Art Discussion

How many sketchbooks have you filled in your lifetime? And what subject matter do you fill them with?

By Suzanne Gibbs


  • Elle Greene
    Elle Greene (@elleisgreene) Plus Member
    06/29/2018 @ 2:34pm

    At a rate of 1 or 2 a year for a bit less than 30 years, plus some ambitious years, probably 30 to 40. Most of them are still in storage somewhere, too! I look through them often. They're all spiral bound or black, I've noticed. The subject matter varies by time period, but it's usually doodles, ideas, half-drawn concepts. I essentially have years and years of collected potential and very few finished thoughts. I definitely use words and hand drawn text much more as I get older. That's what makes looking back so delightful - my sketch books read like a diary of images, not an art portfolio. I think I'll pull some out tonight...

  • Lauren Konopacki
    Lauren Konopacki (@lettermore) Plus Member
    06/29/2018 @ 2:50pm

    @elleisgreene it would make for a cool continuous project to upload your favorites from each sketchbook over the years..i would love to see the progression!

  • Lauren Konopacki
    Lauren Konopacki (@lettermore) Plus Member
    06/29/2018 @ 2:54pm

    My guess for myself would probably be about 20 in my life? I have about 5 going right now that I begin to fill, and then i get impatient and buy a new type of sketchbook but I'm always bouncing around. One is a watercolor sketchbook, one is a sketchbook with multicolored pages, one is a square moleskine-ish sketchbook, one is my doodle addicts sketchbook, and the last one is a plain mixed media. I fill it with everything from elaborate drawings, random hand-lettering, "phone doodles" as I like to call them, or even just my to-do list for the day.

  • Elle Greene
    Elle Greene (@elleisgreene) Plus Member
    06/30/2018 @ 5:44pm

    @laurendoodlecode I like the suggestion! It's one more excellent reason to clear out old art stuff. I usually have many different sketchbooks in progress at once, too. Unfortunately I have a habit of starting a page or two in each of the nicer, 'special purpose' sketchbooks and then I get a cheap sketchpad that gets all my attention after that. Just started a bullet journal that serves that "catch all" function, too. Phone doodles are the best!

  • Katherine Carr
    Katherine Carr (@gydasyellowroses)
    07/02/2018 @ 4:51pm

    I am fairly new to the whole art journaling world so I have only filled around 8 or so. I fill them up with many topics as I don't keep a regular journal so I tend to express my feelings in these books. Most often I fill them with interactions that have made an impact on me, feminist ideals, and past loves.

  • Darlene K Campbell
    Darlene K Campbell (@Darlene)
    07/03/2018 @ 11:51am

    Hi Susanne, good to see you here too! I never used sketchbook h lols until I joined Sketchbook Skool. I still don't use them regularly as I tend to revert back to using loose sheets of paper then I put them in a portfolio, binder or folder. I have about a dozen actual sketchbooks. Usually no themes. Cheers-

  • Darlene K Campbell
    Darlene K Campbell (@Darlene)
    07/03/2018 @ 11:54am

    Oops Suzanne I am sooty I misspelled your name. And I should no better because that is my daughters name.

  • Stubby Toes
    Stubby Toes (@godwheel)
    07/03/2018 @ 4:24pm

    @elleisgreene You should dig those up and upload a few favorites to the site.

  • Stubby Toes
    Stubby Toes (@godwheel)
    07/03/2018 @ 4:25pm

    @gydasyellowroses Sounds very personal! Though I'm sure the subject matter would be super interesting to take a peak.

