At some point over the last year I had the idea for a series of mini-interviews focused on sketchbooks and the practice of keeping them. I was too busy then to spend much time with the idea, but it kept percolating in the back of my mind. After 2x2 ended the thought reemerged, demanding attention.
I think there's so much that we can learn from one another. Each of us has so many stories and experiences that shape who we are. Our stories, our struggles, our challenges, they can inspire others, sometimes in ways we would never imagine.
When I first set out on my creative journey I had no confidence in my artistic abilities. I knew I couldn't paint and I didn't think I could draw (which I hoped wasn't entirely necessary to learning how to paint), but I was encouraged and inspired to try my hand at it by stories of other artists who had found their way to art later in life. At first I struggled, but I didn't give up. Strangely, though, I was intimidated by sketchbooks and didn't work much in them. I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps it's the seeming permanence of a page bound in a book -- a failed watercolor done on a sheet of paper can be thrown in the garbage (and no one will know), but tearing a page from a book isn't as easy to get away with. Working regularly in sketchbooks early on could have helped by artistic development immensely, but I didn't do it.
A lot has changed since then and one of the things I have gained along the way is a desire to inspire and encourage others who might be struggling, unsure or even just curious about living a more creative (and joyful life). That's one of the reasons I do the Artist Interviews and that's one of the reasons I want to start this new series, too.
So what exactly do I have in mind?
With this Sketchbook Conversations series I will share stories of artists from around the world. I'll give you glimpses into their sketchbooks and into their art practices. We'll learn why these artists keep sketchbooks and how they use them.
My greatest hope is that seeing these examples and hearing these stories will be both encouraging and inspiring. If you don't already keep a sketchbook perhaps you'll be encouraged to begin one, if you already do maybe you'll be inspired to experiment and try new things in it.
Even if you're not an artist and have no desire to start a sketchbook this series will introduce you to creative, interesting people from around the world.
This project is still in the planning phases. I've contacted a number of artists and am beginning to put posts together. I wont start sharing them until I have a handful ready to go. To that end I want to open this up to anyone who's interested. I know that some of you reading this blog are artists who already work regularly in sketchbooks and I'd love to include you in the conversation.
If you think you'd like to join in and share a glimpse into your sketchbook practice (or know someone else who would), please email me and I'll send you the details.
I hope to be able to begin the conversation sometime in the next few weeks.