Last year I purchased a sketchbook from The Sketchbook Project from the Brooklyn Art Library. I had comprehensive plans for it, just like everything else in my life in 2020. It ended up turning into a collage and drawing sketchbook about my feelings throughout this year so far. The deadline slowly, but also unknowingly approached and photography became a straightforward way of completing the sketchbook.
I have always used sketchbooks in the past for art classes, but never just as one to do whatever with. I now realize they are essential things to any creative process. I have discovered the art journaling, taking notes and keeping information is more easily remembered in these little books if you always have them with you.
Art is a process, and brilliant ideas come with a lot of thinking and planning. So if you’re not keeping a sketchbook even for photography, here’s five reasons you should.
1. Develop Ideas
If you are anything like me you have a million different things running through your head a day. You also have a million more for photo shoots or drawings. Sketchbooks help hash out those ideas to see if they are even viable.
Sketchbooks also helps develop over all visions about bigger projects like a series or themes you want to explore. Often when I have one idea, it will lead to a series of other ideas related to the first. Hence, creating a series or theme you didn’t think of before.
2. It’s a Place to Safely Express Yourself and What You Are Feeling
A marvelous thing about a sketchbook is you don’t have to show it to anybody. Like a written journal, it’s a visual place for your thoughts. It takes the pressure off to be perfect and just make whatever pops into your head.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice
Want to get better at making art? Drawing? Observing? Or new ideas? Practice. Every day. And there’s no better place to do it than a sketchbook, because sketchbooks don’t have to be perfect. Also, by keeping a sketchbook you can see how much you have progressed and use it as inspiration to continue.
4. It Becomes a Source of Inspiration
Maybe you are stuck on what photo to take next or series to work on for your blog. Flip back through your sketchbooks. Was there something, an idea, there you wanted to expand on? Maybe a pic you forgot about or a quote that sparked a painting?
Having ideas to go back to means you’ll never run out of inspiration. You’ll never run out of ideas. You’ll never stop creating.
5. It Helps You to be Mindful and Live for Today
Do you see things in your day to day that you wish you could remember? That inspired you to create? I do all the time.
Sometimes I put the inspiration and idea in my phone, but I never remember to look at them later. When I have a small sketchbook that I can fit in my purse I am much more mindful of the things I see. I’ll often stop to look longer, write more details, or even draw the scene. I am excited to review what I wrote or drew that day. I am thankful for it.
Bonus tip for photographers:
I know a sketchbook might seem like a silly thing for photographers, but for product, stock, flat lays and even portrait sessions they are helpful.
See my photo of stock photo sketches I have planned out below? I do this so when I am shooting I can immediately move into the next scene without having to use valuable brain power deciding what I will do next. I have so many other thoughts in my mind to think about, I can’t make up scenarios as I go.
Sketching allows me to free up brain space to focus on camera settings and the best lighting for each shot. It also helps save time by allowing me to pump out photos quickly because I already thought of everything else.
The best thing about a sketchbook is seeing your growth not only as an artist, but as a person. It will boost your creativity and your mind.
This post is to mainly let you know that I have an additional set of stock photos available in my Etsy shop. But I also wanted to take this moment to talk about using stock photography and the stigma around it.
I think stock photography has had a poor reputation for far too long. Look, I have preconceived notions about stock photography too. Stock photography I have seen in my lifetime is far too cheesy, not relatable, and frankly just unimaginative. Let’s use stock photography to make our Instagram feeds and blogs creative again.
I also think Instagram feeds and stock photos are going down a strange and trendy path where everyone is looking the same. White backgrounds, neutral or blush tones and pink everywhere! Why do we want to all look the same in business and personality? Let’s get creative, let’s get different and make whatever you use stock photography for stand out, especially for your business.
The most common comment I get about stock photography is “stock for are ugly and I can never find anything decent.”
Stock images traditionally are ugly, but usually the ugly stock photos belong to large stock photo websites. What most people don’t know is that Shutterstock and iStockphoto are not the only websites anymore to offer stock photography. Many photographers now offer their own membership sites or sell on markets on Etsy. Find out who these photographers are and use their stock directly from them.
Often when you buy stock from individual photographers, the images are at affordable prices. You are also supporting a small business, which always is a good thing. So why is stock photography more affordable through small businesses? Stock photography with bigger companies has a higher overhead cost. Think about all the website maintenance, people they have to pay and photographers associated with larger companies. With small businesses, you don’t have to spend a fortune to use their stock images, plus individual photographers will have curated content. With larger websites, you must sift through the images to find images that play well together.
Speaking of curated content, buying stock from one particular photographer makes your visual brand look more cohesive. This is because that photographer has a specific style which shows up in their stock photos repeatedly. As stated above you don’t have to search a large website for images that feel cohesive. Most photographers/small business sell their photography as bundles, giving you full access to a group of photos for multiple posts on blogs, social media, etc.
Stock photography is not just for social feeds, websites and blogs. It also makes for great DIY projects too (check out the poster I made for my kitchen here using my herb stock photos). You can make these photos into affordable art prints, collages and more!
So have I convinced you yet that stock photography isn’t all that bad. Save time coming up with content images by finding a photographer you like and buy their stock images. Get free ones (updated monthly, sometimes weekly) by joining my email list here. Or check out my Etsy shop for larger bundles to purchase.
Another cool thing about the Etsy marketplace is the plethora of stock images that are available. I always thought Etsy was exclusive to makers, but many artists and photographers sell stock images and graphics for very affordable prices. And what I love about the images on Etsy is that most of them aren’t cheesy. The stock images are beautiful!
It got me thinking, what else can you use stock images for other than blogs and Instagram. I thought you could make your own DIY art! It’s a fun way to add a personal touch to your home décor.
So I took a few of the stock images I have available on my Etsy shop of herbs and spices and pulled them into the graphic design web software Canva. I had the idea to make a poster for my kitchen out of those herbs and spices images and what a perfect fit!
Here's what it looks like...
Personally, I think it looks pretty cool! Imagine this hanging above your desk where you work on your garden plan or a blank wall in your kitchen.
Here’s a fun example:
I am truly getting this poster printed. When it's done I'll update this blog with what it looks like. I can't wait to show it to you!
I'm in pursuit of living a simple, healthy lifestyle by getting back to the basics and creating a lifestyle conducive to my autoimmune disease. I believe food is medicine, gardening feeds the soul and art quiets the mind. Welcome to my creative corner of the internet!