Three years ago, I had an eccentric friend in my first hour chemistry class. Her career goal was to be a pirate. Yeah. However, she was brilliant in chemistry and every other subject without really trying. In fact, since she didn't try, she spent her day filling her sketchbook with drawings. Her drawings were as imaginative and funky as her personality. She inspired me to keep a school sketchbook and ever since then I have done just so.
Back in elementary art class, I remember being nervous when other people watched me draw. Making art in front of other people is much like performing. Since I started keeping my school sketchbook, I've goten over my stage fright. People I normally don't talk to come up to me and strike up a conversation about my art. It's made me more open about my work and that's pretty important.
Keeping sketchbooks and sketching often is one of the best things I have ever done. It's good practice and it's a pretty fast exercise. For Christmas, I got a watercolor sketchbook that has plenty of thick pages. They have a wonderful cloth-like feel to them and are absolutely divine to paint on. The images above are my favorites of the few I have painted so far. More to come late on.