  • Sohini
    Sohini (@bookboozer)
    07/03/2018 @ 5:09pm

    I don't use sketchbooks as much.. I just tend to sketch when I have an inspiration burst or on large pieces of paper. I have used around 5 (or less?) and they don't have themes.. Most of them have mandala art which I hardly do anymore and lots of scribbles. Mostly scribbles.. WHch makes me think keeping a themed sketch book would be a great idea! I think I'll do that soon

  • Jannett Peña
    Jannett Peña (@2solo2) Plus Member
    07/04/2018 @ 12:15am

    I have lost count, but have kept them all throughout the years. Either they are sketchbooks, loose paper with lines or no lines, or post-its in all they do stay together in one of my sketchbooks. What I do draw are the things that comes to mind, images I find interesting to study or to just keep me busy and refine my skills. Lately, I do quick sketches of baroque & surrealist artists that I have studied and taught. I feel I have alot to learn & it also keeps me from having any artist blocks.

  • Jan Doodle
    Jan Doodle (@jandoodle)
    07/04/2018 @ 3:52am

    Never finished one completely..! It's high on my bucketlist :)

  • Obsidian
    Obsidian (@Obsidian)
    07/04/2018 @ 3:35pm

    I only filled one.. I always get new sketchbook and never fill them completely :/ Right now I try to fill the second one, my target is to finish it untill inktober!

  • Pat Henzy & Cici Henzy
    Pat Henzy & Cici Henzy (@PHenzy)
    07/07/2018 @ 3:30pm

    I wish I was better at using/filling sketchbooks. I have tupperware containers full of art. But most sketches end up on napkins, printer paper, or post its.

  • Suzanne Urban
    Suzanne Urban (@suzanne.artist)
    07/07/2018 @ 5:48pm

    Not a lot as I have a tendency to draw on scraps of paper, I think I have around 14 over quite a span of years, I want to do better at this.

  • Terry Horn
    Terry Horn (@jinmenju) Plus Member
    07/08/2018 @ 7:54am

    Finished probably 10 or 12, I have a box full of sketchbooks unfinished and at least 1 sketchbook in every room. I have one going right now that I am determined to finish this year, but I always start a new one every school year and that starts at the end of August, so I don't know...

  • Suzanne Gibbs
    Suzanne Gibbs (@Silly Girl Factory) Plus Member
    07/13/2018 @ 7:57pm

    I have well over 100 sketchbooks and journals filled with drawings, collage and writing. 80% are brain dumps so that I can make room for more ideas. I also believe in the power of write it down, make it happen! The other 20% is typically drawings I do to record trips I take and people I see,

  • Suzanne Gibbs
    Suzanne Gibbs (@Silly Girl Factory) Plus Member
    07/13/2018 @ 8:00pm

    @Darlene no worries! nice that you caught it!

  • Suzanne Gibbs
    Suzanne Gibbs (@Silly Girl Factory) Plus Member
    07/13/2018 @ 8:01pm

    @suzanne.artist why not glue your scraps into a sketchbook?

  • Suzanne Gibbs
    Suzanne Gibbs (@Silly Girl Factory) Plus Member
    07/13/2018 @ 8:02pm

    @PHenzy collage these into a sketchbook! I bet it would be great to look at all together!

  • Suzanne Gibbs
    Suzanne Gibbs (@Silly Girl Factory) Plus Member
    07/13/2018 @ 8:03pm

    @Obsidian one is better than none! ;)

  • Suzanne Gibbs
    Suzanne Gibbs (@Silly Girl Factory) Plus Member
    07/13/2018 @ 8:04pm

    @jandoodle hey! Let us know when you do fill a whole book! Accountability right here, right now! Go!

  • Suzanne Gibbs
    Suzanne Gibbs (@Silly Girl Factory) Plus Member
    07/13/2018 @ 8:05pm

    @Darlene have you ever used your own loose drawings to make collage?

  • rex riley
    rex riley (@rexriley) Plus Member
    07/15/2018 @ 12:45pm

    I'm like elle greene 2or 3 a year for 20 years mostly doodles. Ideas. I think I could make a good autobiography with some intense editing. My wife wants to use them for when she's ready to have me committed to the nut house

  • Abby Byers
    Abby Byers (@Abby12)
    08/22/2018 @ 6:25pm

    Right now, I have gone through three sketchbooks since May and am on my fourth.

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