Sketchbook Conversations -- a Chat with Kristen Solecki

For today's Sketchbook Conversation I'm chatting with Kristen Solecki. Here's her story:

I'm Kristen Solecki, an artist and illustrator based out of Charleston, SC.

I keep a sketchbook to work out ideas and for a place where I can draw for myself and work on personal projects. I often refer back to sketchbooks when I am working on a piece for a client or to get inspiration for new work.

I have been working in sketchbooks since middle a long time.

Traveling and breaking up my routine keeps me inspired. It doesn't have to be far: finding new places to hike, walk, or even taking a short road trip. I also get inspiration from new books and film. I like looking outside my own medium for inspiration, and it always makes me motivated to see artists doing something in a new way.

I love drawing in pen (I use micron pens mostly), it is immediate and you have to work through your line work. 

I also have been using gouache lately but also enjoy acrylic paint. For my sketchbook, I like to occasionally add new drawing tools to switch things up, maybe a new color to draw in or a different type of media I don't typically use.

Don't be afraid to try new things. When you are starting out people may be tempted to follow certain paths because that's what they are told or see others in the field doing. The best thing to do is have your own unique style and voice to share and one of the best ways to find that is by working out new ideas and styles in your sketchbook!

You can see my work at and connect on instagram @ksolecki!

Thank you, Kristen for sharing your sketchbook story with us today!

For more sketchbook inspiration, visit my new Sketchbooks page in the menu of my site. I'll be adding more to it as time goes on, but for now you can catch up on all the Sketchbook Conversations, access my new Skillshare class and take a look at my 2x2 Sketchbook collaboration with Dana Barbieri.

*Photos in this post © Kristen Solecki (3, 4, 5, 6, 8) and Faith Briley (1, 2, 7, 9). Used with permission.


  1. Yet another wonderful sketchbook. Each sketchbook conversation guest has an entirely different book to the previous and it is so good to see how people make use of the pages. The fish and the mini drawings are fascinating to me. I see that Kristen is using more than one sketchbook. May I ask here if users have books for 'best work' and books for experimenting or do most people mix up their work using just one sketchbook? I still have this fear of 'messing up' or being judged at what 'art' I am producing.

    1. Hi, Simone! I'm so glad you're enjoying this series.

      Fear of messing up and being judged are two of the biggest stumbling blocks to creating. I'd love to get a conversation going about this. Maybe in my sketchbook class?

      I currently have five sketchbooks going (a bit excessive, I know), but each functions a bit differently. I don't really think of any of them in terms of "best work". They all can get messy at times and that's part of the purpose of them.

      I think one way to get around the fear of being judged is to share only what you want to share and turn the page on the other stuff.

      Hope you're enjoying working in (and out) of your sketchbook! Have a great weekend!

    2. of my favorite quotes is from Salvador Dali..."Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." I find great comfort in his words. They take the pressure off, eh? xo

  2. this series is so inspiring anne!
    thanks for getting it organized.

    1. Thank you, Karen. I'm so glad you're enjoying it. :)


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