10 Tips for Filling Your Sketchbook with Inspiration

After completing Sketchbook Revival last week, I thought I would share some of the tips and ideas I noted for filling our sketchbooks.

Having fun

As you already know, I think that keeping a sketchbook is a great way to capture ideas (old and new), inspirations, and track our creative process. We doodle, draw, paint and we all want to fill our sketchbooks with inspiring content so here are my 10 tips to help you to do just that:

1- Set a goal for your practice. We want to keep everything fun and preserve the play aspect of sketchbooking but setting a goal is important. Decide how many pages you want to fill or how often you want to sketch. Setting a goal will help keep you motivated and focused.

2- Keep a small sketchbook with you. You never know when inspiration will strike, and having your sketchbook handy will allow you to capture it. Keep a basket or a container with a small sketchbook, pencils and eraser together, ready to go as you leave the house. When you are at home, keep it in a convenient easy to reach place.

Some of my sketchbooks
Some of my sketchbooks

3- Observe your surroundings: Take a look around you and notice shapes, colors, textures. What details do you notice and make what you see unique?  These observations will inspire your sketches.

4- Practice drawing from life. It is very different than working from photos. It is a fantastic way to capture the world around you while improving your spatial vision and your drawing skills.

5- Try new mediums: Experimenting with different mediums especially those you don’t usually use such as pens, pencils, markers, watercolors, and more will keep your sketchbook interesting and help you discover new techniques that excite you and that you might want to integrate into your work.

First time using my new fude pen and realising the ink was NOT waterproof!

6- Draw what you love: Drawing things you love and inspire you will help you stay motivated and engaged.

7- Use prompts: When I drew for 400 days in a row, the use of daily prompts was instrumental to my completing this project. It helped me you come up with ideas for my sketches. You can find prompts online, in books, or open a page in the dictionary. Prompts not only gives you a starting point for your sketches, it also a great tool to overcome artist’s block.

8- Take breaks: It’s okay to take a break from your sketchbook and come back to it later in order to avoid burn-out. It can help you gain a fresh perspective and renew your commitment. Breaks have to be looked at without guilt but when I take a break, I usually set an end date to it.

9- Get inspiration from others: By attending art exhibits, browsing art blogs, following artists on social media, getting exposed to other artists work or art styles can all be very inspiring. It can also inspire you to try new things.

10- Don’t worry about perfection and approach this with a playful attitude. A sketchbook is a place to experiment, make mistakes, and try new things. Embrace imperfection, leave your inner critic behind and have fun with your sketches.

    Even if I find that keeping a sketchbook is sometimes daunting because it takes me out of my comfort zone, I bring what I learn back to my regular practice, enhancing it. With these 10 tips, you can fill your sketchbook with content that inspires you, reflects your creativity and excites you.

    Happy sketchbooking !


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