Sketchbook Revival

I talk about sketchbooks quite a bit around here. They’re one of my favorite ways to create. The art I make there, the practice and play, is special. I sometimes share my pages here and on social media and I’ve shared physical sketchbooks with Dana Barbieri, but most of my pages are just for me. And I cherish that.

On my old blog I shared interviews with artists about their sketchbook practice. It was so interesting (and inspiring) to get a peek into other artists’ sketchbooks and to hear their thoughts about them.

My intention with that series was to show that there is no right or wrong way to keep a sketchbook and to encourage you to embrace your own creative practice.

Before I regularly started working in sketchbooks I was intimidated by them. When I go back and read this blog post from March of 2011, I see that part of my fear revolved around drawing. I wrote that I felt I was “missing something crucial when it comes to drawing”.

I can see now what I was missing.


Once I started drawing regularly I became much less afraid of it. But sketchbooks aren’t just for drawing and that is part of the fun.

Collaged Crocuses in Anne Butera's Sketchbook shows that Sketchbooks aren't just for sketching

But back to that post from my old blog. In it I shared how I was working with the book Drawing Lab For Mixed Media Artists by Carla Sonheim. It’s a sweet book with all sorts of exercises to spark creativity and make creating fun. Little did I know 8 years ago that I would one day be teaching alongside Carla!

This screencapture of the Sketchbook Revival website shows just a few of the artists who are part of this year’s free online event designed to inspire a new energy in your sketchbook practice (and you might notice that Anna Bartlett, one of the artists I interviewed for Sketchbook Conversations, will be teaching with us, too!).

I would love for you to join us! Sign up for the workshop here and you’ll get an email from host Karen Abend with the dates (it all kicks off on April 22) and specifics (and a bonus video showing you how to make your own sketchbook). The schedule of workshops hasn’t yet been finalized, but even if you aren’t able to make the “live” classes, you’ll be able to catch up with them until the 18th of May.

One more thing… (and this is a secret, but I can’t help but share it!). Each of us was asked to share a freebie the participants and I am so excited about mine. I wrote a 28-page guide to help you cultivate your own sketchbook practice.

Cultivating a Sketchbook Practice: Tips, Suggestions and Inspiration to Guide You on Your Journey by Anne Butera

Whether you’ve never worked in a sketchbook before and are curious about doing so or if you’ve been working in sketchbooks for years and need to shake things up, I know you’ll find inspiration and energy in this year’s workshops!

See you there!