Monday, June 1, 2015

Sketchbook - The Adventure of Discovery

Are you having trouble finding the words for your next story? Do you have a character without a setting? Are you swimming in a sea of ideas without being able to spout out a single one? Open your sketchbook! All of the things that you are struggling with can be worked out between the pages of this wonderful little book that most of us carry everywhere.

"I don't feel like drawing.", you say... Well then look back through the pages that you have already filled. You will be surprised by the elements that are waiting for you to rediscover them.

Just recently I found my new favorite character tucked away in an old corner of a sketchbook that I finished years ago. I carefully collected and dusted off this character and look at how she shines!


 She came fully equipped with a story too, handing it to me as I placed her on a brand new white sheet of paper.

Last year in August I attended my very first annual SCBWI conference in L.A. One of the essentials was a tiny little sketchbook and it turned out to be one of the most important items that I packed! When I got home that little book was filled with notes, doodles, and the makings of at least 3 stories.

 I got to thinking that if I hadn't had my sketchbook where would these thoughts have gone?! Would they have ended up in the margins of a notebook? On a napkin? Would they be lost entirely? I shudder to think of it!

A sketchbook is like a source of inspiration. It is a place where we can brainstorm or work through ideas that aren’t quite fitting into a story. It is a place to study the make-up of picture books. It is a stream of consciousness where we can record thoughts, notes, and quotes that we love. I follow other artists to see their sketchbook drawings. I love them because it gives insight to their process and thoughts at the time that those doodles/sketches/notes were created. Here are some great ones:

Try drawing once a week, once a day – any little bit helps and you never know when the muse will strike! Try sketching in different places as well. The coffee shop is a great place to practice sketching people! You could also try the park, the public pool, the mall, an amusement park (this is great for food and setting too!), or the library.

I wish you the best of luck in all of your creations and leave you with a challenge: A 30 day sketch challenge! Are you up for it?

I would love to hear back from you. Did you try the 30 day sketch challenge? Did you find your new story? Tell me what your sketchbook means to you!

 ~Jeslyn Kate

Jeslyn Kate writes/illustrates for children and teaches art.
You can find her work at 
these different locations:
Twitter: @jeslynkate


  1. I'm going to do this Jeslyn! Thanks for the prompts.

  2. Wonderful idea Jeslyn!!!! I love this!

  3. Cindy and Dorothia - I would love to see some of your sketches. Please post them!!