I’m not really a sketcher. In fact, I’ve always had issues with the idea that creative people “should” draw and sketch regularly. Despite taking all the art classes I could as a kid and trying my hand at life drawing, oil painting, pottery and everything in between, I’ve never really enjoyed drawing when it wasn’t for some express purpose. So while I can draw and paint and sketch, I generally choose not to.
But in the creative industries, the idea that we should all keep a notebook in our bags and spontaneously start sketching is prevalent. When I was in university everyone on my fashion course had to keep a sketchbook, which was handed in every few months for a progress mark. I remember not picking it up for weeks on end, and then drawing like crazy for the week before it was due. My best friend and I got so tired of working on them that we even used to switch sketchbooks and work in each other’s sometimes, just for a change of pace.
However, the ability to illustrate your ideas quickly and confidently is important in the design world, and the more regularly you exercise your drawing, the more naturally it comes. So despite my lifelong trepidation of spontaneous sketching, it’s definitely a skill I’d like to develop. I admire the artistic bent in others: my boss will come in almost every morning with some new design for me to look at, and my own grandmother was a prolific artist. So, I recently added “Create and keep a sketchbook habit” to my 30 Before 30 list.
All images © Eleanor Busing
To that end, I’ve been taking a Perspective Drawing course at my old school, the Chelsea College of Art and Design. Once a week I spend an evening learning new techniques, experimenting with media and slowly improving my skills. I’ve already found that I’ve loosened up a LOT, and have started to enjoy myself. My colourful new sketchbook, though? Still pretty much empty.
Do you sketch? How on earth do you find the time and/or motivation? Tell me your secrets!