I bought a new sketch book for my sophomore year of college in August of 2007. Nearly ten years later, in June 2017, I finished the last page of that sketchbook and it now looks like some Frankensteined tome. I have always loved sketching and drawing. It is the best way for me to get my ideas out of my head before I develop them further into sculptures, furniture, or more established drawings.
By February 2009, I had filled the original sketchbook and started another one. But, I found myself referencing drawings from the previous book so I decided to haphazardly bind the two together. The book took on a new life, becoming a piece of artwork. When I added the third sketchbook, it became a bit unruly and I felt the need to use a leather belt as a clasp to aid in holding the book together.
I have had many sketchbooks and will use just about any surface to work out an idea, whether it’s a napkin, a tabletop, or even scratching in the dirt. This sketchbook became the compilation of those other sketches as I would add things to the book from other sources. A few pages even have notes from an art history class in between the inevitable doodles. When I flip back through the book, it offers a diary of my work, as well as my skills, and how I have developed as an artist and maker.
While I greatly enjoyed adding to my ever-growing sketchbook over the last ten years, I have learned an important lesson. Having a big sketchbook is cumbersome. I will continue to draw and scribble and sketch, but from now on I will use smaller and more manageable sketchbooks to catalog my progression. I’m sure that I will continue to reference my completed book for ideas in the future, but now I can leave it in my studio.