5 Tips For Visually Interesting Sketchbooks

What is it about sketchbooks that make them so intriguing to touch and feel? Is it the fact that they're the most raw insight into a persons creative process? It's no secret that I take great pride in my sketchbooks. Throughout my foundation course it's the thing that I have really consistently enjoyed creating and I actively look forward to updating mine on a daily basis. While a sketchbook is the least judgmental and most forgiving of any artwork, for some it can almost feel too free, and blank pages can be very intimidating! Recently I have shared some snapshots into my own sketchbooks (here and here if you're interested) and today I want to share some ideas and suggestions on how you could go about making your own sketchbook more visually intriguing.  

1. Keep Everything 
For me, displaying bits and pieces from my creative process is a big part of creating an interesting sketchbook. It can be hard to remember to do this to begin with but soon enough it'll become second nature. Everything from paper offcuts to material samples and receipts, anything that tells the story of your working process will make a great addition to a page. Your sketchbook will soon become something of a record of how your work was created which can be so fun to look back on.

2. Methods Of Attachment 
Something that I have found to be useful when I feel like a page is looking a bit dull is using a variety of methods for attaching page elements. For example, if you have a photograph, you might just glue it down with a regular glue stick, or you could use a ripped bit of making tape, a staple, a safety pin, sticky tape around the edge, use string, split pins etc etc. It's surprising how effective this can be at changing the whole look and feel of a page.

3. Variety Is Key
If you want to keep your sketchbook visually interesting throughout for either yourself or the viewer, having a variety of page styles is a great way to achieve this. One page might be full of drawing while the next is a written brainstorm, and the next might be photographs of your process or a mixture of techniques. Try to switch it up every now and again if you tend to stick to one style.

4. Bulk
"Bulk? What the heck is bulk?" I hear you ask. Well my friends, 'bulk' is what me and all of my friends at art school strive for in our sketchbooks. Have you ever seen a sketchbook that is so full to the brim that it will barely close? Yep - that's what we're all after! There's something so beautiful about a book that's so teeming with life, ideas and creativity. Of course, that's not to say that this suits everybody's style and taste, but for me, there's no greater feeling than literally seeing my sketchbook grow in size.

5. Learn To Let Go
This is probably the most important tip that I can give. Your sketchbook is yours and yours only. Ultimately you get to choose what goes in, how you want to work and who gets to see it. Learning to let go and be free with your creative self it vital. Don't hold back - your sketchbook is somewhere you should be able to make a mistake and not lose sleep over it! Don't get caught up with making everything look perfect, just let yourself create without worry and everything else will follow suit.

While these are just some of the things I do when making my own books, the best thing about a sketchbook is that it is completely personal to the creator. You may decide that non of these tips apply to your taste (although I would recommend considering #5!). The most important thing is to express yourself freely - there really are no rules!
What are some of the things you like to do when creating your sketchbooks? I'd love to know about your process! 

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