Sketchbook Tips · For Creative Freedom and a Cohesive Look · SemiSkimmedMin


There’s no one way that a sketchbook should
look. Inside or out. No limits, and no rules. This is the place- if nowhere else- that you
can let go entirely and create without judgement. Consider your sketchbook as something that’s
for your eyes only. Your sketchbook is where you can be your most
honest and raw and authentic self; without the influence of other people and what they
might think. Eliminate the idea that it has to be pretty
or refined or well-put-together and remember that you have control over what parts of it
you share and the parts you keep private. The same way that when you’re drafting a
piece of writing you don’t go straight in with well-formed sentences and carefully constructed
paragraphs, but no-one has to see the notes and scribbles that went on behind the scenes. I find that when you approach your sketchbook
as a finished piece or something to display, you’re inadvertently applying pressure which
has an impact on how freely you express yourself. So take some pressure off by messing about
with things like blind contour drawings or timed challenges. Write notes and scribble and splash paint,
rip and tear. The more you make a mess intentionally, the
less the you’ll fear doing it accidentally. And once you’ve alleviated fear, you enter
a whole new realm of creativity. Don’t hold back either. If you start something in your sketchbook
and the mood is taking you to keep going and developing and keep adding to it, don’t
stop. I never understand when people ask the point
in putting time and effort into a detailed piece of art if it’s just gonna be in a
book on a shelf with no-one looking at it. The point is that you still made a beautiful
thing. You learned something and got in some valuable
practice. You’ve taken at least a tiny step forward
in the scale of confidence and ability. Remember that every piece of art you create
is worth so much more than the visual outcome alone. It’s the journey, not the destination. And if you do want to display it there are
always ways to do that. What I’m saying is that you can use your
sketchbook for absolutely anything. If it’s where you feel comfortable recording
your thoughts and feelings, recording memories, brainstorming, inventing characters, drawing
from reference, studying… whatever. It’s YOUR sketchbook. Do what you want. Now if the thought of ruining a sketchbook
with too much confusion and variety is holding you back from using it as often as you’d
like, it might help to have a few sketchbooks on the go at the same time. Maybe one purely for things you’re studying
and learning, another for experimentation and jotting down ideas, and another where
you push yourself to develop more cohesive pieces and spreads. This feels like a good time to just say that
what you see on social media often isn’t the full story. You might see a sketchbook tour that’s page
after page of amazing artwork, what you might not be seeing is the artists 3 other sketchbooks
and assorted bits of scrap paper with experiments and doodles and mistakes. There’s nothing more daunting than blank
pages in a brand new sketchbook. To kick start creativity, I’ll often decorate
a few pages at random with washes of colour or things stuck in from magazines. Maybe some random shapes to revisit for a
silhouette challenge. You’re creating art without a lot of effort
and giving your pages colour and variety from the start. I very rarely use my sketchbook in page-after-page
order. I flip it open at random and start there. Then theres no fear of messing up the flow
or seeing the same disheartening pages that didn’t turn out how you wanted day after
day. Speaking of which, and this might be a divisive
one. On the one hand I agree that covering up all
your mistakes is gonna limit your progress, you need to look at and analyse the stuff
you don’t like in order to be able to use that as a reference point for progress. But on the other hand…. there are sometimes those pages in your sketchbook
that you just. cant. stand. To the point that you no longer use the book
because that one particular page, just knowing it’s there repels you from even touching
the sketchbook. What I’m saying is, in this case (and I give
it time, I wouldn’t coverup up a bad page straight away) but I’d rather coverup a
page if it’s gonna mean I can happily continue to use the sketchbook, rather than stubbornly
leave it, knowing that the sight of it does nothing but knock my confidence and dampen
my mood to create. Coverups can give you the chance to try again
and they often inadvertently add their own element of interest to a page. The thing to bear in mind is that your sketchbook
is yours, its your place to feel as free as you can, play by your own rules, do what makes
you comfortable. You don’t need to be hard on yourself, its
your universe where you set the standard, no one else.

100 thoughts on “Sketchbook Tips · For Creative Freedom and a Cohesive Look · SemiSkimmedMin

  • this was so inspiring?? I've been having so much trouble just drawing in my book at the moment because I always feel pressured to do something perfect but like this helped me a lot

  • I love how calming your voice was as you said each idea, i saw this about a year ago and just remebered it. I went searching for it and found it finally! ((New subscriber!))

  • Great advice! I often find that I’m stifling my creativity when I sketch as I have that niggling motion that someone will see what I produce. I need to learn too just chill, it’s me and my pad and pencil. Thanks for posting! Here’s to some amazing creations! 😀

  • Thank you so much! Going on a significant vacation and wanted to create a sketchbook/travel journal. It was getting out of control in my head…I so appreciate your ideas and relaxed approach. That is helping rethink what I want to do here. This is supposed to be a RELAXING trip after all. BTW, recently found your channel and am loving going back and looking through older videos. I’m grateful for what you do and how you really put yourself out there.

  • I like to recycle my old day planners into sketchbooks. The pages are already scribbled on so it's already imperfect.

