Sunday, March 18, 2012

My $160 Commitment

A few days after I started drawing, I paid $160 for a handmade, leather-bound sketchbook (made by Susie Shipman, Island Bound Books). It is one of the most beautiful hand-bound books I’ve ever seen. It’s about 7 x 7 inches with 160 pages (that’s 320 big white surfaces to draw on).

Although I saw immediately that the book was worth every penny, the price was a bit of a financial gulp for me, and that’s why I bought it without hesitation. I knew that if such a beautiful, handmade, expensive sketchbook sat in my studio unused because I had quit drawing, I would be guilted into drawing again. I also knew I had to "initiate" it as soon as possible, or I would be stifled by growing intimidation. So I simply opened it to the first page and quickly sketched a little polymer clay figure (made by Annie Miller) on my desk. (It's kind of like when you have a new car... once you get that first ding, you can just relax and enjoy it.)
Sketched on 10/10/11, pencil and watercolor on watercolor paper

With relief and a strong sense of satisfaction, I filled the last page on March 9, 2012. That little sketchbook seems even more beautiful now, not because of the sketches in them but because it represents a commitment.

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