Sketchbooks: What’s in yours?

While trying to figure out what to create for this year’s Altered Book exhibit at the Library, I found myself turning to my sketchbooks. I use these books to tryout ideas before committing time to a whole project.

My “messy” sketchbooks

What I really like enjoy about my sketchbooks is that I allow myself to be messy. I don’t have to get the idea right the first, second or even fifth time.  I work on an idea until I am satisfied and happy with the outcome. My sketchbooks are playgrounds where I play and struggle with ideas and concepts, structures and materials. Some start out as great ideas and quickly fail, while others start out weak and grow into strong structures. By keeping my successes and failures in these books, I return to ideas, keep experimenting and hopefully growing.

The use of sketchbooks is not a new idea, artists throughout the ages have used them to test ideas and play with new concepts. As I was searching for examples of sketchbooks to share with you, I found quite a few from a variety of artists. What I enjoy about these sketchbooks is how artists use a variety of way to express their ideas. A sketchbook does not have to consist of only pictures or sketches; it can have text, diagrams, random words, images that inspire you, colors, etc.

Sketchbook #17, Ellsworth Kelly

To each artist a sketchbook is a way of capturing ideas – there are no rules.  What do you capture in your sketchbooks?

Zan Popp

Hello, I'm your friendly neighborhood Curator of Exhibitions. I have the amazing job of creating, building and presenting wonderful art exhibits for you at the library's Alice C. Sabatini Art Gallery.

3 thoughts on “Sketchbooks: What’s in yours?

  1. Mine are doodles for sure but it captures an idea that will fade away if I don’t get a picture of it down on paper. The system for organizing these books full of sketches so that they can inspire me has not been perfected yet.

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