Freeing yourself from Perfection

sketch science fiction cyborgs

What are sketchbooks good for? Why do those artist guys run around with these little books?

I always take a sketchbook with me. Some are small and light, others are thick and heavy, and most of them have a black cover. 🙂

Over time, my sketchbooks got smaller: I started with one that was 40×60 cm and always carried a pencil roll, some brushes, water, tissues and the like with me. My backpacks became very heavy, even when I just went for a short walk. You just never know what you find. It was not very comfortable walking around with a lot of weight on my shoulders and I have hated being packed too much ever since.

sketch architecture watercolour

So my sketchbooks became smaller. 20×20 cm was actually really small for me. And now I’m even carrying an A5 Moleskine with me. And just a pencil roll.

So what are those sketchbooks good for now?
Of course for the obvious things like doing studies, capturing moods, scribbling down ideas or having something to show off – if you happen to be one of those arists who only create to get admired by those who do not draw.

But the reason I like using sketchbooks is very simple: I have all my paper in one place. You want to draw? Just pick one of the books and do it. You are done? Just throw it back into your backpack. You don’t need to take care about accidently gettings some creases in a loose sheet of paper, because there is no loose paper!

sketch beautiful woman

But the real cool thing is that it frees you from the idea that every drawing has to be perfect. It takes away the pressure and lets you find your own style, because, at the end, it’s just a sketchbook, right?

sketch monster creature fish
sketch science fiction cyborgs
drawing illustration female demon

I just have to cope with the fact, that everybody can see my mistakes. If I did an ugly drawing or sketch it – stays in the sketchbook. No pages are torn out. They stay in my sketchbook, for everyone to see my shame.

7 responses to “Freeing yourself from Perfection

  1. I have similarly labored, burdened like a mule with a pack full of stuff. Funny thing is, I’m not an artist. I write. Reading this made me laugh thinking about how long I carried around all that extra stuff, and all the back pains. Ah, how ridiculous it all was. The Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared”, taken to an obsessive level.

    Thankfully, I’ve managed to get my gear down to a Moleskine, a bic pen, and my glasses.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still have my pack. I spent quite a lot to get the perfect bag. But I’m not tied down to it.


    • I was already imagining, that writers might do something similar – carrying a little notebook with them. 🙂
      And I think, that it’s a good idea having your lightweight equipment always with you (besides of a full packed bag for special occations), because there are always downtimes which can be used productively, like taking notes for a story. Acually, I’ve read that the comic artist D’Israeli always writes down his stories in cafés.


  2. This reminds me of when my big sketchpad would be my best friend through my teenage years. I couldn’t, wouldn’t dare to leave the hluse without it.with time, I realised it’s simply ok to be simple with just your small notebook and a pencil or pen.
    And your artwork with it’s flaws to show, is what makes the drawings more interesting. Your artwork is lovely yet again.


    • Thank you very much, Sonea, I’m glad you like it 🙂
      To be honest, back then as well as now I feel a bit naked when I leave the house without my be-always-ready-to-leave-the-country-minimalist-equipment, but having a little sketchbook makes life much easier 🙂


  3. Pingback: Making the best of what you have | I create worlds. John Brito´s Blog·

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