Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Rhapsodic Sketchiness

I hate the act of a sketchbook.

I cannot stand the idea of doing sketches in a sketchbook for the sake of  "warming up," or "putting down ideas."

It's not the same thing as playing with designs to figure out what goes where, or how something might flow. 
That's a completely different animal.

What I'm talking about is doing a drawing that pops into my head, unloading it into some do-nothing-with book, and then . . . what?
Eventually be redone into a more completed piece?

Fuck that shit.

A good idea gets put down on paper ONCE, and "sketching out" that idea first, is tantamount to throwing it away.

Sketchbook sketching, is the creative kiss of death.

It saps your energy and focus, meanders about, and shits out nothing but half-assed ideas, that if were initially nurtured, and used for something completed, would have been time better spent. Because, in my opinion, an idea has only one single point of application. Anything after that, is just reworking it. And reworking art, even from a sketch, will never retain that initial spark that happens when the pen hits the proverbial paper for the first time.

Even if the finished piece sucks, it still can be learned from. 
Whereas a sketch gives back absolutely nothing.
Because it contains no foundation to base a critique upon.

Don't get me wrong, I've done my fair share of sketchbooks in the past. Pages upon pages filled with stuff that ended up going nowhere, because I blew my creative load too soon, and it all went limp because it was "just a sketch." 

And so, where are all those half-baked, creatively stunted works now?

Packed up in a box in the garage, fending off silverfish, and the page-yellowing specter of time.

Yeah . . . my point exactly.



  1. I don't draw, but know EXACTLY what you mean as I do the same thing with audio 'sketches'. It it wat it is! It is what we thought it would be...preach on Ted, you are the man! .^.

    1. Different fields, but the same process.
      Damn straight, man.
      First come, first serve.
      Thanks, SCR.^.PES.

  2. As a writer, do you think the same rule applies? Do you work on one story start to finish or do you just write whenever inspiration hits and keep scattered stories around?

    1. I won't start developing a plot until I decide on an idea.
      Prior to that is primarily a thought process tailored towards weeding out what does, and doesn't fit the overall narrative I want to tell.
      Once that happens, is when I begin to actually write out the particulars that link the whole thing together.
      Writing, for me, (as well as art) isn't about being inspired, as much a matter of comittment to a decision, that once made, is followed through to the end.
      Random disjointed collections of scattered stories laying around, is the verbal equivalent of a pointless sketchbook.

  3. Interesting perspective, Ted. I appreciate you sharing that. At first I thought the notion was crazy, but much like SCR.^.PES above I have had the same problem with music. Anytime we've tried to record improvisational material and rework it into what society considers a "song", whatever made the riffs great turn out to be forced and fake, the power is now gone.

    1. Exactly, Lou.
      Improvisational material, of any art form, is usually always better right out of the gate, than the second or third generation of the same idea.

  4. Immediacy is a big thing. Something does get lost from sketch to final. Thanks for the post Ted. Now I just have to fight fear with a blade.

    1. Yes it is.
      Yes it does.
      Glad it resonated, man.
      Just keep on keepin' on, Luis.