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  • Writer's pictureHanna Sosin

Finishing Sketchbook A5 #3

Sketchbooks are both journals and pieces of visual art, and as such are indicative of the ebb and flow of being an artist. Even the most skilled artist will have mountains left to climb, limits to their current understanding of technique, composition, storytelling, emotive resonance. A sketchbook is a catalog of the artistic journey. A truly gorgeous sketchbook says something fundamentally true about the joy of being curious about the world. It will document the struggles along with the triumphs. It admits that change is a truth. It's not good or bad, just is.

As I work through my sketchbooks I am not thinking of the previously mentioned lofty goals, though. I'm cultivating my drawing and thinking skills. I'm going with the flow- do I want to draw in pencil or paint in watercolor? Do I want to make a leap or do I need my comfort food? Should that square round at the edges or become a cube? How do I make this creature feel like it's moving? I ask a question, make a decision, and repeat. Each page is me in a specific moment (though I do revisit pages if I've needed time to figure out the next step) and the sketchbook is a collage of those momentary Hannas. A strange combination of portrait, technical guide, flip book, and magic eight ball.

Last week my time with one of my sketchbooks came to a close. There is a strange melancholy-euphoria sandwich to finishing a sketchbook. The ending is artificial. But each time I finish a sketchbook I have a chance to see the me that existed within its pages. This particular A5 MD Idea Journal had been with me for over a year. The red doodles I drew on its cover greeted as I wrote for my students, made ridiculous doodles, and drew full fledged graphite pieces. It was a journal and a school that covered my 27th year and my last year at Atelier Art Studio.

I will miss flipping through its pages to find the next blank page. I will miss seeing its drawings and musings. I will miss the me that existed when I filled its pages.

I am stoked moving to the next book. Fresh and blank, it is another adventure. Wish me luck.

-Hanna Sosin


An abridged list of the contents of A5 #3:

- Energetic ink drawings.

- Sketches from life (from models as well as unsuspecting cafe dwellers).

- Still lifes created for my Sketchbook class.

- Tiny musings and descriptions (my current favorite is posted below).

- Notes! For class, photography, on books.

- Loads and loads of graphite. Including many more that could be fully fledged pieces.

- That time my friend and I wrote with our feet.

Favorite musing:

When they kicked you out they didn't realize they would miss...

- Your exceptionally long showers (the steam left behind nourished their plants and softened their paper hearts.)

- The unconcious way you combed your hair (smoothing without your attention, calmed by the glancing touch of your brush.)

- The curve of your matteress as you slept (but only between the hours of 1 and 3 am, when your body stilled and the shimmer of your waking hours receded into unremembered dreamings.)

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