Don’t Be Afraid of Your Sketchbook!

Hey Medium! I just posted an article on LinkedIn on sketchbooks, courage and freedom.

Seeing as my 2019 goals include being active here on, I thought I’d share it here as well!

I think A LOT of artists could benefit from this one… So let’s get started!

Today I want to talk about SKETCHBOOKS!

And in particular, we’ll about an issue a lot of people seem to face, when it comes to letting go and working in a loose, courageous and free manner.

And if you are more motivated by video rather than text, be sure to check out this video I filmed about a year ago, dealing with the same topic.

(warning, I’m a little bold in this one (; )

1. Letting Go and Creating Spontaneously

A big factor in making good art, in my opinion, is the ability to let go of the outcome and work freely and confidently.

This is something I often observe in myself and others.

A major component of creating a good artwork is, many times, belief that your vision will come true, and perseverance even when it temporarily seems like it doesn’t.

2. Sketchbook to the Rescue!

This is where your sketchbook comes in. This is your place to create in that free, spontaneous and fun manner.

However, feedback I got from many people shows that many are scared of letting go that way.

They hold on to perfectionism. They are afraid they’ll mess up the sketchbook.

That’s completely counter-productive, as a sketchbook IS THE PLACE TO MESS UP!

3. Benefits of a Sketchbook

Let’s talk about some of the many benefits of having a sketchbook.

  • Having your work consolidated into one place
  • A place for experimentation, trying out new ideas, testing new colors
  • Complete freedom to mess things up
  • Allows preparing for final work
  • Portable — encourages you to sketch frequently and everywhere

With these many benefits, you can understand why I’m a big proponent of having one. I currently have over 15 completed sketchbooks, from the last 4–5 years only!

4. Tips for Sketchbook Courage

So now that we’ve established the importance of having a sketchbook, let’s talk about some ways of reducing pressure or perfectionism when using it.

a. Random Pages

This is one of the best advice I got in this area. I believe I got it from Teoh. He says to open up your sketchbook at a random page every time you want to paint / draw.

A lot of people are scared of messing up the first page. That way — there’s no first page!

I found this to be very helpful, and it also makes things a little more interesting. Flipping through the sketchbook, you won’t know what to expect.

A variation of this is skipping the first page, or even working in multiple sketchbooks simultaneously (spreading your risks, haha!).

b. Ruin It

For the already-somewhat-brave, this is a good one.

If you want to reduce the pressure you feel when starting to work in a new sketchbook, open up the first page (or a random page), and purposefully create a horrible sketch.

Do the worst you can. Scribble, scratch the page — whatever it takes.

This will lower your standards and you won’t have to be worried for the rest of your work (;

c. Sketch & Paint on a Schedule

Create a situation where you create every day at the same time, if possible.

That way, your criteria for success is simply whether you created or not. The result doesn’t matter.

It’s binary. All you have to do… is do.

5. Embrace freedom

I hope you found these tips helpful.

Remember that Sketchbook = Freedom. And also Freedom = Better Art

Once it clicks, you’ll find things become much easier. And once you do one or two sketches, the rest will flow much more easily.

I hope this was a helpful / encouraging read. Let me know what you thought of it, and what else you’d like me to talk about (:

And again — have an amazing 2019!

- Liron

Here’s where you can find more of my content…

YouTube Channel — Painting tutorials and art discussions

Instagram — Artwork and daily updates

Podcast (iTunes) / Podcast (Website) — Art and creativity talk