I’m really happy to be getting my Drawing Diary underway again for 2020!
Since 2016, when I bought my first little A6 diary to draw in each day, I’ve found it a really useful tool and activity in all sorts of ways. It is habit forming and provides me with a few moments to reflect on each day and think about what I want to include in my diary, and then to take (or make) the time to draw!
I keep it with me and draw in the moment when I can. Other times I take photos and work from those later in the day. Knowing that I’m going to fill each day’s entry with a drawing keeps me alert. When I see, hear or feel something that I have a response to, which could be anything – a view, activity, news item, interaction, journey, conversation, a thought, emotion – I know that I want to capture it in my diary.
Looking back on the diaries I remember everything about the moment that’s been captured and I’m sure I wouldn’t remember so many small but somehow significant moments if I hadn’t drawn them. The act of drawing is so absorbing and relaxing and I know it’s good for my mental and emotional wellbeing.
One of the best opportunities to keep a Drawing Diary or Travel Journal is on holiday. There are pages in my 2017 diary of wonderful times in West Bengal with Creative Arts Safaris. Looking at this page below, I am right back in the moment.
My Drawing Diaries have led to a creative collaboration with Fiona and Praveen from Creative Arts Safaris to run a Travel Sketching tour of Rajasthan later this year! I am so excited about this and you can find out more about the tour here. Obviously it’s worth taking a whole sketch book on holiday and in my sketchbook pages you can see drawings from an amazing holiday I had in Vietnam with them last year. It was a textile tour taken with my mum and lovely friends from the Andover Embroiderers’ Guild.
I started a Drawing Diary in 2019 deciding to focus on capturing moments at work, but this wasn’t practical and was probably too prescriptive. I didn’t manage to maintain it and not having it as anchor to the day was noticeable.
So these are the first few pages and weeks of this year’s Drawing Diary and here are links to my diaries of 2017 and 2018. You will see that I went in a different direction in 2018, drawing from nature, a plant, tree or flower, every day (almost) for the entire year. That’s how much of a drawing habit, not to mention need(!) had formed by then! Here’s a page from two years ago…