Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Keeping a sketchbook as part of your design library

Think of a sketchbook as an extension of your inspiration files on your computer. A sketchbook can be an invaluable tool for designers and eager homeowners.

My sketchbook is kept next to my bed and I often scribble fabric ideas on its pages.

Some drawings turn into my Spoonflower fabrics and some do not. I also use it to work out furniture placement and "think" on paper.

 For every house I have owned, I have kept a small book with paint chips, fabric and photos of each room and my ideas for them.
Even if you cannot draw, it is worth a try to consolidate ideas and experience the tactile pleasure of paper and pencil that a smart phone can't copy.

I recently peeked into my a sketchbook that had belonged to my grandmother. She took it along on a trip to Egypt in the late '70s and sketched people, faces, architecture and noted colors that she found interesting.
It is a good way for the non-artist (or artist for that matter) to practice drawing and find out what shapes appeal to you.

Yes, I realize that there are a multitude of digital ways to accomplish these things but it is not the same as purposeful doodling. Didn't you ever just find a pen in your hand and mindlessly scribble only to find that you kind of liked what you had made?
I often sketch a motif from a fabric or porcelain that I like and worry about how I'll use it later.
Saving this visual journal can be a wonderful springboard for ideas down the road.


My Crafty Home Life said...

If I could draw, I would do this. Did you catch the part that your grandmother had one,and drew in it. It's in the genes, and I don't have those. I love your paintings on Kathleen's blog.

An Urban Cottage said...

I couldn't agree more. I usually have a few different Moleskines going at the same time. I've been meaning to do a post about them. I not only doodle but have one with floor plans and elevations of each room in my house with measurements in case I'm out somewhere and see a piece of furniture I like. It's good to know immediately if it will fit.

Vel Criste said...

this is a great idea Kerry, wish I could draw as well as you do though. For now my pinterest board will suffice, but I see the draw of this - something easy to browse into more and something palpable is always a huge plus.

Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

This is a great idea. ANd I like that I could do this and keep them wrapped up in a book so that no one has to see my poor attempts at drawing. :)

Nancy said...

Agreed, nothing like real drawing on paper. I keep sketch books and journals and love to revisit them later and relive the moment. How fun to have your grandmother's sketchbook!
xo Nancy
P.S. Congrats for the mention over at Pacific Family Homes! so exciting to see your work from coast to coast!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

great idea. I of course keep a sketchbook but for each place i've lived I've also kept a 3 ring binder with those plastic sleeves in which I keep paint colors, fabrics used, and all of the instruction manuals for appliances, light fixtures, etc. that way everything is in one place!

Simply Grand said...

After losing dozens of sketchbooks over the years, I finally gave up carrying them. Now I just keep a generic notepad with me, which I sometimes sketch in, then, when I get home, I tear out the page & stick in it a flat leather tray full of stuff I need to do something with. I have no idea when I'll actually get around to doing that that, but at least, when/if I ever do, the sketches will be at hand, not riding around Chicago on the floor of a cab or bus. These days, that just happens to my gloves & scarves. Either way, it's a loss, but at least a homeless guy can put a scarf to use, while my sketchbook wouldn't do him much good.

Anyway, as a result, most of my real sketching happens at home, and it's usually not a reminder of something I saw but something I'm thinking of doing. It's easier to do a sketch of a different room arrangement or wall color than to start moving stuff around.

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