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  • A close-up of someone’s hand drawing in a sketchbook.

    Stretch Your Brain by Keeping a Sketchbook

    David Marquez

    A sketchbook allows you to create a visual and textual imprint of your thoughts. Image-making is an inherent fascination of the human mind. Through sketching, you can wholly render and express your thoughts. Like a journal, a sketchbook is a key to your consciousness; keeping one on your person always allows you to communicate emotion.

    You don’t have to be an artist; a sketchbook can simultaneously be notes and images of your environment. You could be jotting down notes in class or drawing while waiting outside.

    Sketchbooks offer consistent mental exercise. The dynamic between the visual and textual speaks to how we comprehend information. It relaxes us; it empowers us to take what we see, hear, and feel, and communicate it through ourselves. Keeping a sketchbook allows you to connect with yourself and your environment.

    Like Journaling with a Twist!

    Sketching is commonly associated with an artist or a designer; however, you don’t need to be one to do it! Having a sketchbook gives you a visual diary of your life. We are connected to a visible environment: I love to sit outside and sketch my surroundings; however, I also use my sketchbook as a facet of internal comprehension. Whether through words or putting pen to paper and expressing myself on the page, I write and draw my feelings and frustrations.

    You don’t have to be a master at drawing to sketch; you don’t even have to make art: sketching is about getting an idea, feeling, or emotion onto paper. When you journal or write, you describe your life in words; however, in a sketchbook, you can use form, line, or even color to lay out your thinking.

    Like a journal, a sketchbook can be a private diary, but it can also be a place to take notes and observe (you can even write in it like a journal). There are no bounds to your imagination!

    Doodle All the Time!

    Doodling keeps your brain relaxed and communitive. We have so many distractions: lights, sounds, etc. When you sketch, your hand glides across the paper's surface. You're not thinking about the final product; you ease back, and your thoughts start to clear. The agitated atmosphere within your head drifts away.

    It’s easy to find yourself bored in class. It happens to me quite frequently. The notes seem to fade away and you find yourself drifting into the background. However, in front of you, that notebook or homework sheet, you have a piece of paper. What can bring you back out of your mind can be doodling across the borders of your paper. Surprisingly, this focuses you back into the world and your environment. By giving your mind time to relax, you actively retain knowledge presented by the professor.

    So, when you find yourself drifting away into the realm of boredom, try doodling in your sketchbook or on your paper. You can even sketch and take notes, which is my favorite thing to do in lecture classes!

    Our mind is a significant part of us. Stretch your brain and give it some time to breathe. We’re a visual culture: by creating images, we can communicate our thoughts, feelings, and emotions into the perceivable world.

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