Over the last few years I've come to realize how important a simple sketchbook really is. It's a place to go, a personal journey, a sea of thoughts yet to be drawn, a place to decompress from the stress of a job, and even a sense of comfort when bad days are on the horizon. I can always escape there and no one but me can make something happen. It's empowering and I absolutely live for it.
I can honestly say that there are almost no times when I am without several. I keep certain ones for certain drawings, or drawing themes, and they're ready to go at any given time... literally, wherever I go. Whenever the mood hits I have one for every situation and every scenario.
In college, there was always one painting professor that required us to keep one. We always had to produce a certain amount of sketches, per semester, and usually I'd end up doing most of them a day or two before they were due. Looking back on it, however, it wasn't nearly enough and I wish he'd have required about quadruple the amount. I also wish I'd have spent more time creating versus cramming drawings into a few days. But, it's a lesson learned.
Little did I understand how important it really was to keep a constant flow
of creative juices moving and there's no better place that a sketchbook. I also never understood how important this would be for me, personally, later in my career.
Luckily, sketchbooks found their way back into my life and have given me
renewed focus and energy.
I encourage you, no matter what level of artist you are, to keep several going at all times. Draw a few things and then let them rest for a while. Move on, come back to them a few days or weeks later, and reignite new energy. Sure, you're going to make mistakes, maybe even get mad at yourself for making an absolute mess of a perfectly good drawing, or end up throwing it against a wall, or perhaps worse.
Keep in mind, however, that a sketchbook should be about the journey, not the destination.