I keep a sketchbook and sometimes I draw and paint in it
Created: 2016-10-01 Updated: 2018-06-07

I’ve been keeping a regular sketchbook since 2014. I even drew in it daily for two years starting in 2016. I was inspired by a huge number of my art heroes who either spoke highly of keeping a sketchbook or whose sketchbooks have been published, but the person who gave me the final push was the inspirational Will Terrell, whose candor and good humor touched a nerve.

my shelf of sketchbooks

Before that, my commitment to art was extremely haphazard. I would occasionally go through a phase where I drew quite a bit. I would, of course, see an improvement in my abilities. At that point I would bemoan "all the wasted years" I’d not devoted to art and would stop shortly after. Ridiculous, yes?

I have improved dramatically since keeping a sketchbook.

I mostly work in pencil, ink, and watercolor which are all fairly friendly to art "on the run", which is why they tend to appeal to either artists in the field or busy parents with day jobs and other commitments like myself.

Much of what I produce ends up on my Instagram account: @ratfactor. (Some content may be NSFW.)

my @ratfactor instagram account

The art community on IG is pretty fantastic and followers tend to be very supportive. Showing my sketches to the public at large has pushed me to improve, especially on days when I wasn’t feeling particularly motivated (or even very much alive). I’ve had the same experience in improving my writing by writing book reviews (and this website’s content) "in the open" as I mention here.