If you read my Facebook page, you'll remember a few weeks ago I got all sad and mopey about not being able to find my sketchbook for the last three years (since I moved into my house). But, you'll also remember about a week ago, I found it, in a safe place, all nice and undamaged, and how happy the discovery made me.
To tell the truth, there isn't much in it. About ten, possibly fifteen pages out of maybe one hundred actually have stuff on them, but those pages show the only times I've been able to put an image on paper that didn't remind me of grade-school scribbles.
I'm no artist, by any means. I have friends who can draw comics or manipulate digital images or create something extraordinary out of a few paint streaks. THEY are artists. Me, I'm a dabbler. I manage to squeeze out bits and pieces of what might eventually be art, but they're hardly anything worth displaying.
So why does this little sketchbook mean so much to me?
Short version: There are pieces of my soul in this thing, pieces I don't want to lose.
There's something about creative expressions that reflect the essence, the core of the artist. It can come as paint on a canvas, or ink on skin, or words on a page, a song, a dance, a dramatic performance. It gives a hint to his or her world view, his or her mindset, life experience, values and morals.
When we, as the audience, see a finished expression and have a passionate response, it means something in that artist's spirit resonates with ours. It's what makes me cry, or simply stare in awe, captivated by a message, conscious or not, given to me through the medium of art.
I have many things I've kept over the years because something in what I've done still speaks to the person I am now, even if faintly:
- Journals from junior high and high school.
- Stories, mostly unfinished, from five years ago up to something that occurred to me last week.
- Photographs I've taken
- Sketches I've made.
- Scripts with my notes in them, character backstory notes I've made up.
Whenever I look at each of these things, it's a reminder of what I was like during that period, or even that moment, compared to the me I am now, whether I like the change or don't. It's also something that proves I have some level of creativity, even if I lack proficiency.
Five years from now, maybe even ten, I'll read back on these blogs and see who I was, how I changed or didn't, and maybe a hint of who I'm becoming every day.
And maybe, I'll see whether my so-called art resonated with anyone, and what they did with the message given to them.