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Inside My Drawing Journal

Updated: May 31

A female left hand holding up a pink diary with an elastic strap down the front. Tape with the words 'Full', 'Oct 22' and 'April 23' are stuck to the front of the book

Hello and welcome to you if you've stumbled across this post or if you've seen my drawing journal at the Manchester Open exhibition that's currently on display at HOME. (2.Feb.24 - 28.April.24)

I want to share a bit more about the drawing journal with you and maybe even inspire you to start one of your own!

A black and white drawing of clothes on a washing line

How I got started with it

I've tried everything from 'Inktober' to 'fill a sketchbook a month' challenges. I get about half way in and loose faith.

However, when I started this drawing journal attempt, I had some other factors to help push me along. After being unwell, I changed my priorities around what I wanted to spend my time and energy on. Anything that was just causing me distraction had to be cut out and I just focused on the really important bits. I wanted the journal to be full of positive memories and drawings that were influenced by my experiences.

Starting with little doodles to accompany a diary entry, it quickly flipped to filling the whole page with an illustration that captured what I wanted to say.

A black and white drawing of a person moving items from 'pile 1' to 'pile 2'

The book itself

I used an A5 sized pink Royal Talens sketchbook with different thicknesses of pigment liners - that's it. Using the same tools removes any friction of decision making, it makes things a lot easier to just start. (These are affiliate links - see below for more information)

At the end of the experiment I had a book full of memories and I could see how my drawings had developed.

Each sketchbook I use has 82 ish double pages - so that makes 164 ish drawings per book. It doesn't feel like a huge effort to fill one page per day and the reward at the end is a book full of drawings! I'm halfway through book no.3 as we speak.

Why I think this experiment worked

-The daily deadline reduces the need for each drawing to be perfect

-Sticking to the same tools reduces the friction of decision making

-Drawing something from your day mixes inspiration with something from real life memory. It's enough of a guideline to help and not too restrictive or open ended.

A black and white illustration of a person wearing a hat and jumper pouring tomatoes into their mouth from a scoop. The words 'scoop your own tomatoes' are in big letters in the background

Your Turn

You don't need fancy materials or to be the best at what you enjoy doing. Just enjoy the process and get something small onto paper, everyday. Click here to learn how to start your creative journal and here to learn why compounding creative habits is so important.

This post includes affiliate links. Whenever you buy something through one of these, I get a small commission without any extra cost to you. This helps to support my blog, thank you.


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