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  • Writer's pictureTish

Rebuilding, one sketchbook at a time...

A new sketchbook is a powerful thing. The fresh crisp white pages begging to be filled with ideas and emotions, the new unmarked cover. The possibilities. A opportunity to cover the pages with absolutely anything your heart desires. The freedom. The freedom to capture my inner workings, the moment, the mood in a little blank paged book.

I look at sketchbooks as my diary, my therapy. The pages are filled with ideas, dreams, messes, and mishaps. A visual diary of moments in time. Moments in this case of rebuilding and new beginnings. A relocation across the country and a chance for a new start, translated into tiny colourful squares on the pages of a new sketchbook. Little boxes, little snippets of the world, neatly stacked up and spaced out on the pages.

Organised and planned, everything my life wasn't at the time, this sketchbook held some kind of magic power over me. A escape into the pages of a sketchbook, a shelter from the chaos outside. Somewhere safe. Controlled. A need to plan, space, consider and think. Each page carefully constructed and laid out. Funningly enough, without much thinking. Just a lot of doing. Squares just felt right. Symbolic of bricks perhaps? I didn't see it at the time, but now I kinda see it. You associate bricks with rebuilding right? sub consciously my mind was rebuilding my life, one square at a time. Healing through art, one sketchbook page at a time.

While my life on paper is organised, controlled and well inside the lines, my life outside the sketchbook felt the complete opposite. Chaotic, messy and definitely outside the lines. The opportunity to be able to put pen to paper, is just so powerful and in my case important. While I may not be able to control some aspects of my life, I have the power to control what goes into the book. Controlled, one square at a time. Now these squares may not seem much to others, but to me they are tiny pieces of a bigger puzzle. Colours, lines, patterns and shapes sourced from things around me. From my quarantine house, to my childhood home, my shell collection, magazines and Dad's garden. Organised snippets of my chaotic world. Moments of September and October 2021 captured on colourful double page sketchbook spreads.

While many write, which I also do, there is something about a visual diary that means more to me. Being able to translate my mind onto the pages of the book, the freedom to well, be free is something to cherish and isn't to be taken lightly. A sketchbook gives you the freedom to create and communicate absolutely anything, in anyway you feel without the pressures of the outside world. Judgement free. The pages are open to interpretation. While I'm happy to share most of my sketchbooks with the world, many do not understand what they represent. That in its self is pretty damn cool and absolutely ok. We all need an avenue for creative expression. Mine just happens to be the humble old sketchbook.

Art can mean so many different things to different people and being able to communicate my feels through a creative visual medium that others may not understand or connect with is an opportunity to be truly free. Free from it all. For most these pages are simply filled with colourful abstract squares. For me these are an opportunity to control something in my life and to rebuild it slowly. The pages contain hidden messages, disguised meanings, secrets on every page. To create in a judgement free zone, is liberating. Liberation one square and one sketchbook page at a time.

Now with the completion of a sketchbook, comes the sheer excitement of starting the next one. What will it hold, what will it capture. Who knows. Stay tuned and I'll take you along for the ride, one page at a time.

Peace, Love & Creativity

Tish x

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