Crafting, Sketchbook

Bookbinding in the Sunshine

spring bookbinding

There’s something about the sunshine, the first flowers, the scent of spring in the air that makes me crave a new beginning. And what better way to begin than with a new sketchbook? So I sat amongst the daisies and bound 75 sheets of my favourite drawing paper. I picked this cow fabric for the cover – one from the pile of “I like this, I don’t know what I’ll use it for but I’ll buy it anyway” – and a sweet yellow gingham ribbon so my sketchbook matches the garden and also feels like spring.

bookbinding

 

Sketchbook, Thoughts

Drawing for Drawing’s Sake

Woods

Drawing in the woods

It’s easy to forget, I think, when drawing is your job, that you love it. Even when the book you’ve spent the last 4 years working on is your own pet project, and the only client you really have to answer to is yourself, you still work at it with such militant discipline that it can feel like a daily grind. You might forget to enjoy yourself. You might forget you are doing what you love.

Don’t get me wrong, drawing for a living is serious business. It demands much more than a 9-5, five-days-a-week job and that militant discipline is useful, even essential. Every minute you spend with a pen in your hand has value, and you’re constantly wondering, “Can I blog this? Can I make a zine out of this? Can I sell this as a print? Who will buy it and how much for?” You have to think like that to survive.

And so it’s hard, when drawing is your job, to just draw for drawing’s sake.

This past week I let go. I rested. I took three days where I didn’t draw at all. And then it was all I could do. I spent four hour stretches in the woods, nothing but me, my sketchbook and the birds singing. Time stopped. And for a while, the constant whirring of my mind stopped, too.

They are not my best drawings and, ordinarily, I wouldn’t show them to anyone. I won’t turn them into a zine, or sell them, or even finish them. I think doing so would undermine their importance.

This week I was reminded that it’s OK, no, important, no vital to make time to draw for drawing’s sake. To remember why I draw at all.