  • I don't know why but seeing this video is really comforting to me. Just pries me away from the funk i'm feeling.

  • what if people keep snatching it off you and they won't give it back? or if you always feel like your arts not good enough. I love your scetches by the way

  • You know I really like this video, I’ve rewatched it several times now. It makes me calm and relieves anxiety. It makes me feel creative and free to go use all my current 6 sketchbooks! 1) very rough designs primarily 2) random studies to finished pieces (variety) 3) really good paper using one side and flipping to use from the other cover because the paper has 2 sided a smoother and. A slightly tougher side ( more finished.good pieces) 4) a small portable tan kraft paper from dollarama more finished and opaque but also random studies. 5) my tint rough and utterly random purse travel sketchbook with doodles in line at the grocery store or waiting in the doctors office, etc. And 6) my huge thin papered sketchbook more for at home because it’s massive; with mostly character designs, finished pieces, art challenges and practice. They are all pretty random and lots of fun! I sometimes do a finished piece even if my roughest sketchbooks to livin it up! Great video!

  • Hi minnie I love your videos! Could you please talk about how you created your website..some tips on it would be really helpful.Thank you.

  • This gave me so much confidence ♡♡♡
    I am starting one right away!!
    Thank you so much. This was badly needed.
    Btw, your scribbles and mistakes are also so beautiful ♡♡♡♡

  • I love your point no.5 that I always like to remind myself. Often times I see amazing sketches on IG from people I follow, wondering how can I achieve that level, and often times I forgot the work in progress, the constant hardwork and effort and the passion. I only see the result, I often fail to see the work. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll quote your words on my IG & will definitely tag you when I do.

  • This is the best video I've ever watched. I actually just copied out the things you said into the front of my sketchbook.
    Very inspiring, love it 💛

  • I honestly love you !! 💗 you’ve inspired me so much these past days , I’ve been wanting to draw in my sketchbook everyday 😩 I’ve been so hard on myself about not having a nice colorful creative sketchbook and not being able to have my own drawing style that I get so self conscious and start ripping out drawings I’ve done and sometimes I go weeks without touching my book , after I watched this video , it made me want to let lose and draw freely and be messy with my book , and honestly thank you so much , your a beautiful artist I really look up too !! 💗

  • Hi Minnie!

    What home printer do u recommend for printing illustrations? I am looking at buying one. Thank you! Love all your videos!!

  • This is the best. First I think those tips are so true, I caught myself at trying to make a perfect sketchbook and I am not trying things, that I (or we) could do. Second I love you´re voice and the drawings you showed. Have a great day

  • Dear Minnie,
    i´ve watched this Video for like the 20th time now. When i´m struggling with motivating myself or finding Inspiration to work on my sketchbook i always go back to this video of yours and it puts me back into a mindset of creativity.
    Thank you so much for sharing this,
    Love from Germany

  • I watch this every morning to remind myself that my sketchbook is for me. I am "allowed" to do whatever I want in it – sketch, write, experiment with media, doodle…. anything !!! Thank you for this video…… It has REALLY helped me !!!

  • Kinda a dick move by my art teacher, he files through our sketchbooks and expects certain kinds of drawings, which I am totally against. Of course I’m going to lock up and not draw as much as he wants because I know I’ll be judged. It’s supposed to be preparatory drawings for the big projects, but if I’m not allowed to do what I want, I feel like I need to prepare for the preparing! I really just need my privacy with my sketchbooks, I get freaked out otherwise.

  • I come from a graphic design background, originally I studied art in school. I sometimes find it difficult to allow myself creative freedom when drawing, painting, sketching or inking but I feel that by seeing your creative process, I can gradually allow my creative mind to heal. I have a tendency to overthink things and nearly always want to see the finished product before I have even started which I feel has hindered me but this is a reminder for me to step back and appreciate my own creative freedom. I don't know if you will see this message but I wanted to thank you.

  • Thank you for this video, something I've heard before but great to hear it again!! I have about 3 on the go at the moment, I'm always a bit stuck when I first open it….all that white!! Thanks for some great tips!! 🙂

  • minnie i swear to god you have the most chill videos and best voice on all of youtube. thank you for creating and sharing with us <3

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  • Thank you for the video Minnie. It actually helps. I always overanalyze my works in my sketchbook. It's about time to let it loose. ❤

  • I share my pictures. You can subscribe to my channel if you want to watch how the portrait is done, how acrylic paint is done.

  • I keep rewatching this. It's so well made, and well-spoken. I love every second of it ♡ Thank you so much for your tips and advice.

  • @Madam Small, quick Q: what paint do you use for those opaque washes you make ahead of time to return to later? And what mediums do you use on top?

    I’m a fellow artist going through a skittish phase and needing some guidance.

  • After I saw this I felt so free in the art world and that I shouldn’t be afraid of what others think of me when I draw this is so inspirational to me thank you 🙏🙏🙂🙂

  • Aww!!! So glad that this pops out on my suggestions this is what i need to hear. Thats why I cant start doing on sketchbook is because I feel pressure being perfect and it should be perfect to the point i procrastinate a lot and prefer to not do anything to it.

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