Inspired By: Maintaining a Sketchbook


Sometimes I can get so carried up in the desire to make everything so pretty, that I end up throwing my hands in the air and not making anything at all. This can be pretty stagnating for a creative person, so I’m delighted that next week I am completely signing off from the internet and all things digital. What am I going to do? Well, I’m going to lay on a sandy beach with my sketch book and a handy set of Micron pens. (Oh, and don’t worry- I have posts scheduled for the week, to keep you entertained and hopefully inspired!)


I was a little concerned about how much I am going to enjoy this vacation. Spending a week with Phil’s whole family isn’t exactly my idea of getting away. But when I saw this sketchbook series by Art Expiration, I suddenly began looking forward to stealing away by myself on the beach and finally expressing myself creatively, in the most rudimentary way. I’m hoping the isolation will help some creative juices find their way to the surface, and I’ve already decided that nothing needs to be pretty. Just expressive.

How about you? When do you feel most creative?


21 Responses

  1. Cassie says:

    This is inspiring. I’m always so connected to the internet that I neglect doing design and sketching on paper. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Rebekuh says:

    I have been feeling so creatively drained and really want to get back into sketching. Thank you for being so really and sharing or own thoughts and feelings. The Art Expiration photos are definitely food for a creative soul. Enjoy your vacation!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Have an awesome trip! I usually get a giant burst of inspiration and feel extra creative after a great trip or weekend with loved ones.

  4. So inspirational. It’s so funny that you posted this. I was recently feeling the itch to document random parts of my life like this with doodles and trimmings. I hope you have a great time being creative at the beach!

  5. Call me crazy but my best ideas come to me in the shower. The trade off is that I usually forget to condition. Oh well.

  6. michael ann says:

    Oh thank you for sharing these sketchbooks! I was just reading another post on how important it is to do something small and creative that isn’t for an assignment every day. I always feel pressure to make everything perfect too, but think I’ll try to just be creative next week also! Thanks for the inspiration and good luck on your creative vacation :)

  7. Rae Veda says:

    I love how creative you are with your sketchbooks. About how long every day do you spend working on them?
    xo, rv

  8. Alex York says:

    I feel most creative when I’m falling asleep :( that’s slightly annoying, it’s like the worst time to be creative at.

  9. Kim says:

    Hi Mandi! What a beautiful inspiration!
    I am inspired by music. I love Native American music, which inspired my new little shop called Black Feather. And my art is inspired by day of the dead and frida. There are so many things in our world that are uplifting, beautiful, and inspiring! Like you. You inspire me. I adore your blog and look forward to reading it all the time!
    Enjoy your trip!!

  10. LolaDee says:

    Love these. I really need to start doing this more often. I always start and never continue!

  11. Mallory G says:

    I only have a week of summer left, and despite what most think, I’m happy about it. I feel so much more creative when I’m with the high school kids stoking their creativity.
    Summer can never come soon enough and can never end soon enough.

  12. I feel creative when I hear a good song, and when I have a beautiful dream. I am also creative days of autumn with leaves falling from the sky blue and the sun shining on my head. I feel inspired by the small details.
    ps: I added a link to your blog in the sidebar of my blog (friends & sponsors), I hope you enjoy

  13. This is all so gorgeous, enjoy your time off!

  14. ella masters says:

    as an artist and illustrator myself, i always find i am most creative in the evening at like 9pm….to the annoyance of my parents hehe, these are amazing really inspiring thank you for sharing them. When you are away you should let your mind wonder….maybe do loads of sand art on the beach :) have a good trip x

  15. Dolly Pop! says:

    As a writer, I feel mostly creative when I’m doing normal tasks that completely have nothing to do with my work, like taking a bath or cooking. :) I don’t know why it’s like that. One time I’ve thought of a really amazing headline while asleep and dreaming. Hahaha.

  16. Janine says:

    It’s funny how you say sometimes you get so carried up in the desire to make everything so pretty, that you end up not making anything at all because this is huge problem of mine. Even with sketchbooks, I want every page to be an artwork in it’s own right and I end up tearing out page after page. Thanks for posting these, they’re inspiring

  17. Lauren says:

    I’m most creative at night right before bed. I don’t know why, but by the time I wake up in the morning, 1/2 of my ideas are gone. The ones that stay, though- they’re always winners.

  18. Tolly says:

    First of all, I am totally with you Mandi on going digital-free for a little while. I think the internet sucks my creativity dry sometimes.
    I feel most creative (and empowered) when I am aerial silk dancing! It’s taken me ages just to get some of the moves, but now that I have, I’m learning to be expressive … and it’s the most magical feeling, dancing in the air.
    I also feel creative, in a writerly way, after reading a wonderful book. I’ve been on a food memoir kick for a while now, and I think Ruth Reichl is my favorite muse.

  19. Violet Short says:

    Wow, so magical and creative. You have such a unique style. I just love it!!!