Sketchbooks as visual diaries

Helloooo everyone! Hope y’all had a great New Year’s…Boy does it seem to have been a while since I last posted…time to get back in the swing of a regular schedule (and work on the side too!). While I’m not a huge fan of ‘New Year resolutions’ (I don’t think you have to wait til the new year to set goals), it is a good time to reflect on the previous year’s experiences…and what better way than looking back through some of my old sketchbooks?

Stack of sketchbooks...I usually have a few going at once

A sketchbook, after all isn’t that different from a ‘diary’ (or the more ‘mature’ term, journal) aside from the fact that it’s more visual (mostly pictures, some words) and not entered in every singe day (though some artists do manage this, which I admit I should do). But, akin to traditional diaries, there are different types of ‘sketchbooks’–be they travel focussed, personal or even dream related (ever tried illustrating your dreams? Sometimes it can be quite fun), and are always interesting to look back through as time passes.

Sketches from trips

Prolly my most favourite sketchbooks are those from my trips abroad; starting with the one I did as a college art student in Germany. Mercifully our teacher (instead of requiring us to write a paper about our experience) requested that we create a ‘visual diary’ of the experience. I’ve also got a rather incomplete one from trip to Paris with one of my good friends and then, of course my most recent trip to merry ole England. (NB: in part, travel sketchbooks are great since, instead of repeating yourself over and over to everyone who asks How was your trip?, you can just hand them the journal and let them see for themselves).

Sketches Triptych

Ultimately though, whatever the ‘theme’ or ‘era’ of the sketchbook, whenever I flip back through them, I’m transported to the time, feelings and situations that surrounded each sketch or doodle–be it for a client logo, website, illustration or comic. It’s rather uncanny how each scribble & jot can conjure up so many memories.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed peeking into my sketchbooks–now it’s your turn to share! Are you keeping a journal, sketchbook or both? Do you enjoy looking back through them often?

Also, if you like looking into other people’s diaries, recently a book combining several famous New Yorker’s came out. Also, every now & then the amazing kate beaton posts some of her sketches– while sarah glidden recently posted a ‘sketchbook visit’ of her experience with OccupyMiami. ‘Tis always a pleasure to see other artists’ sketches.

4 thoughts on “Sketchbooks as visual diaries

  1. Pete Hindle says:

    I definitely think that having a sketchbook is a great way to show people your holiday – but it’s also a great conversation tool! I like to tell people all the stories that happen to me while I was drawing (because it seems to be a crazy magnet, drawing crazy people out of the woodwork to come and talk to me).

    • bonbon says:

      haha, no definitely, I also seem to attract the most interesting people, whenever they see me sketching–even if it’s just for a project or something…

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