While getting settled here in South Carolina, looking for a job, and covering things in glitter, or whatever, I figured I'd start sharing some pages from my sketchbooks.
Before art school, sketchbooks, to me, were precious, in a way. Besides the big 8.5x11 hardcover bargain journals from Borders that I filled with fashion designs from 4th through 9th grade religiously (which began as a way for me to draw the clothes I couldn't afford but wanted from catalogs that starting coming with my name on them), I saved sketchbooks for "nice" drawings. Something more thoughtful. Or assigned sketches for art classes. Actual sketches were saved for scraps of paper. I have no idea what was so intimidating about plain paper, but I felt it should be saved for something nice.
When applying to art school, it seemed I was told by everyone to show my sketchbooks in my portfolio, because they should show my process. Except that wasn't true for my barely used pages. So in my foundation drawing class, we were encouraged to use sketchbooks a bit more. I think first semester, we were assigned 5 sketches a week, sometimes specifically 5 sketches of hands, or feet, or figure drawing, or showing perspective. And second semester, we had 5 sketches + 5 collages a week. And that was something I was more comfortable with. Something about finding and choosing elements and discovering the narrative they form was less intimidating. So I began to turn sketches into collages. And each week, I started doing about 20 collages. My Moleskine grew 2 inches in less than 4 weeks. It barely closed.
My second year, I had a few sketchbooks, one for each studio class. And I used them to write down ideas and sketch out storyboards. And I had a separate sketchbook for collages. But that was about it. I used them, but not the way I do now. And I think I had some grand revelation (or profound "duh" moment) at the beginning of my third year, when I realized my ideas from one class to another were more related than before. So I used one sketchbook for everything. And separate notebooks for liberal arts. And sometimes, I'd write other anecdotes and fill pages with doodles, or words that would otherwise be written on my arms. It was a start.
BFA year, my sketchbook became a permanent appendage. I would fill up Moleskine cahiers in as little as 2 weeks. I started making my own sketchbooks and filling those up quickly, too. All of my ideas, every little thought, every rant, every idea was documented. Sometimes pages were filled with sketches of possible projects, and sometimes words were everywhere, in an effort to figure out where my ideas were headed. Sometimes there were diagrams and flowcharts, and sometimes there were lists of definitions. And sometimes, there were the outlines of coffee that had been spilled on that page, or glitter that had been spilled, or bold advice I should keep in mind, or song lyrics that were stuck in my head. And now, I can't seem to go anywhere without some sort of sketchbook. If nothing else, I use them to hold papers I collect, business cards, pictures, whatever. Or clover and wildflowers until I can put them between the pages of an encyclopedia. So I'll be sharing some images from sketchbooks I've filled. And I'll start with doodles from the beginning of BFA year, and end with documentation of my thesis project.