Break Your Own Rules

August 10, 2012


Discipline is vital to art. A local artist once told me “hard work beats talent every day of the week.” I think that is true. That’s why I started working systematically at filling sketchbooks. I can see by flipping through them that the discipline has been good for me.

In college I often started sketchbooks but never finished them. After college I even stopped starting them. When I began in the big black sketchbook, I made a rule for myself that I would henceforth always fill a sketchbook before moving on to another.

Rules must sometimes be broken. Especially your own rules. After finishing the black sketchbook, I bound one of my own. I’m going to confess something. I’ve hated that sketchbook since the day I knotted the Irish waxed linen and signed my name inside the front cover. I hate how heavy it is. I hate the color and texture of the paper. I hate that it feels too precious to draw in.

I’ve been in that damn sketchbook since February of last year. I’m 37 pages from filling it. I’ve had enough. I closed it this morning and decided I’m going to go buy another black one. Now if only I wasn’t nine months pregnant and actually felt like going shopping!