For me, signing up for the sketchbook project was a desperate attempt to reconnect with my raw, unfiltered, free creativity, which I felt I had lost over the last few years. There was once a time when I used to create just because, without focusing on a grand concept, without striving for a grade, without attempting to impress my peers. But in choosing to major in art in college, my creativity began to become very structured, bound to the restraints of assignments, held back by the fear that the end product wouldn't be good enough. I made art for myself less and less, and I began to lose touch with what I loved about making art, which was the process. By participating in the sketchbook project, I hoped to reconnect with my passion. At first, it was difficult: I finished maybe two pages in the first several months of having my sketchbook; I was still very afraid of what people would think, even though logically I knew I would likely never come face to face with anyone who picked up my book once I sent it back. But finally, just in the last couple months, I have filled every page with collages- some are driven by a particular idea or concept (such as my proclivity to think too much, or my struggle with anxiety disorder), some are fanciful landscapes, and some are really just shapes and colors. No page is necessarily related to another, but as a whole this book symbolizes a reconnection with my creativity, and even if no one ever looks through my book, I will be forever grateful that I was ever able to make it exist.
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