The Power of a New Sketchbook

The other day I was feeling anxious, wirey and down.  I didn’t know what was wrong or how to fix it.  I knew that I needed to get out, but when you live where I do, there isn’t anywhere to go.  So, we went to Wal-Mart.  I needed some black earth anyway.

Once in, we wandered.  For a while, aimlessly, it seemed there was nothing to find.  That is, until my fantastic girlfriend, Steph, said, “Let’s go the stationary department!”  BINGO.  Stationary ALWAYS makes me feel better.  (Her, too.)  Here are some things that make me feel better from the stationary section in any store:

– a new notebook

– fun coloured papers

– new markers

– pencils and crayons

– SHARPIES

– bulletin boards/chalk boards/white boards, or any combo of the 3

– random supplies, including staplers, coloured paper clips, and cue cards

But none of them fit my mood.  I did, however, decide that what I truly needed was a new sketchbook.  So, off we went to the craft department (even though sketching is not a craft ..?!).

I found about 4 different sketchbooks.  They had the typical ones with cardboard backs and covers and some lame sketch on the front; one with very speckled, poorly made paper, and one with paper too thin for my liking.  There was also a nice hard covered black sketchbook.  I have always wanted one like this, but have never been able to convince myself to buy one.  This one was only $8, though, and I was prepared to spend the money (even though I have impending bills and some taxes to finish paying).

And then, I saw it.

Shoved away under some other books and in a general mess (ew), was my ideal sketchbook.  I didn’t know it at the time, but it was perfect for me.  It was the same as the other black one, but MUCH larger.  I’ve been wanting a large one.  And then common sense set in.  Do I really want this?  Can I tote it around easily?  It’s too large for my book bag.  Thankfully, Steph took one look and said, “IT’S AWESOME!  YOU WANT IT!”  Yes, I did.

I bought it.  All $10 of it.

The new sketchbook not only improved my mood, but has improved my sketching!  It’s been motivation to sketch, which I’ve been lacking.

Last week, I was encouraged to draw one item every day (the same item) for a year.  I chose a tea-pot.  The one I did in my new sketchbook is fantastic (I think … it’s the best one yet).  It’s also served me well while I sat in my soon-to-be studio space (currently a ragged porch) and sketched the 2 dogs (one visiting and my own).  And tonight, I sketched Steph on the couch, and finally made it sort of look like her.  The new sketchbook is fantastic.

I’m not sure how a book with nothing in it when you get it can be so wonderful, but it is – the power of a new sketchbook.

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