Sketchbooks! What Makes a Sketchbook “Exciting”?

Part 1: What Makes a Sketchbook "Exciting"? << back to "Sketchbooks!" course page

Developing Sketchbooks Skills & Approaches Online Course
Sketchbook Handling Exhibition at the AccessArt Sketchbook Conference, Cambridge 2011
Pink Pig sketchbook exploration

The number one rule we have at AccessArt is that your sketchbook should feel like it belongs to YOU, not your mum or dad, not your teacher or your school, just you!

Why? Because once you feel like your sketchbook is yours to do whatever you wish in, then you are well on your way to using a sketchbook to its full potential.

Let’s talk very quickly about what a sketchbook is, and what a sketchbook isn’t!

A sketchbook is a place for exploring the world through drawing, writing, collecting, collaging, sorting, recording, and playing with ideas. A sketchbook is a place of exploration, discovery, wonder and invention. It is a place in which you can ask all kinds of questions, without having to know or find the answer. Mistakes are welcome in sketchbooks as they show you are testing ideas or pushing yourself. 

A sketchbook is not a place where you should feel pressure to work a certain way, or produce marvellous drawings without any mistakes, or to write neatly. 

Now perhaps you will see why you really need to feel like your sketchbook is YOURS. Because the most exciting sketchbooks are not the ones with the “neatest” drawings or most “beautiful” colour wheel. The most exciting sketchbooks are the ones where the personality of the owner comes shining through, whatever that personality is. 

Remember you can post images of your sketchbook work on Instagram Tag @accessartorguk #accessartsketchbook


2. Making Your Sketchbook Your Own