For me, the sketchbook has been the most important tool as an artist. Even in the age of super cool tablets and phone apps nothing stands close to a sketchbook. Like any tool, it is about how you use and adapt that tool into your process.
The sketchbook is an extension of the artist and should be treated as such. The partial bond with my sketchbooks begin from the moment I pick out a new one. I examine the cover design, binding style, paper type, size, the whole nine yards. It has to speak to me. I have to hear each page as I flip through, scream out to me, “Erick, fill me up. Write on me. I wanna be a beautiful picture.”
I’ve made a practice of using the sketchbook to write down rough ideas, make list, sketch images, quotes, song lyrics, books to read, palette references or anything that’s sitting in my mind that could be potentially expanded upon into a piece. Freeing up this space makes room for new ideas to continuously flow without fear of being lost in other scattered thoughts. The sketchbook is to the artist what armor is to the samurai, should always go into battle with it but we’re still skilled without it.