Sketchbooks & Notebooks

When used properly, your sketchbooks and notebooks are an extension of your memory. They’re idea traps. Rather than fill them one at a time and retire them to the bookshelf, I prefer to keep old sketchbooks active as long as I can. I usually have 8 or 10 in rotation, and some of the sketchbooks are up to 15 years old. 

When I start a new project, I grab one of those old sketchbooks and get to work. A quick flip-through helps me revisit the ideas and discoveries I was able to trap inside. It’s a great refresher of the things I’ve learned, sometimes forgotten, and along the way, many of the discarded/forgotten ideas will find a new home in current projects. I’ve got color swatches, strange character designs, unused page layouts, pen and brush tests, story ideas, interesting typefaces, life drawings, photos, whatever. It’s very surprising how new ideas connect with old ideas over time. 

Give it a try!