The Skill of the Sketch – Creativity as a Contact Sport by Nathan Hendricks

29 Apr 2011

LPK is a company of creative people. Most of us came to work here because we wanted to be surrounded and challenged by extraordinary creativity. Our professions may run the gamut from design to human resources to writing to finance, but we all find inspiration when we contribute to the creative process.

The beginning fundamentals of art and writing include keeping sketchbooks and notebooks to help capture images, thoughts, ideas and inspiration. The practice is essential to the sciences, as well. Some of the most prolific scientific minds of modern times, including Darwin and Einstein, kept extensive journals throughout their lives.

All new hires at LPK receive a Moleskine® sketchbook on their first day. In our business environment, the push for speed is a constant. It’s often tempting to skip the initial and, what sometimes feel like small, steps. But, when we skip sketching and note taking, we’re omitting a basic act in the creative process. As the graphic artist Marian Bantjes states in this February 2011 interview, “When I try to skip the step of sketching, most of the time, I just end up with garbage.”

Sketching keeps our physicality in the act of creating. Starting the process with the tug of a pencil across paper reminds us that we’re not only creating with our minds, but with our hands, our bodies and our entire selves. We’re engaging multiple areas of our brains, increasing activity in both our hemispheres, and becoming better creatives in the process.

What do we want new LPKers to do with their sketchbooks? Sketch. Write. Brainstorm. Explore. Make a to-do list. Hack it. Or destroy it. Use it to remind yourself that creativity is a contact sport. To get in the game, you need to engage as many senses as possible.