Page 5, and Counting

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I just finished page five of my journal for The Sketchbook Project 2014. But I have no idea what I’ll do on page six, or seven, or the front cover.

And while I have a working title–Petal and Stem–I’m not yet sure how I’ll letter that.

Hmm… I have a lot of art to do!

In case you are wondering, this is not how I usually work. In fact, for each of my three previous submissions for The Sketchbook Project, I had every page carefully planned. I had already decided on a title and had a cover design all worked out for each one before I ever put pencil to paper.

If that seems a bit strict–or even forced–let me assure you that it wasn’t. The ideas for those previous books simply arrived in my mind fully formed. It just happened.

But this time, it didn’t happen. I waited a few weeks, and still, nothing. I started to worry that if I didn’t find inspiration soon, I’d run out of time. What to do?

I decided to just start drawing. And here I am, at page five! I am trusting that the book this journal wants to be will reveal itself page by page. I hope inspiration will come at some point, but maybe it won’t.

And I am ok with that, which is surprising. I’m used to being in control! But it feels good to let go, too, and try trusting the process.

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There I Am!

There I Am!

Late last year, I signed up (with about 5000 other people) for The Sketchbook Project Limited Edition. The idea was that one page from each sketchbook submitted would be included in a book to be released in December. (This book would be instead of the sketchbooks traveling, as they usually do.)

Sure enough, in December I received the book that I had pre-ordered, and after several passes through it, I finally found an image of one of my pages. (Hey, it had been a few months, so it took a while for me to recognize it!)

I’ve wanted to post a picture from the book–which is still available from Art House Co-op (http://shop.brooklynartlibrary.com/)–for ages now. Today, I finally got around to it. There I am!

For more images from the book, check out my Flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/laura_rivera/sets/72157628121505564/

And I signed up for the Sketchbook Project 2014, too. Maybe you should! Check it out! http://www.sketchbookproject.com/sketchbookproject

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…and that’s how it goes…

I am sure anyone creative has experienced one or more of these extremes: you have time, but no inspiration; you have plenty of¬† ideas, but no time; you have both time and ideas, until you sit down and are facing a blank piece of paper, at which time either a child starts demanding attention or all your ideas evaporate. This past week I’ve experienced all three.

Taking those distance learning classes through Ithaca Collage¬† has really cut down my art time, my online time, my reading time … my time for everything! I am glad I am taking the classes because I am learning so much, most of which I can apply to my job immediately. I certain these nine months of hectic living will be worth it, even if I seem to be complaining.

However, I miss making art! I miss seeing the art of others online! Sigh…

My current compromise is this–be simple. Since I am only going to have a brief amount of free time to devote to art, I need to sketch something small, something uncomplicated, something I can finish fast. Either that, or it has to be something I can break down into simple steps, so I can put the piece away at a moment’s notice and then pick it up later (whenever “later” comes).

Doing pieces like this 4×4″ simple sketch of a branch keeps me from feeling like I have abandoned my sketchbook. Yes, I’ve already drawn branches just like this one a million times. But I tried to make it look more interesting by doing the sketch on a map–something colorful, instead of white paper. And no, it’s not my best sketch ever. But for now, it’s good enough!