Art Fear #1 - “I’m not an artist.”

This is the most common art fear we hear. On a daily basis we hear people who want to participate in The Sketchbook Project or make art, but they say, “I’m not an artist.” As people that went to ‘art school’ we are not sure what this means. In fact, the more you create art, the more you realize that creativity is not a thing you have or don’t have. It’s just a part of all of us as humans. If you can see beauty in the world, you can create something meaningful.

We think that people have created a stigma, or a set of rules, around being an artist. Maybe that is true in the commercial side of things but in the end, aren’t all great artists just good at marketing? As a personal artist, you could be anyone. The Sketchbook Project was born out of a need to create with a purpose. If you have a story to tell, you can create something.

Let’s look at it like this, It’s super hard, when you don’t see yourself as an artist, to just sit down and create. Heck, it’s hard to do that for anyone! But what we hope to achieve with The Sketchbook Project is an outlet to give you just enough of the tools you need to create within the confines of a purpose. A blank book to give you a surface, themes to give you a starting point, a deadline to hold you accountable, and constant inspiration from the community via all our social channels.

It’s common that we get emails from people asking us to show more ‘regular artists.’ It’s sorta ironic, really. Everyone we show are ‘regular artists.’ Yes, of course we have professional illustrators and painters, but the majority of the community is just like you. They just choose to create!

Ok, so you want to start, but don’t know how? Do you ever go to a museum and leave BURSTING with that feeling of creativity? Like what the heck do you do all day now that you are so inspired? That’s a great moment to create. RUN home, pull out your sketchbook and just start drawing! Did you like a certain technique? Did a color used inspire you? Then start with that! You don’t need to reinvent the art wheel. Just use it as a starting point. Put on some sappy music and put pen to paper.

What about that awesome sunset last night? That orange color? Use that! What about the way the shadow is coming in through your bedroom window? What about that dirty subway wall? Start to look around you, and you can find inspiration in almost anything!

Look, we are not going to sit here and say that every single person can create commercially accessible art. But that’s not the point, is it? We will say that we believe ANYONE can fill a sketchbook. Whether it’s a story, or some doodles, or just your shopping list in fancy handwriting. In some other context, it’s beautiful!

SO why not grab a sketchbook and create! What are you waiting for?

Steven Peterman