I remember the first time we had a meet up of our artist community at San Diego Comic Con. It was amazing to meet all these great artists who I had gotten to know online in person! (I also met my future husband here, but we only said hello and didn't actually 'meet' until two years later) But I was so nervous about my sketchbook. These events were all about passing around your sketchbook to show other people and to have them do a drawing for you in yours, so it was very nerve wracking to see these professional full time artists looking at my high school sketchbook. That book was very thin because I just kept tearing pages out of it. This was bad because not only was the book thin, it was also obvious that I was a very self conscious artist.
After this I actually abandoned sketchbooks entirely. I chose to draw only on copy paper so there was less pressure. I would walk around with the pages on a clip pad so that if one was bad I could just toss it and nobody would be the wiser.
I would start sketchbooks, but would never get further than halfway through before I abandoned them. I would go through a lull of not drawing and then the drawings would just show a skill level so far away from where I was I had to just get rid of them from the shame.
It also didn't help that I had a weird hoarding tendency with sketchbooks. I used to travel a lot with my family and would bring back blank books from all over the world. I had some from Nepal, Japan, Germany, and all of them were beautiful and perfect.
I was too afraid to touch them. I knew that the drawings wouldn't all be good and I couldn't ruin this one book that I had. This led to me having a whole shelf in my house of blank un used sketchbooks.
It wasn't until we did our first Kickstarter, with Curiosities, that I sort of got over that way of thinking. I started to realize that this project that we were working towards could be good, could be bad, but we had to finish it. If it wasn't perfect, that was okay, we were learning and we would do better next time. With our next project we could always show improvement and have people remember the good drawings/paintings rather than the less than stellar ones.
This philosophy got us to finish a project that I couldn't have imagined that we would have done if I had still been that insecure high schooler tearing out pages from the sketchbook. It's incredibly important to move on and just keep moving forward even if those mistakes are embarrassing.
After this, I started to think about my sketchbook in the same way. If I did a bad drawing, I just had to do a better one next. People don't tend to remember failures only successes, so even though my book isn't totally full of great drawings, people walk away only remember the decent ones. If I had torn out a bunch of pages in the book, I don't think that I would have been able to finish any of them.
The year to date, I've finished two sketchbooks. A huge acheivmenet for myself. I feel like I finally broke through a wall that had been haunting me since high school and now I'm able to move more quickly learn from my mistakes and get better fast.
Even Hayo Miyazaki, the legendary film maker, feels the same way about his films Acorrding to his new book "Turning Point" Miyazaki says: