I've been using a sketchbook recently. For many years I've worked straight onto the screen rather than sketching before hand. And that's great - it's fast, efficient, good for flat, vector designs in Illustrator and also painterly, loose work in PS. I'm very much looking forward to investing in a huge Cintiq tablet to continue doing just that. But I've been DYING to get back to painting and drawing in REAL life too.
So I bought myself a massive pile of sketchbooks and pens and started. There's something different about the way your brain works when you're drawing on screen versus when you're creating something in the 'real' world. A different bit is being used.
I can chat, watch telly, be simultaneously engaged in something else when I'm drawing, painting or sewing. When I'm at the computer I need to be almost silent. I think it's a right brain/left brain phenomenon. I love the fact that I can be present with my children while fiddling around with bits of paper, scissors and pens during the evening.
I started my career before computers were in general use for design and now I'm remembering the problem-solving aspect of not being able to edit everything. If a blob of paint accidentally landed in the center of something, it became a flower! And suddenly the picture became something else. With sketching and doodling this can be particularly interesting because no-one needs to see what goes into a sketchbook and mistakes can lead you down an unexpected path.
Now that I can design digitally, I'm finding that combining these spontaneous, flawed, 'real' life experiments with the possibility of limitless editing is making exploring particularly exciting!!! I'm definitely enjoying heading down a new route. Here's a pic of a very casually-slung-together collage I did - while watching telly (might have been Italian X-factor - very inspiring!!!). Lots of elements from it (and others) have since found their way into my work!! - Victoria