asking for trouble

Sketchbook Sharing


I did a craft market yesterday that was fairly quiet but was situated in a warm, sunny room, so I took the opportunity to relax and do some doodling. I thought I’d share as I think a lot of people find sketchbooks intimidating to use. All that blank paper and the pressure to create something awesome. What you need to remember is that sketchbooks are just a visual reminder of ideas, and also just for you. They don’t need to be perfect as long as they get the idea across.

Take my appallingly drawn line of pandas and bunnies at the top there for example. That was pretty much the first thing I put on paper yesterday and I could have erased those and redrawn them better but it’s just a reminder to try out a pattern in two directions. Similarly, I have another idea for a pattern using the Prettify imagery on the right, and a reminder to try out some illustrations inside circles (though possibly not with a squashed Cakeify on top). All this imagery is already in my computer so there’s no sense spending ages redrawing it all properly. Vague sketches are fine.


Once I settled down, over on the next page, you can see there is less faffing. The market was in a canteen with big healthy eating signs so I inevitably started drawing various fruits with faces (and um, a cactus bear). Since these are all new things, I spent more time erasing mistakes until I liked them. I think there is definitely a new set of characters in here. Which are your favourites?

So, my sketchbook tips are to imagine that no-one will ever see the contents, to draw any old nonsense from your head or your surroundings until you relax and to find a sketchbook and drawing implement that you’re comfortable with. And finally, if you draw something completely awful, add a speech bubble so it says something idiotic and at least it will make you laugh next time instead of cringe.


Hello! I’m Marceline Smith, the designer and owner of Asking For Trouble. I create illustrated stationery, accessories and gifts using my cute characters inspired by Japanese kawaii. This is my business and personal blog where I write about my creative doings, inspirations, travels, Japan trips and daily life. Read more »

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