every once in a while i can’t even sketch. i run dry, I’ve got nothing new to pull out of my brain. those are the days i dig through sketches and start looking for seeds.
Keeping a slush pile is the best way to keep a little in reserve for the times when you run out of ideas. I keep mine in a big old wooden portfolio case- just heaps of sketch paper, scraps, and tracing paper doodles. When I am bored or I have some new materials to play with, I turn to the slush pile and start digging. Something almost ALWAYS grabs my attention and demands finishing.
most days i sketch to either soothe myself, to warm up to drawing or painting, or if I’m out somewhere, as observational notes. my sketchbooks get crammed fast. if i had to finish every idea I’d be working until i was four hundred years old.
i need to move back to the siuslaw. my slush pile is getting more diluted, more related to the buildings and people than elk and trees. maybe that’s good? at any rate, when i do hit a dry time I’ve got this pile to dig through. the void, to me, means it’s time to start picking out ideas to actually finish. and to finish them.
i end up ruining a lot of sketches and even throwing some out. at least I’m not having a bonfire of finished work, right? (again…)
i have some friends who fill moleskins with perfect, exact gorgeous drawings; every page is wonderful, their sketchbooks are exquisite, they could be illuminated manuscripts. i envy them. i know writers and cashiers who have amazing sketchbooks, ideas neatly assembled, beautiful. and then i have this crappy, taped-together box with several kinds of paper folded and piled between them, cascading to the floor when i open it to find something, getting loose and blowing away into the ocean when i want to draw the rock I’m sitting on. i should make more effort with the slushpile, but if i try, i always sketch less. so I’ve given up.
I’m just glad to have the pile to pull ideas from.