Do you have a sketchbook? If you have one, it probably won't be your one and only one. Once people step beyond the formal concept of sketching in a sketchbook, the sketchbook comes to life. A life of its own. That might include paint. And photos. And words. And multi-media techniques.
I love the rich, unique work of Joe Carreon. I can't tell you much about him, except that you can look at his work on Flickr, and see how some of his sketchbook art looks.
One of my favorite artists who is magic with sketchbook art is Juliana Coles. She's got a portfolio full of amazingly powerful and profound pieces of work. She also teaches art. While her work is more aptly called visual journaling, it seems to me like impressive sketchbook work. (And that makes visual journaling a little less intimidating, I think). Take a look at her Flickr feed for immediate inspiration, and consider a purchase from her Etsy Shop if you fall in love, like I did.
Sketchbook, Gouache, by Cathy on Flickr
A simple search on Flickr will actually connect you with lots of photos of sketchbooks that people are creating. Above, a wonderful example of using a sketchbook for something beyond pencil sketches, by a person named Cathy, that I found with a simple search. I really love that spread.
I have some big, fat, thick art journals. But they aren't loaded with just art. There is some collage, paint, sketches, yes; but also photos, clippings from newspapers, words, examples of things - and they include years of stuff that caught my interest enough to move me to visually journal them. So recently, I took myself on a little tour of those. I altered the covers and backs, but I know this: at purchase, they were called sketchbooks.
Which led me to The Sketchbook Project!
It is a crowd-sourced library of over 35,000 sketchbooks from more than 150,000 creative folks in more than 100 countries around the world. It's a virtual world of online sketchbooks, and also a storefront exhibition in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY at the Brooklyn Art Library. Check this out! Why? Because the website has challenges- which are really calls for submissions. And many digital sketchbooks available to view. And it also has supplies and materials and...oh! It is something of an amazement to me. And I'm planning to participate in one of the submission themes for 2017.
Wanna come along? Check out the website: https://www.sketchbookproject.com/ to read about and see the library; find out how to participate yourownself; and read all about the movement.
Meanwhile, I've got a fresh new sketchbook on my table waiting to be adorned with marks. And you have your assignment, should you choose to accept it. As always, I welcome your input: send photos of your sketchbooks! We can create a mini virtual gallery here (with proper credit, of course, unless you're shy, which is fine, too). Looking forward to seeing your creations - and making some of my own in the middle of summer over here on the West Coast.