Step 1 - Buy a Sketchbook
I usually have two sketchbooks or journals. One is a standard size (8.5” x 11”) and the other is small enough to fit into my shoulder bag. I always like to have a sketchbook handy - you never know when an idea might strike!
WARNING // CREATIVITY IS MESSY
I highly recommend that you buy a simple inexpensive sketchbook; you’ll be less afraid to “mess it up.” I’ve been gifted with, and have bought beautiful journals and sketchbooks for myself and many of them sit empty. I feel too much pressure to make sure whatever I draw or write in them is as beautiful as the exterior. Creativity is a messy process so pick something you’ll be comfortable making messes in.
Here are some creative sketchbooks to get your started -
- Wreck This Journal
- 365: A Daily Creative Journal
- MoMA Make Art Mistakes: An Inspired Sketchbook for Everyone
- 642 Things to Draw
Step 2 - Destroy the First Page
So now you’ve bought a sketchbook and you open to the first page...BOOM! You’ve just been hit with paralyzing fear.
I hate the purity of that first page. It mocks me with its perfection. There’s this sense that if I screw up on the very first page the whole sketchbook will be ruined. My favorite solution - destroy it on purpose!
Here are some destructive techniques to get you started -
- take a sharpie and make an “x” across the whole page
- scribble with wild abandon
- rip the page
- spill coffee on it
- splatter paint
- put tape or stickers all over it
Whatever method(s) you use, have fun with it!
Step 3 - Fill Your Sketchbook
Congrats on destroying that first page. Be proud! That’s often the scariest part of starting a creative sketchbook. So now what?
It’s time to start filling up that sketchbook and creating a sort of visual journal of your creative adventures and inspiration. Here are some ideas for what you might include in your sketchbook :
- clippings from magazines of images that inspire you
- ticket stubs
- doodles while you’re on the phone
- favorite quotes
- a drawing made while not looking at the paper
- sketches of the people and things around you
- grocery, reading, or to do lists
- journaling about what’s on your mind
- paint or fabric swatches
- goals and aspirations
- experiments with new materials such as paint, charcoal or even glitter!
- the envelope from a handwritten letter
- a pattern created of shapes and colors
- Instagram photos ( they’re cheap and easy to print at your local drug store )
- contact info - such as emails and phone numbers
- and of course ideas :)
Remember you’re allowed to “fail” and make messes in your sketchbook! Resist the temptation to tear pages out. It’s important to have a record of your process and improvements.
Recommended Reading -