Long and Drawn Out

Sketch DetailAs hard as it is to believe, I used to draw. A lot. This thought struck me today while I was doodling in a notepad during a meeting; I wondered why those doodles weren’t being penned into my sketchbook, rather than on some random piece of paper that would get lost in a day or two.

Below, two pages from one of my old sketchbooks. I used to make these sketchbooks from half-sheets of letter-size paper, three-hole punched and popped into a mini-binder bought from Staples.

Part of the problem is that I no longer carry my sketchbook with me, though every once in a while I will remark to myself that I should pick it up again. For some reason, it remains on my bookshelf, like a letter you have every intention of mailing but that never seems to make it out the door with you. With my days divvied up between business duties, project work and surfing the Web, I’ve fallen out of the habit of sketching.

Even if I had my sketchbook with me, I’m not sure that I would pull it out of my bag and draw in it all that often, because there’s no longer a natural segue between the work that I do for money and the act of drawing. I once did a lot more of my work off the screen, on pen and paper, but that’s no longer the case, sadly. Now, to go from the screen to paper requires a real break in work flow and thinking… it just doesn’t happen that much to me.


Which is sad, because drawing used to be what I did. I used to draw all of the time, from when I was very little to a few years ago. It was my entrée into the world of art and design, and for a long time, it was the method that I intended to use to earn money. Even in Web design, my history of drawing is so fundamental to my skills, that I still benefit from it every day. Drawing is still at the root of everything I do, and yet I neglect the skill so thoughtlessly.


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