4 Reasons Why Recording & Keeping Your Sketchbooks & Art Journals is a Good Thing

Posted by Michelle Tuddenham on

I’m a firm believer that you should never throw your sketchbooks and art journals away.

Why?: There are many reasons why, but here are a few of my personal reasons why I don’t.  

1) They are part of your creative journey

Your sketchbooks and art journal are there for your to experiment and create - and create being the right word. Creating and experimenting with materials and techniques is what art is all about and how you come to your final piece.

So throw paint at it, use 3D materials in it and sketch your way through at it until you have filled it!

I make sure that I buy a sketchbook with good quality heavy weight paper (160-200gsm or heavier) and easy page removal / spiral bound - this gives me the freedom to create to my hearts content and not worry that it wont fit or might ruin what’s already in there.

2) Never be afraid of using your sketchbook to jot down your ideas

I went through a period in my art where I was too scared of putting something in my sketchbook because I was scared that it wouldn’t be good enough or I would not be able to create the image in my head to a good enough standard. The sketchbook lay empty for quite a long time.

How did I resolve this issue and get me back drawing? I decided that I would have a practice sketchbook and a normal sketchbook. This got me back drawing and creating my mess and showed me that I didn’t need to hide my “failures” but to actually embrace them for what they are - they are just part of my colourful, creative journey and that everything wasn’t solved in one try.

3) Be bold and show your emotions!  

Your sketchbook is part of who you are, so don’t hide it! Make your sketchbooks about you, show your emotions. Scream and shout, dance with happiness or whatever you want to express, just do it!

If you don’t want to show people that’s 100% fine too, don’t feel that you have to show everyone everything. It’s part of you and you have every right to keep that under look and key if you choose too.

I also have sketchbooks that I don’t share with anyone; they are apart of my life journey and that's how I work out how to cope with my world.


4) They are a record of all your achievements

Do you ever wonder how you got somewhere or where you have come from a year ago or even 5 years ago?

Your past sketchbooks are an invaluable source of knowledge. They show you how your emotions shaped your art on that day, how you learned to draw something and the hard struggle you took to get to your goals.

I look back at my sketchbooks and see all these things and more. I see the struggles that I when through to learn to draw poppies, the achievement of becoming a more fluid sketcher and how my art is always growing & changing. 


Have you got any top tips why you keep yours or want to pass on something that could help someone? Post it in the comments!


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