Just a friendly reminder. Keep a damn sketchbook, you will thank yourself.

Hey there. I'd like to share a personal sketchbook journey that hopefully will aid your creative energy, focus, and body of work.

I always used to keep very neat sketchbooks. My lines were very though out, everything was considered and tidy. My work was tidy. They were ok, they served a purpose. The problem is they just weren't doing their job.

I got a job as a designer when I moved out to the west coast 6 years ago. The creative director was a Painter / Artist / Jedi madman. He kept these amazing sketchbooks that had absolutely no filter. All his F*** ups, all of his flaws, his crazy ideas, his great ideas, his bad ideas. The books felt raw, they had illustrations, plane tickets pasted in, drawings over the top of found images, storyboards, meeting notes, and everything in between. All in all, he had about 40 books, bursting from the seams from a career in art direction and design. (he ended up being an executive creative director of one of the largest advertising firms in the world).

Once he told me something that really stuck with me:

90% of the things you create never get made. (Projects get axed, they get frankensteined, and hacked up by clients.) But if you have it in your physical sketch/scrap book…then it is real.

Your ideas and sketches are the most valuable thing you have. You should do them justice by keeping them in a book.

But dont just keep them in a book, give them love. Make art out of your ideas and sketches. Don't be afraid to get messy. Paint your book, paste things into it, remix your old work into something new, write in your book, put your everyday feelings in there. Hack up your projects and collage them with new projects. Create new pieces all together, even things that dont seem like they should go together. The results may surprise you. You don't have to be a great artist to make a great sketchbook that does it's job.

The main thing your book should do for you is to harbor your ideas, good and bad, and inspire new ones. I have learned that going back through my old books has been super helpful in the ideation process. When you look at old projects hacked up and collaged together, sometimes whole new ideas come out of them. If done right, you will come back to these pages years later and have whole new trains of thought.

I have kept these type of books for 5 years now. I am on number 10. They are big, fat, bursting-at-the-seams books, and my whole world from the last 5 years are bound up in them.

You can look inside my most recent one here

All of my books are on my website, feel free to check em out.

Most recently they have opened lots of for me. Prospective clients love to see them, and I've been hired for freelance gigs because of them. They are better to bring to an interview than a portfolio or resume. I've even been sent to 2 different to give talks about them. I would be happy to share more if anyone has any questions or comments, but I feel like I'm getting long in the tooth.

TL;DR – Keep a sketchbook, it is important, you will thank yourself!

Happy sketchbookin'

submitted by /u/black_out_ronin
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