The notion of keeping a sketchbook used to intimidate me. Whenever an art teacher would encourage me to carry one with me and record my ideas – and they all suggested it – I felt not the freedom of another creative outlet, but the pressure of another assignment.
I was operating under a lofty notion of what a sketchbook should be. In my mind’s eye I pictured Leonardo’s intricate drawings of catapults and flying machines, anatomical studies and elaborate portraits. It looked like so much work with no possibility of classroom credit or exhibition. Why put so much work into drawings that would stay between closed covers?
Ten years into my professional career, a writer friend introduced me to a different concept of an artist’s sketchbook. In her journal she kept the most random stuff –clippings from newspapers, photos out of magazines, grocery lists, telephone doodles, dream entries, half-thoughts ... and the occasional gem of a story or poem idea.
With my own daily deadline monster to feed, I could no longer afford my scattered approach. I was forgetting as many ideas as I was drawing. And with my most promising germs of ideas recorded on napkins and post-it notes, seldom did these notions have the opportunity to ferment, age, and later present themselves as full-bodied cartoon ideas.
So I began carrying sketchbooks, promising myself that they would never become precious or fussy.
That’s what you’ll see on this blog – notes I’ve taken while reading the paper over coffee, starter sketches, doodles from meetings, whimsical caricatures. Some turn into cartoons for the editorial page. Some wait for me to discover their potential another day.
And now some will hang in the hereafter of cyberspace.
Check back often to peer inside what I'm doodling and drawing in my sketchbook.