There are many healthful reasons to keep a sketchbook, not only to develop a creative practice, but to also gain insight into ourselves. Read along to discover 5 simple ways that sketchbooks can increase wellness in daily life.
1. Keep a sketchbook to tell your own story
- First of all, jot down notes about your day so you can become aware of your thoughts and emotions throughout your day. However, not to judge them, but to become aware of them as you would in a mediation practice.
- Second, write down the things that you love, and notice how with time, your list will grow longer. Likewise, if you focus on all the things that are wrong, it’ll attract negativity. So, why not put pen or paint to paper and create some delight?
2. Develop your own language of symbols and shapes
Generally speaking, symbols can give meaning to our daily lives by creating visual patterns — for example, do you doodle swirls into your planner? Or draw stars in the margins of notepaper? As a matter of fact, these are symbols and they have meaning to you. Therefore, investigate them and explore what you may have been feeling at the time you drew them.
Interested in other ways artful living leads to wellness? Read How Caring for Plants Inspires Wellness
3. Keep a sketchbook to observe life
- Sketching allows us to slow down our busy lives. In particular, it can help us observe what is happening at the moment, much like mediating to increase focus.
- I painted the Corriol Camanegre, or Kentish plover, in the photo below while in Barcelona. It was a chilly day, but at the same time, the sun was warm on my legs. Now whenever I look at this page, I’m reminded of the sea. Cataloging nature reminds us to be present, and as a result, we can look for inspiration in all places.
4. Document travel in a visual way
- Ticket stubs, baggage claim tickets, and pamphlets from museums make great materials for sketchbooking. For this reason, keep an eye out for them and collect them so when you come home, you can make a collage of your travels. For example, I like to make a new sketchbook for each trip, but at the same time, I also combine different trips from the past and date them so I can have a visual record of my travels.
- As a gentle reminder, not all trips have to be far. Sometimes, it’s to our nearest coffee shop, or our kitchen to whip up a steaming cup of tea, like this Cozy Apple Tea with Cinnamon and Clove.
5. Keep a sketchbook to create memories
On a sunny Saturday morning, I drew the coffee cup below while in Barcelona. When I look at this drawing, not only do I remember the perfect foam of the coffee, but also the wrought-iron chair I sat on, and the corner where busy traffic passed by. In conclusion, keeping a sketchbook can allow us to remember places and experiences in a sensorial way.
P.S. This coffee addict is now a Tea Girl. Read all about it in my interview The Art of Finding Joy in Daily Life
Rose Margaret Deniz is an artist, writer, and yoga instructor @roselayoga. The farm-girl turned expat has been gluten-free for over 12 years, and can be found in her kitchen whipping up seasonal meals for her bilingual family, growing herbs in her garden, painting and writing in her studio, and practicing yoga.