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Benefits of a Daily Sketchbook Practice

Normally, I’m the type of artist, who creates in the moment based on a given prompt - whether it is design work for a client or submitting artwork for an exhibition: I plan, sketch, create some test prints before producing a final rendition. This approach is very outcome focused - there is a specific prompt and something is produced.

The daily sketchbook practice offers many benefits |

This works totally fine, but recently I’ve been hearing a lot about how a daily sketchbook practice can benefit one’s creativity.  

What are the benefits?

  • Most importantly, your creativity and creative thinking will blossom
  • You’ll be able to identify what your unique artistic style is
  • Your doodles and quick sketches will inspire new ideas for patterns, product, illustrations and digital art
  • This is a form of meditation - to quiet your mind, tune into yourself and just sketch for 15-20 minutes a day

How to get started:

1. Supplies

For my daily practice, I keep my supplies simple:  

  • Sketchbook
  • Mechanical pencil
  • Eraser

These are the essentials. Occasionally, if I want to add color,  I may include gel pens, markers or watercolor paints.  

Sketchbook tip:

Browse the sketchbooks at your local art store and find one that speaks to you - this does not have to be expensive - any sketchbook will do.  

If you are like me, you might already have a stash of sketchbooks at home.  I recently went through my collection and labeled them! 

I now have a sketchbook for pattern motifs, doodles, lettering and illustrations.

I have sketchpad collection labelled for all kinds of sketches!

2. Allocate Time

This is probably the hardest part - consistently allocating 15-20 minutes a day for your sketchbook practice.  It’s like working out - when you are dedicated to daily exercise (or exercising 3 times a week), you make the time.

Likewise you need to find time in your day where you can sit quietly, without distractions for sketching. I recommend just 15-20 minutes a day -  this practice does not have to be time consuming.  For me that time is usually first thing in the morning while I’m drinking my tea.  But sometimes life gets hectic and I end up skipping a day or two. But I try to get back on track as quickly as possible. 

3. What to Sketch

This is probably the second hardest thing - when you know you only have 15 minutes and your mind goes blank… you don’t have any inspiration or ideas on what to sketch!  Well….my advice is not to think too much about it - just let your hand flow. It could just be a doodle of shapes, or lines or other random marks. 

A daily sketchbook practice can be as simples a few doodles!

Scroll through your phone and take a look at some recent photos to see if you can find some inspiration there.

Here’s an example of what started as random doodles, ended up with a bit more definition and color - and now I have a blueprint of some motifs that could turn into a pattern or be part of some other design.

From your daily sketches, you might be inspired to turn that into an actual design!

I hope this inspires you to start your own daily sketch practice. Even if you are not an artist or designer, you can still benefit from this. Think of it like exercise for your creative muscles!  

Happy sketching!


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