Friday, November 23, 2012

Remember the days when you could draw in your sketchbook with reckless nonjudgmental abandon? You know, those days when you came home from school and instead of doing homework, you would pull out that Mead sketch pad given to you for Christmas and your favorite pencil or pen and draw dinosaurs and horses? The days when the only person you need to impress was yourself and you were impressed when the drawing you were working on seemed a little better than the last one you did? There was pure joy in loosing yourself in that little world called your imagination and you didn't have to share it with anyone save those that were closest and most trusted by you.

Well, I feel like I've rediscovered that joy and that fun by learning to actually keep a sketchbook. In the days that I attended CalArts, sketch-booking wasn't required. It wasn't even encouraged. In fact, I don't remember it ever being mentioned. Since those days, that's changed, and I remember time and again advising my students, when I was teaching at CalArts to keep a sketchbook. I do the same with my students here at BYU. But the word "hypocrite" has always nagged me because sketch-booking has been something that I rarely have done myself. This academic school year I decided that I needed to do something about my sketchless life and I've taken to carrying a sketchbook with me just about everywhere. Even the bathroom! Okay, TMI. And this is what has happened: I have relearned the love that would keep me drawing all day long, not because I had a deadline to meet, but because of the pure joy of creation. What fun!

If you're one of those artists that has lost that joy of creation, get a sketchbook! Don't draw anything in that sketchbook that you feel you need to because of work or because you think this is what other people want to see. Draw the things that you enjoy. The things that bring you joy! And have fun! We learn a lot faster and grow a lot more when fun is the end result!


  1. I loved your advice, Cynthia! Great post! And fun drawings, too! But if anyone was ever a hypocrite, it never was you. Keep up the awesome work!

  2. Cool pages! You definitely nailed the muffin-top conundrum.

    I've had a really hard time sketchbooking over the past while--fallen hard under the "I am my toughest critic" curse. But seeing all the awesome art at CTN has charged my batteries--I'm gonna fill up a whole sketchbook by new years!

  3. Awesome advice. I've been feeling a little "blah" lately, art-wise. I'll have to re-discover the ol' sketchbook.