When It Comes To Sketchbooking, There Are No Rules

Week three of me going cold turkey in social media!

I did publish something on Instagram and YouTube, but they didn’t do well, which made it easier to veer away from it all.

We sometimes crave consuming media. It’s just that it doesn't have to be social media. I found a great replacement: I crawl up with beautiful books.

I firmly believe in listening to your Muse: draw what you want. If you force yourself into doing certain drawing practice exercises, the fun of drawing will eventually go away if you push yourself too hard.

I can’t believe I have to write this, but as I was working on this article, news broke that Kim Jung Gi passed away at just 47.

My condolences go out to his family, his friends, and his colleagues. It must be so hard for them. He had children, and the company he worked for was built around him.

He was a huge influence on so many people. He truly is one of the important artists of our time. Forget about all the other modern artists. Kim Jung Gi changed what we thought was possible. His influence wil reverberate through the centuries when we’ve long forgotten about the Damien Hirsts, the Tracey Emins, and the Takashi Murakamis.

Here is a beautiful and most recent short video where you can see Kim Jung Gi in action. He could just draw amazing scenes directly in ink. He practiced by memorizing photos and then drawing from memory.

What an immense loss. I learnt so much from watching him and I am so grateful for having discovered him.

Kim Jung Gi was not practicing hard; he was just having fun. He grabbed any drawing tools before him and started drawing things he saw the past day.

He drew something he saw earlier from memory, which was not hard practice for him. He had an enormous visual database to fill in details. Drawing from memory also enhances your ability to visualize what you want to draw and feel where the lines should be.

You will notice that he drew surprisingly cartoony if you draw along with him. His drawings are far less ‘realistic’ than you think. He got the forms right and added a lot of simplified detail, and the results are stunning.

He was just having fun. He was just having fun.

This week, I felt like cartooning in my private sketchbook. But I am not letting go of drawing from memory! I’m trying to draw something in a more cartoon style, but from memory, I’m trying to emulate Kim Jung Gi, whom I made my ‘art parent,’ as Stan and Marshall would call it. From memory, he draws in a more cartoon than realistic style, and I’m trying that now.

I’m not showing you the results because I need private space to experiment and try things.

I am not well-known like Kim Jung Gi, which has its benefits. He didn’t get to have private creative spaces. His manager took hold of all his sketchbooks, scanned them, and made books out of them. Everything he drew is public.

I have a suspicion he wasn’t enjoying it. He’ll sometimes got annoyed by questions and start discussing gross things, seemingly to shock. And a video like this one almost turns arguably the best draftsman of our time into a circus act; one aspect about him I’d prefer not to emulate.

I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way! I think I’m just upset about it all.

I just wonder if he longed for a day where he could just retire and spend his days filling sketchbooks in private, you know?

As I wrote elsewhere, make sure you have fun. Don’t take it so seriously. It’s just a drawing. Have fun! Apparently, you can die of a heart attack at the young age of 47 like Kim Jung Gi. Make the most of the days you have.

Remember: when it comes to sketching, there are no rules. Well, one: to enjoy every minute of it. And to not waste your time on social media, or on making art when you don’t enjoy doing it. I mean, what’s the point? You will not do good work if you don’t enjoy doing it anyway.

Sorry for this sad article. Kim Jung Gi was one huge influence on me, and now he is gone.

My Favorite Drawing Exercises

If you feel like drawing, then check out my favorite drawing exercises!

Do these exercises

form studies to warm up, slow down, get into the right meditative state, and improve your draftsmanship skills.

Do these form studies

form studies to help you improve creating underdrawings, place things in space, practice doing perspective by sight.

Practice drawing from memory to fill your visual bank, ability to memorize, ability to visualize, ability to draw what you see in your imagination and your ability to see what is wrong with your drawings.

If you find it hard to create or maintain a creative habit, you can find some habit-related tips here.

Check out these pleasing, calm, art-related (mostly) podcasts to listen to while drawing. They have been automatically prepared for you to automatically binge-listen to so that you can start drawing.

Lastly, also make sure you have fun in your sketchbook after the hard practice! Here is one guide that can help you jog your creativity.

creativity exercise

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