If your art spends its entire life in your sketchbook, it was a waste.


I think I just made this rule up as a way of justifying my reluctance to consider myself a “real” artist. And I think I need the disclaimer that “reluctance to” is actually translated into “fear of”. I dont’ know why it’s such a hang up with me, but whatever. Another topic for another day. It’s true, though–the only pieces of art that “count” are pieces that I do things with. Turn into cards, frame around the house, or give away as gifts. There are so many sketches and paintings in my journals that don’t count. They’re either practice or unfinished, I suppose.


This is a piece that lives in my art journal. I love it to pieces–it’s one of my favorite random things that’s come out of my subconscious. It was from a time that David and I went to an open mic night, and I just drew each thing that came to mind for each piece. But to properly show it how much I love it, I would have to make it into a full painting. Actually go out and find a canvas to translate it onto, in order to make it count as a “real” piece. And really, I don’t want to. It defeats the whole point.

This “rule” is a bit of a double-edged sword. I know it’s impractical, and I know my brain shouldn’t hold as tightly to it as i do, but it also is the rule that gives me the push to do this with the stuff I make. And soon, you guys will even get to see what I’m talking about! I’m still just struggling to find the balance between being motivated to move further without discounting 90% of the work I do.


2 thoughts on “If your art spends its entire life in your sketchbook, it was a waste.

  1. gosh. i can relate to this one. i often sketch/paint/draw something up and it ends up hiding in my sketchbook or sitting on my desk never to be touched again. i certainly need to work on showing more of my art and not hiding it away because it doesn’t live up to my high (internal) standards.

    • I try to not feel guilty when things exist only in my sketchbook, and not let it invalidate me, but yeah I definitely need to get better about making finished pieces!

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