Tutors know best...
...I can now freely admit! During my whole time as a student we were constantly reminded of the importance of keeping a sketchbook. More often than not we did not willingly adhere to this advice. There was always the odd student who would have a fantastic sketchbook full of beautiful sketches, inspirational resource material, photographs, collages, and endless fantastic visual experiments and ideas.
I was not a student who ever found sketchbooks particularly easy to work in, although, once nagged to do it, I grudgingly admitted that it was a useful exercise. I never really enjoyed working in sketchbooks and viewed them as a necessary evil to fulfil the assessment criteria in order to pass modules.
In the final year of my degree however the sketchbook became my new best friend. I actually started to find it useful for the development and planning of my final degree show. I enjoyed playing around with materials and, rather than try and treat each page as a finished art work in its own right, used it as a visual diary to track my development, ideas and failures. There were no rules - it became a scrapbook of anything and everything. It also proved handy to keep momentum going when something went wrong with a painting, inspiration began to fade, or there was a crisis in confidence.
As it turned out the tutors had been right all along, the sketchbook is a useful resource and not an evil ploy designed to hamper student progress!
As if to prove this point here are some photographs of one of my final year sketchbooks that I still sometimes refer back to today when searching for inspiration:
I had a look through this after my post yesterday. My new sketchbook will used for ink sketches only, but I hope that it will also eventually become a useful resource that I can refer to for years to come.