Seasonal Sketchbookery


My sketchbook productivity goes through the roof over one week of the Christmas holidays.

It's something I have realised over the last couple of years, that I am a seasonal sketchbooker. I am always inspired to sketch but rarely have the time to dedicate to my own work these days due to work/ family/home commitments. I would dearly love to draw more of my garden but it is huge and messy and I feel guilty about drawing and not weeding in the summer. In the winter, it sleeps and, for a few months, I am free!


Gav and I try to finish as early as possible before Christmas, usually when the schools finish, as it's our only proper break of the year and the only time of the year we don't feel enormously guilty for 'downing tools'. The run up to Christmas is always frantic, of course, I won't deny. Family catch ups and mass catering on Christmas Eve/Day are brilliant but exhausting...I find the most tiring thing of all is being sociable, smiley and attentive to all when I'd just like to curl up in a lamplit silence with a good book.




From Boxing day and into the early new year I spend my days walking and watching films with the family, eating, reading....and drawing. I draw everything and everyone. I draw quick and I draw slow. I draw with anything I can find. I draw what we eat, write what people say, sketch at carol services and Christmas plays. I get up early and draw my festive mug, I stay up late and draw the fading embers of the fire. I draw the mess of the Christmas table and slightly tipsy grannies, I draw shoes, socks and gloves dirty from a festive walk. I want to capture everything.



Even the Christmas that my Mum was very ill in hospital, I drew the hospital waiting rooms, the car park ticket machine, and notated worried phone messages. In short, I drew sadness and stress which, thankfully became relief and recovery.


The only other time I draw like this is on a summer holidays and that's because, again, I have given myself time. I want to be more like this all year...every January I make this resolution....


Generally, over Christmas I tend to be as unproductive as possible. I do give time and energy to pursuits which are done without a sense of duty. I don't give time to all the other stuff.

It's what a holiday, a break, should be isn't it? It frees up brain space and recharges your 'brain battery'.


The creative thoughts and plans (who's voices are VERY quiet) can now be heard if you listen carefully. Perhaps there's an idea which shouts a bit louder to you, one that will grow and become an interesting project for the coming year. Give yourself the time to listen and respond.


A holiday from duty, whatever time of year, can be a very good time to start a sketchbooking habit and I urge you to be fearless in your endeavours!


In your head, label your Christmas sketchbook. Give it a different name. Good names which do not carry the weight of 'pressure-to-perform' (otherwise known as creative Viagra !!) are: workbook, scrapbook, scrap-journal and scrappy/ugly sketchbook. Any other suggestions gladly welcomed!


Do not feel the pressure to share it with anyone! If this is some thing you'd like to do over the festive season, check out my next post for a few ideas on what you could do in your sketchbook over Christmas. Whatever you do, have a happy and creative Christmas, my friend xx