enrich whatever is you are trying to achieve, they can be the most brutal advocates of a quick creative death for any idea tested on the exposed page but also hold the strange power of resurrection to sometimes doomed ideas from many moons before.
In short, if you haven’t already – get sketching!
Thank you as always for reading