Keep a Sketchbook; a Guide to Fighting Artist’s Block

You know what they say, a sketch a day…keeps the art block at bay. Okay, that somebody was me. Well, maybe somebody else has said it at some point but I’ve never met them.

But let’s get this train back on track. I can not stress how important it is as an artist to sketch, draw, doodle, scribble…every day that you can. It is imperative as an artist that you do this. Make it a rule, AT LEAST once a day you will be creative. At least once a day you will make something. No matter how small or ugly or pointless.

Sketchbook (2014)
Sketchbook (2014)

My suggestion is that you carry a sketchbook with you, big or small, wherever you go. I found it the best way to keep creating and to keep my scribbles together, rather than in the corners of my math assignments or creative writing notebook. As a kid I remember getting called out by teachers for all the scribbles on assignments, some of which would actually give me compliments over reprimands.

I do also collect my notebook doodles that unexpectedly spilled from my finger tips. I advise you do the same, at least the ones you like. Otherwise you might lose track of them.

Sketchbook (2014)
Sketchbook (2014)

Art is a habit and if you want to be good at it you have to form that habit. Jump right into it, force it on yourself. Carry art with you. Every where I go I carry my sketchbook. It is in my backpack or my satchel and I bring it just in case I might feel the need to use it. Art strikes at anytime and when it strikes just roll with it.

Sketchbook (2014)
Sketchbook (2014)

At least that’s how it is for me. Sometimes my best work has come out of those creative urges. At times I’ll feel it jittering through my veins, making my hands shake and I’m desperate for paint, for clay or pens. Of course I can’t carry all of these with me, but I can carry some. And I do, and so should you.

Jot down notes, doodle eyes, slap paint on the page, just get any of your creative urges out.

Sketchbook (2014)
Sketchbook (2014)

Personally, I, as well as many others I know use art as a stress reliever. If you can’t stop thinking about something scribble it over and over until it’s tired out. If you have a test to prepare for and can’t get into it try too doodle for a half hour until you feel up for it. It starts with a little and sometimes turns into a lot. Sometimes the most beautiful things can come from being anxious or nervous or scared.

Draw your dreams, your nightmares, what scares you or makes you smile. Draw them over and over and get them out. Draw and doodle what only you see in your head and let others see it. Do it over and over and a lot. Sometimes I’ll just draw my own face over and over. I’ll look at it in photos or a mirror or just my own memory.

Sketchbook (2014)
Sketchbook (2014)

Draw your friends and the people you see. When you’re sitting on a bench and see someone who is breathtakingly beautiful, try and capture them (but don’t stare too much, and remember not to let your jaw hang). Find the strange and interesting people all around you and put them down for later.

That’s the fun thing about sketching is that it’s all endless. Doodle it now, scribble it now, slap color and lines here and there and if you like it enough go back and fully realize it.

Sketchbook (2014)
Sketchbook (2014)

I can not stress it enough. If you want to be an artist or you are one you need to keep those creative juices flowing. Stop telling yourself that you aren’t good enough or people are better than you. Stop telling yourself things and start doing things. Make yourself better, prove yourself wrong. Art isn’t a magic thing given from the heavens to just a few, it’s a thing that takes time and dedication. If you have it than put it to work.

Do you try to create everyday? Or carry a sketchbook around?… did I make you want to?

Until next time!

LAIKA/house Creative Challenge – September 2012

This is my entry for the September 2012 LAIKA/house (the people who made ParaNorman and Coraline) Creative Challenge.

The challenge was to create a character “Missing from ParaNorman” and so I decided to create the mentioned (but never shown and nameless) character of Mitch’s boyfriend. If you haven;t seen ParaNorman,it is a stop-motion animated zombie comedy for kids that is defiantly more than the trailers let on. [trailer] Mitch is a big jock and at the end of the film it was revealed that he has a boyfriend in the line “my boyfriend is a chickflick nut!” this actually lead to a bit of controversy from hateful, repressive parental units.

Meet Trent. He is a lanky, awkward teenager who spends a little too much time watching movies, reading and playing video games. He likes to watch “chick-flicks” because they give him a good cry as he’s mildly emotionally tormented. The simple mind of his boyfriend helps straighten out his stress and sadness. He likes Elvis, cartoons and says “Dude,” a lot. He was cut because he wasn’t necessary to the initial plot of the story and might have caused a bit more controversy then any one animation company could handle just now. He was also busy at a comic convention in New York City.

I decided to have Trent over Mitch’s shoulder because of the way he does this with his little brother during the film. (Also, I did not win the contest).