I turned up my sketchbook from 2005-06 while rooting around in the basement the other day. There’s some real gems in it, including sketches I’d made at Mystic Lake Casino that were to accompany a Brad Zellar piece that ran in The Rake (I was in fact kicked out by Mystic Lake security — apparently there is an actual “no drawing on the casino floor” policy). There’s also a recipe for Spanish potato tortillas, notes from my very first meeting with Herbach and Sam (sigh!), a drawing of the spontaneous mourning scene outside the Metrodome the day Kirby Puckett died, and, best of all, a list of “finished projects” from the year before on the final pages (several early curatorial efforts at The Soap Factory, learning to play dominoes, and the name of a woman I’d dated, after which I helpfully notated “This project almost finished me”).
Also included is this quite lovely sketch of a pre-W Hotel Foshay Tower, made squatting on Marquette Avenue in the dead of winter. Frustratingly, this is actually the last regular sketchbook I’ve kept since then. Keeping a sketchbook is one of those habits I’ve never been any good at starting, but manage to be fairly faithful about keeping to once I get going. Clearly it’s time to restart one now.
The ‘05-‘06 sketchbook here was 8.5” x 11” hardbound with 60# paper, which I recall made it really cumbersome to carry around, but made for a large, substantial drawing surface. I use a bicycle now much more than I did then, so I don’t know that I’d want to keep a similar model today; any extra weight is a handicap. Do you keep a sketchbook? What kind do you find works best?