You must have heard the phrase, "a penny for your thoughts?" I had never really given the phrase too much thought until yesterday when a friend of mine were discussing sketchbooks. I had submitted a few sketchbook pages for review to see if I could get featured on a blog earlier yesterday and was telling my friend about it. The idea that that could be a viable showing opportunity had never really occurred to me, despite the fact that I fill multiple sketchbooks and artist journals a year. It seems like a good way to go. It could lead to more exposure for my painting work, give people a better idea of how my art is developed, and be an interesting document for the viewer to peruse in and of itself. All of these things are good, but the next thought that came up was wildly disparate to my psyche, would the book be fore sale?
I have no issue selling paintings or drawings. I have little trouble giving paintings and drawings away. I've spent the last two years making time consuming work specifically to give away in an elaborate fashion. I have torn many a sketchbook page out and given it to people in restaurants and coffee shops, and yet, the idea of selling a sketchbook seems so foreign. How much does it cost? They aren't terribly personal in that I write down my feelings or incredible secrets. They don't have any information in them that will implicate me in any crime. I don't understand why it seems so necessary to keep all of them. I don't know why it bothers me to sell one. Perhaps that is why I had such a problem with the Sketchbook Project from Art House Co-op. That is a terrific project and an incredible concept. ( a traveling library of sketchbooks for any of you who haven't heard about it )
However, even with my tendency to finish so many sketchbooks, I did not finish that one. I had assumed before that it was the time period in my life. My ex and I were just getting back together after I had taken "a break" in Minneapolis. It was a pretty emotional and unemployed time period, but that said, I also had a ton of free time and plenty of thoughts bumping around in my dome. To make the moment even more peculiar, I finished two other books in the time that I did not finish the sketchbook for the sketchbook project.
What is the power of the sketchbook? People that see my books are always excited about them. Usually it would be accurate to say that they are more excited to see the sketchbooks than my other work. Is this the case for everyone? I don't know, but I do know that I have no idea how much one costs.
I am curious about your thoughts on this subject. Do any of you keep a sketchbook? What is the process like to you? Does it feel personal even when its contents are not particularly personal? Please feel free to comment here or send me a tweet @Mighty_Lark or email me mike at lewisacrylics.com.