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Art Hours 301-350: Embrace Imperfection

Whenever I want to learn about art, could do with some company while making art myself, or am procrastinating (shush, we all do it), I watch Youtube videos of other artists talking about art. This is great for indirect learning or inspiration. One day however I stumbled onto something uncomfortable.

Jake Parker is a comic book artist, author and illustrator, and I can recommend his Youtube videos a lot. He talks about many different aspects of art, his editing is great, and his tips very useful.
Then I came across one video, where he held up a flimsy Moleskine Cahier and proclaimed that 'You should fill a sketchbook every month!'

Now the Moleskine Cahier has about 80 pages, which are only good for sketching with pen or pencil. It's also not very sturdy, and I would never carry one around like I do with my own sketchbook, a Handbook Travelogue. (Not to knock Moleskines, I'm just not a fan of that particular one.)
I realised that my sketchbook has only enough additional pages to cover half a month by that count, but I convinced myself that since I am sometimes using wet media, which takes longer, and am not a pro artist like Jake, it is obvious that I would need more time to fill a sketchbook than he does. ..

This train of thought kept nagging at me, but I pushed it away. A while later, I came across another one of his videos, titled 'Finished, not perfect'. I scoffed again - I needed to learn how to do finished work in order to learn, right? But this time, the doubt set in sooner. Looking back, I'm not actually a big fan of a lot of pieces that I've done, and I particularly don't consider most of them to be actually 'finished'. So, if my time was not spent producing real finished work, what did I spend it on?

Erasing. Redoing. Erasing. Redoing. Erasing. Doing something else entirely.

True, all the redoing was time spent doing art. But now I have nothing to show for it, and cannot see how my thought process went or which improvements I made along the way. This is not a very encouraging state of affairs, especially not considering that sketchbooks are made to be sketched in, and put down ideas over and over until you end up with something unique.

I went back to that awful first video. 'You should fill a sketchbook a month!', Jake said again. And seeing how my third step after denial and self-pitying is usually spite or anger (I am a very positive person, I know!), I angrily set a goal for myself. Please wish me luck :).
  • Fill one of *my* sketchbooks in a month.When filling a page, don't spend longer than 45 minutes on it. Just get ideas out and see what they might turn into over time. Don't leave ideas un-sketched.


  1. I wish you all the best of luck trying to fill your sketchbook. My fingers are crossed for you. I hope that we get to see some of it as well :)

    1. Thank you!!! And of course - I will be posting on Instagram/Tumblr, and I also thought about doing an halfway update on the blog. And of course I will report back when I'm done :).

    2. Sounds like a great idea. I shall await it eagerly :)