Sketchbooks are tricky; they are personal pieces of work that some people find more helpful than others to have alongside their degree. Throughout my degree I have enjoyed creating sketchbooks whilst working on projects, as I have found them helpful in grounding and developing my ideas, however some people have found it more difficult. For this blog post I thought I would share some sketchbook tips….
Presentation does not matter as long as it is readable. Print it, hand write it, glue it, tape it.... its all up to you. However…if it is neater it will be easier for you to look back on ideas/research/shoots and see how you have developed along the way.
Some people write an essay (sorry I am one of them) and some people write a sentence…do what you can and if you’re stuck on what you should be writing, speak to a tutor or peer. Or perhaps you’re more visual and it is easier to sketch an idea….
-When you can, research what you are interested in and what inspires you, this way you will not only enjoy research but you will be more engaged with it.
-If a tutor suggests an artist, but you do not enjoy their work, look for links/differences. Perhaps they have a similar subject but a different technique to you, which you could try. Also think about why you do not like them, perhaps they are actually not relevant.
-Research historical sources and contemporary ones. Not only does this help ground where your practice sits in the art world, and present different ideas/influences, but also it is more in depth.
-Use different sources! Research does not have to be spending hours in the library trying to find the right books, but look at blogs, online magazines, photography magazines (luckily there is quite a collection in Scott Building for those on the photography degree), newspapers/articles, websites (some artists have their emails for questions) and videos etc. A great website is TEDTALKS which features talks on all sorts of subjects and is great for research and just really interesting!
-Write names of artists on pages – in case you don’t have time to fully research them so you can come back to it later.
-Number your shoots. This makes it easier to keep track and when you are talking about them later.
-Make note of equipment/techniques you used – perhaps you did something different and will want to recreate it in the future or used a new piece of equipment.
-Write what you think- it may sound stupid - why would you write what you know? But writing how a shoot went/what you did/motivation etc. although seeming unnecessary at the time, may be helpful for you when you look back later….
Finally try and keep your sketchbook updated throughout a project so that you don’t have to cram it all in the night before hand it.