One of the most difficult challenges to overcome when keeping a daily sketchbook is pushing aside the expectations that every page should be perfectly executed or resemble a complete work of art.
“There’s a lot of books out there that are published sketchbooks of this artist or another––and they’re really highly curated,” explains Fred Lynch, a long-time professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. “They give [artists] the impression that when you do a sketchbook, you’re supposed to go from start to end without a single mistake or misguided start.”
As Lynch suggests, approaching a sketchbook this way may intensify the daunting nature of a blank page, and can leave you feeling less dedicated and inspired to keep up the practice. Instead, he advises that sketchbookers take a lax, playful approach. “Don’t think of the sketchbook as an act of performance,” he says. “Rather, think of it as a place to play, to experiment, and to work things out.”
If you find yourself especially frustrated by a particular sketch, get rid of it. Remember that sketchbooks come with no given rules; you can tear that sheet out, collage it onto another page, paint over it, or fold it in half.