I encourage you to share with
yourstudents a variety ofsketch-
books by practicing artists. Here
is a list of some of my favorites:
• James Jean
• Dan Eldon
• Danny Gregory
• Allow your style to come through.
• Don’t allow the pages to turn into
a scrapbook; these should be fine-art drawings.
The Traveling Sketchbook
The first order of practical business
was to write my name on the inside
cover of a hardbound sketchbook,
along with the school address. I also
placed the book in a large, resealable
plastic bag with the same informa-
tion written in permanent marker.
This protected the book from the
As the book traveled, I often
tucked in small images from art
history or quotes that have inspired
me as an artist. This gave students
inspiration for their pages as well as
be a collection of ideas for artistic
To start the sketchbook traveling,
I chose the students who had worked
the hardest in their personal sketchbook and rewarded them with the
journal. I let students decide how
the sketchbook would travel after
that. I allowed each student only a
couple of days to complete the pages.
This requirement led to work that
was fresh and inspired; any longer
and they would linger too long with
their ideas. The completed sketch-
book stays with me, sharing artis-
tic stories from every student, and
inspiring new students each year.
Nicole Brisco is an art teacher at Pleasant
Grove High School in Texarkana, Texas,
TAEA Secondary Division Chair, and a
contributing editor for SchoolArts. Nicoleemail@example.com.
Students create artworks that use
organizational principles and func-
tions to solve specific visual arts