I used to use a sketchbook to record ideas, to practice, and work through projects, but didn't use the sketchbook as an end result. I might have a sketch of here or there, but nothing consistently. Since meeting up with others and sketching our corner of the world, it has encouraged me to draw daily and record what I see around me. What I love about sketching is that it takes the pressure off of needing to have a 'finished' work of art. It allows me to sketch quick, and loose, and to play with the process without worrying about the end result as I would with a final piece.
What I also love about having a sketchbook is that it is a recording of a personal memory. Taking the time to sketch allows me to interact with my environment. I get to really look at what is in front of me and focus on the bits that are of interest. Then, I have that moment recorded like a scrapbook to look back on. Each and every time I sketch, regardless of the medium, I learn something new. I learn to mix colors, or how they interact with that particular paper, or I figure out a new technique or discover a way I like to work.
I had always asked other artists and professionals how to develop a style, and the answer would always be the same...just draw! It isn't until I actually draw daily and accumulate a large quantity of sketches that I am beginning to feel comfortable with the process. Where it goes from here will be fun to see.
I encourage you to pick up a pencil or pen and draw what you see. It doesn't matter the level of your ability, or if you've had formal training. And you never have to share your sketch with anyone else if you don't want. Do it for you. You may find it relaxing to explore the world with line and color. Get back to the happiness you found in coloring, as a child. It may awaken the want to 'play' with art materials. Anyone can do it.
Feel free to follow us on Facebook or join our Urban Sketchers West Michigan group. There is no cost and all levels are welcome! Upcoming meet-up events are posted. Urban sketching isn't just for outside drawing either. It is inside or out, interiors, exteriors, landscapes, people or pets in an environment. I even take those bits of urban sketching in my sketchbooks, and rework them back at home at my drawing table. Sketching leads to inspiration!
I encourage you to try to sketch. Practice. Have fun. Reach out to me if you need help or want company.
I'm working on it! How about you?