There are lots of tips out there for getting the most out of a journal for writing, but what about the sketching side of things? For the non-artist it may be easy to imagine simply filling up a notebook with “doodles,” but in reality crafting a useful and inspiring sketchbook can be just as challenging as maximising the potential of a written journal.

Here are some easy tips to get you started on making your next sketchbook not only a fun project, but a productive one as well.

Learn From the Masters

Copying a work of art and selling it as your own? That’s definitely an artist faux pas. However, mimicking artists that you admire by copying their work in your personal sketchbook is a great way to learn from the pros, without paying for an expensive art course (or going back in time).

Always Be Prepared

Just like a journal, having a drawing notebook with you at all times means that you won’t lose your inspiration by waiting to get home and recreate a scene or fleeting idea. Whether you bring a small notebook and annotate your ideas or a larger one to actually begin your sketch, it’s important to be ready to harness that creativity whenever it strikes. Which brings us to our next point…

Don’t Limit Yourself to Just One

Having blank paper of various sizes and weights is key to not limiting your creativity. This allows you to experiment with a variety of mediums, from charcoal pencils to watercolours to a simple ballpoint pen.

Think of the Book as a Whole

A sketchbook is different from an easel because it allows you to curate a collection of ideas, inspirations and creative impulses over an extended period of time. Don’t worry too much about how one particular page of the book turns out, but rather allow it to serve as further motivation for the next one. If one sketch really jumps out at you, then that’s a great opportunity to take it out of the collection and into its own realm.

Learn From Your Past

The great thing about a sketchbook is that it is a tangible reminder of the things you’ve tried and how your skills have progressed. Looking back at previous entries or books can also reignite a forgotten idea, allowing you to rework or recontextualise something that may not have worked on the first try.

About Paperblanks®: At Paperblanks®, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks®, go to our website at


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