THE SKETCHBOOK TOUR EFFECT

“At my first Sketchbook Tour, I felt that I remembered how to PLAY. It was hard at first. I was bogged down with the idea that I don’t know “how to draw”, and that there are rules to follow. It was stressful. That only lasted for a moment, as Laura undid those rules for me — she taught me how to doodle, how to draw without being so literal, how to play with my Sharpie and not worry about being realistic. That freed me up, and suddenly, I was creating drawings I could not believe were mine. I drew with shapes and dots and designs, instead of trying to shade and make accurate representations. It felt like the drawings were mine and not just trying to be someone else’s. Even I didn’t know how my doodles would end up!

I enjoyed this experience so much, I told everybody. And I have since returned to every Tour I can. I have doodled in bars, parks, cottages and even created my own Tour with my husband on our honeymoon to Turkey. (What a cool experience that was! When we saw something we liked, we’d just sit ourselves down and doodle it.) I feel that the Sketchbooking has brought some joy back into my life that I didn’t know was missing. But now that it’s here again, I’m never letting it go.”

“The Sketchbook Tour evening that you treated us with was nothing short of magical.

It was a special gathering and a few things that resonated with me are:

  1. The fun community that was created by partaking in that night.
  2. The letting go of perfectionism for the sheer enjoyment of sketching. You were kind in your approach to have us lighten up and just create and not worry about if our sketches were “good”, “bad” or otherwise.
  3. Tapping into that side of us that allowed us to stretch…our thinking and our experience.

Going forward, I would like to remember to enjoy the process and not focusing on the illusive goal of perfection. It was a super fun journey and I’m grateful to have been part of it.”

“As adults, we can forget how to play and share. More importantly, we can lose sight of just how critical both of these elements are to inhabiting a happy and fulfilling life. An evening with Lo & Co., dressed up in black tie and armed with Sharpies and sketchbooks, while touring some of the finest dives in the city, was one of the most fun and relaxing ways to spend a night in the city. It reconnected me with things I used to do by nature as a child, and it made me recognize that those things are still very much a part of my nature.”

“I have always loved to draw. I loved to sketch. I loved to doodle. But somehow I never seem to find the time to sit down and draw. So when I heard about the Sketchbook Tour I was intrigued. The experience is a wonderful mix of socializing and artistic exploration. Perhaps the most incredible part was seeing the “newbie sketcher” next to graphic designers next to experienced artists and everyone was producing something interesting.

The show-and-tell after the drawings is wonderful.  The sketches, the process of drawing and then sharing was wonderful.  There are some laughs, some embarrassed “that didn’t work out” and a few “omg that is amazing.”

On my honeymoon in France last month my wife and I both brought our sketchbooks from the Sketchbook Tour. I am glad we did because on a beautiful sunny day we found ourselves in an old cemetery in the heart of Paris sitting under some old trees sketching. It was magical. Her drawing was fantastic.”

“I am a writer. Not an artist, not an illustrator, but a writer, who loves a good Sharpie. After a Sketchbook Tour, where we drew birthday cakes and wine glasses and crowns with drinks and there was wonderful conversation instead of judgment, I started using my Sharpie to tell the story of my week. As a new parent, the days easily blur together, but my weekly Sketchbook Tour-inspired tradition helps me remember what I loved about the week — an illustrated highlight reel.”

“Laura’s Sketchbook Tours reawakened my interest in drawing in a no-pressure and fun-filled environment.  The task of capturing my surroundings in a small coil bound book refocused my perception on the present and instilled a sense of peace and creative fulfillment. And the effects have been long lasting – I have a sketchbook filled with memories!”

“It’s safe to say that visual art has never been my thing. My report card was routinely marred by “needs improvement” comments in the handwriting column, and I used to dislike art class with the kind of passion people tend to reserve for Nickelback songs.

So when I was invited to my first Sketchbook Tour, I thought I’d sit in a quiet corner, enjoy some wine and revel in other people’s artistic abilities. But here’s what happened: My first sketch–a chair, I think–was more than a little rough. Then someone suggested drawing my impression of the chair. Suddenly, it all started coming together. (Also, I had more wine, but mostly, it was the advice.) I was freed from trying to make my drawing look just like the real thing. It was like a black and white photo became a full-colour IMAX film. This damn chair could be anything I imagined it to be! It was tipping, it was stacked, it was striped. Suddenly, there were no limits. I was wholly immersed in drawing something, having a ton of fun and creating something kind of … interesting.

From there, I went on to great fame and wealth as a sketch artist.

Actually, no. My sketches are so much better than I ever thought they could be, but truthfully, my bar is still set pretty low.

What I’ve found, though, is that by taking sketch breaks now and then — especially when I’m feeling fatigued, stressed out or frustrated by a problem — I can re-energize and tap into something really freeing. Pretty frequently, that creativity translates back into my work and I’m able to come at problems from new angles and see connections and patterns I missed before. It’s been a professional boost from a most unexpected source!

My handwriting still needs improvement, though. Zero progress, there.”

“I had so much fun at the Fancy Sketchbook Tour. It was amazing to see everyone producing such diverse and cool sketches. I had forgotten how much fun it is to mess around with sketching. I took it a step further and had a group of kids at the cottage paint some small 6×6 panels of their favourite thing of the summer. It took a bit of time for everyone to feel comfortable and get into it but once they did it was such a thrill. We were painting outside and a storm came up. We pulled out umbrellas and everyone stayed and hung out and kept painting.”

“The Sketchbook Tour is an amazing way to share an experience in a spontaneous, casual, fun way. I have always been someone who likes to draw, and I think that the act of sketching creates a moment of focus and appreciation for everyday things. Beauty can be discovered this way, as well as the ridiculous. The drawings may be kept or simply left on the diner table – it is not the drawing itself that is precious.”

“For me, the Sketchbook Tour helped me remember both the joy of drawing, and the joy of drawing socially. Something about putting pen to paper with a group is wildly compelling, and after one Sketchbook Tour, my partner and I were inspired to take a drawing class to give us another reason to keep drawing!”

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