Sketchbooks, the retro creative database



There’s a charm to roughly composed beginnings. A fundamental appeal to raw expression. The sketches in an artist’s diary record creative evolution. Finished designs may be more refined but they are not necessarily better.

The sketchbook is where artists do a lot of their thinking. The appeal of a brand new empty journal is the contemplative space. Blank pages ready to free-associate, sort and store ideas and connect with the pure pleasure of drawing.

As an artist’s tool, these unfiltered roughs serve a variety of purposes. Essentially they are an inner conversation. The space is used to capture and jot down visual thinking, to loosely experiment with random thoughts, develop creative ideas, store clippings, reflect, make mistakes, daydream and hone technique. Initial drawings are often scanned, becoming a basis for a much larger project.

Comments from the visual journal site of artist Danny Gregory let us know that such works inspire others to connect with their own creativity, to notice and document the world around them in their own imaginative style.

Graphic designer, illustrator, and book artist, Roz, has a life-long practice of journal keeping. It is her goal that more and more people keep visual journals….to get more people observing and sketching their lives…. Take a look around her postings at Another interesting journal blog is the work of 28 artists and journalists at:

The visual diary of an artist is an object of art on a human scale.


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