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It’s Right In Front Of Your Face.

Posted by Koosje Koene in ArtJournal, Draw Tip, sketchbook on February 19, 2018

It really is just right in front of your face.

Sometimes you just don’t know what to draw. You look around and nothing really appeals to you to draw. Well, here’s a tip!

When I had a creative block a while ago, after whining and complaining about it, I decided to pick up an accordion sketchbook that I had sitting on a desk for ages. It felt quite safe to start this accordion sketchbook – I had another one on the shelf so in case I would mess this up, at least I knew it wasn’t a precious and unique sketchbook! I picked up my pen and told myself to get rid of any preciousness or expectation, and started by drawing the keys in the hallway, wrote something about them next to it, and then drew what else was on the cabinet in the hallway. Before I knew it, I had filled a page, reporting about this place in my home.

Next, I chose another room and drew my shoes, some clothes… and then another room, drawing the bed, the nightstand… and slowly but steadily, I kept picking up the sketchbook every now and then, to sit and draw about one of the rooms in my house. I could add as many or as little or as many details as I wanted, and I was allowed to stop whenever I felt like it. I was allowed to do this whenever – and also very important: I would keep it to myself and wouldn’t share my process or my sketchbook. This gave me the courage to just step into a new project in spite of feeling stuck because of my creative block. And it definitely loosened me up and gave me so much creative energy again!

I don’t think I ever shared the pages except for this quick flip-through video – at least I can’t find any scanned files, so I took a few pictures and will at some point sit down to scan all pages of this accordion sketchbook.

Always something to draw

Ever since I filled that accordion sketchbook with all these stories that are just right in front of my face, every now and then I just go through each room of my house and draw a few items.

Here’s one I did last month:

Koosje Koene

Hi I'm Koosje. I'm an illustrator and art teacher in Amsterdam, where I was born and raised. I went to school to study graphic design, then worked for ten years as an award-winning professional photographer. But eventually my love of drawing and painting took over and I became an illustrator. My illustrations have been published in many Dutch magazines and in 2011, I began blogging and started developing and teaching online art classes. In 2014 I founded Sketchbook Skool, which is a flourishing community of artists from around the world of all skill levels.