The accident book

 | We are conditioned not to make mistakes, to err, to be on the wrong side of ‘right’. As a creative, this conditioning spells big trouble with a capital T.

What makes a line bad, or a paint colour the wrong shade? Who judges what we’ve sketched and why do they have that right?

As humans we have expectations, and letting go of those, let’s be honest, is very hard. As sketchers, and I see this a lot, we want to create something that pleases other people. A little ‘checkbox’ that probably harks back to parental or teacher approval.

There is nothing wrong with that in principle but it’s also very very limiting. It’s through the falling down that we learn to get back up. It’s through the chaotic scribbles and ripped up bits of paper we find out what works – not for anyone else – but for us personally.

The Accident Book could be your next favourite sketchbook. Dedicate a sketchbook to scribbling, doodling, playing and mind dumping. This is your private journal. For your eyes only. Cherish it, use it and utterly abuse it.

You’ll have another sketchbook, of course, in which you can transpose some of that learning. That will be the one you’ll show people, a neater, tidier, nearly ‘perfect’ version of a sketch – almost as if the chaotic scribbling never happened.

Your Accident Book could be a turning point. The more artwork you create in these two books the more they’ll merge, and you’ll look back and be really proud of them both. I promise 😉