If you’ve ever seen the 1987 movie Throw Momma from the Train you may remember a line in that movie that Billy Crystal constantly repeats:
“A writer writes.”
It makes sense, right? (Sorry, couldn’t resist!) If a person wants to be a writer, or more specifically IS a writer, they write. After all, soccer players play soccer, architects do architectural things, teachers teach…
You get the idea.
So if you want to be a sketcher, guess what you have to do?
Yeah, I know. Makes sense, right?
I have only lately begun to recognize this. I mentioned in this post how I wanted to get better at quick sketching, so lately I’ve tried to ignore my perfectionist tendencies and focus more on quantity than on quality.
Often the only way to get great at something is to do a whole heck of a lot of it.
Because of my decision to fling caution to the wind and do quick and messy sketches, my drawing and lettering skills have been getting better. Of course, none of the sketches in this post will win any art show awards, but I've discovered that when I drop the performance pressures and instead focus on capturing details quickly, it loosens me up in my more detailed work also.
Not only that, I am having a blast in the process which is really what sketching and art journaling are all about.
So this is a short post in the Art Journaling 101 series, because I can’t say it any better than this:
A sketcher sketches.
In this busy world, it’s often a struggle to carve out time to sketch. I am a work-at-home, homeschooling mama who does not have a housekeeper, cook, or gardener, so I’ve learned to sneak art journaling into everyday moments. A great thing about quick, loose sketching is that if you have 5 or 10 seconds, you can sketch. That’s really all it takes!
Here are a few simple tips for practicing the art of constant sketching:
- Keep a small sketching kit beside the front door or in your purse and grab it whenever you leave the house.
- Leave a journal open on your desk or table and doodle a tiny bit every chance you get.
- Instead of scrolling through your phone in your free moments, tune into your sketchbook instead.
- Utilize the time riding in a car, taxi, or train to complete 5-second sketches of what you see flying by outside the window.
- Instead of looking around to see what might make a pretty picture, simply sketch what is right in front of you. Now.
- Use nap times, lunch hours, a leaf catching in your hair or a bird landing on your windowsill as great excuses for sketching.
- Stop and breathe.
Because really, putting pen to paper quiets our souls. If you can’t bring yourself to sketch sloppy just yet, journal your thoughts instead. Try different hand lettering ideas or play around with page layouts and pop-out or graphic text.
Just don’t try too hard. Because the point of this exercise is to get into the habit of sketching, not of drawing. Yes, there is a difference.
Makes sense, right?
Challenge time! :) Make it your goal this week to focus on quantity over quality. All throughout your day, try to fit in as many quick sketches as you can. Of course, I’d love to see your work. If you post to social media, be sure to tag me!