Disjointed thoughts as to why my last sketchbook doesn’t exist.

My last sketchbook doesn’t exist.

And I’m grateful.

Do I want to dilute my artistic legacy with books full of scribble?

The winds swept across a vast endless expanse of sand. Resulting in rolling dunes that grinds whatever remained of the last civilization into dust. A lone traveler pulls something out from the debris. A book. He opens the book wondering what advanced knowledge his ancestors have left behind… It’s your sketchbook…

I’ve been using a LCD drawing tablet. It’s a device with a pen that is about as advanced as an Etch A Sketch. I draw on it and then press the erase button and then I never have to look at the drawing ever again.

Some of you might be horrified that I’m creating art work only to be destroyed.

But my use case is using this for practice; educational sketches (please keep that in mind).

Because I’ve come to the realisation that keeping all my practice sketches, in a sketchbook, or anything else. Really has almost no value at all. For me or anyone else.

Is this some-kind of controversial opinion? Am I committing blasphemy against some sacred ancient tradition between artists and their sketchbooks?

A sketchbook is like a artistic growth medium. And after you have grown your skills the pages within show the history of your progress. But then I had to ask myself how useful is that really? How useful is a large catalogue of errors with incremental improvements? What am I going to use that for? Nothing. It was mere practice to me. As soon as I had finished drawing the drawing had already completed its purpose.

Why should I keep it? I keep on trying to think of a reason why these sketches, the ones I make for the purpose of education and self improvement, would have some kind of value.

Will they ever be an financial asset? No. Unless I become a really famous artist. But sketches don’t really have much of a wide appeal to your common consumer. They really only appeal to aspiring artists I guess who are curious as to how you developed. Then they can like… place themselves in your timeline in the hope that they will become like you or something. But I don’t think the average person cares enough to waste their time looking at the unpolished foundations of your skills.

Are there near unmanageable hordes of people wanting to see the sketches of Leonardo Da Vinci in the British Royal Collection. Or is nearly everyone going to worship the Mona Lisa in the Louvre? You know the answer. … Yes it is a cherry picked example. I still believe in it. It makes sense and matches what I’ve seen.

What about it being an educational resource? Might be useful to have a record of my occasional successes. Take note of what I’ve done right so I can copy it later?

But then I realised that has never really helped me towards my goal of accurately keeping these skills in my head. If I’m putting aside some instructional piece of artwork for later, maybe because I just happened to achieve a new skill for the first time and I want to refer to it, that just means that I haven’t drawn it enough to internalise it. I’m keeping it because it has value due to its rarity in my skill set. When I should be really be devaluing it with constant practice.

Also referring back to a imperfect home-made copy of something has never really helped me anyway. I should be referring back to the source from where I got it from. Unless I want to continue to copy the same errors I’ve made over and over again. Like those youtube videos where people trace/redraw the same thing in a cycle of devolution. Funny stuff.

Also drawing on something that guarantees the destruction of the sketch is really liberating from the fear of paper; that you might be making a catalogue of errors for people to look back on. It just gives you the freedom to experiment and practice new perspectives that you might not be familiar with. I’ve been using this LCD board to also sketch little thumbnails of designs, so I can try to get the layout correct, before I commit it to paper. And has also saved me a lot of trouble from having piles of scrap paper laying around my desk. Or just another sketchbook filled with scribbles that my sleep deprived brain made me draw close to midnight.

Never loose the courage to put pen to paper though. Or you’ll find yourself practising yourself to death. When your dreams no longer fit in your potential. Because you ran out of time developing skills that now no one will see. A library that burnt down before it even opened.