On Throwing Away My Sketchbook
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Last week, a pile that was festering beside my bedside nightstand finally grabbed my attention. The pile was my lovely turquoise art bin overflowing with tangled embroidery thread, various art supplies which escaped from their respective sets, and a stack of articles I printed out. Yes, I enjoy reading papers especially in bed, instead of being attached to my digital device 24x7. This art bin always needs a bit of a wrestle to close, so as one may assume, I hardly ever close both latches. I pretty much set myself up for this vicious cycle of disorganization when it concerns my art supply bin, but it feels like the ultimate embodiment of an artist. Messy, disorganized, and frustrated I can't quite put my fingers on the phthalo blue watercolor paint.
I began my dammit-this-shall-be-organized task by removing the contents of the top tray. It made sense to group like items together, hello MILDLINERS, washi tape, erasers, scissors, and pencils. It felt natural tossing things that I deemed unnecessary for what I was now considering, my favorite coveted art supplies. Shortly after removing the tray to see what exactly was blocking it from sitting naturally, I was boldly faced with my black hardcover sketchbook sitting unassumingly under a marker set in a fancy tin. We all know the sketchbooks, cumbersome with a textured cover. My first entries were back in 2017, an indicator of how frequently I was using it. I started to carefully thumb through each and every page being mindful of what I had produced on each page.
What I produced was a bunch of shite.
My sketchbooks have always allowed me to express myself in a way without words, instead with colors and lines, negative space, and most often randomness. I don't put much pressure on myself to fill a page or created something realistic, most of the time it's just an expression of emotion, a feeling, a movement. Sketching allows me to release stagnation and feelings of being stuck. I often become attached to sketchbooks and find value in them, I have a collection of them stored away. Not on this day, I cut out two watercolor feathers I had painted and tossed my sketchbook in the trash.
I felt like I was finally letting go of the narrative that I am an artist. Obviously I'm a dabbler and amateur having never pursued art in great length, but art expression has always played a part in my life. It was an overwhelming feeling to just let it go. Sit in my truth and let go of this little piece of my dabbler of the arts identity. I'm struggling with the reality that I have surface skillsets in many many many things, but I am a master of none. I do nothing exceptionally well. Ouch. I've tasked myself with exploring what I want to be exceptional at. Maybe that ask is too large for me, but keeping a slow and steady pace on the trail is better than just sitting in your car at the trailhead. So onwards, to self-discovery through the be honest with your damn self lens, the throw away your sketchbook of crappy attempts at art lens. I've put on my authentic self lens with a sense of curiosity as to what I may discover.