Sketchbooking club swells in numbers

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By Megan Adams

Weeks into the semester, Melissa Manwell noticed the art clubs were still not up and running. Instead of just waiting for something to happen, she took the matter into her own hands.

Manwell, 20, from West Valley City, started the Sketchbook Club, a club designed to help students of all majors keep a better sketchbook. She said sketchbooking is a way of life, and because many art programs require them, this club is incredibly helpful.

“When we’re applying for our majors, especially the BFAs, we have to have sketchbooks as part of our portfolio,” Manwell said. “Mostly I wanted to put this together so those freshmen can have that opportunity to work with older students, kind of get motivated and inspired and also understand the importance of sketchbooking.”

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Student meet together for the sketchbooking club on Friday in the Harris Fine Arts Center.

More than 100 people have joined the club, proving Manwell correct. Members are mainly art students, but Manwell said there are a few members who are pre-med. They welcome all students to meetings, whether they have experience sketchbooking or not.

Josh Cotton, a senior from Gillette, Wyo., said  even if somebody has never drawn before, all are welcome, because working with a group of artists improves individuals’ skills.

“When I first started sketching, I didn’t have much control,” Cotton said. “I met other artists who had a lot more control over their lines and they gave me advice that helped me improve quite a bit. I think collaborating and just being there with other artists helps you grow.”

The club hosts two types of meetings. Every two weeks, members meet for a workshop or field trip to help improve sketchbooking. For one their first activities, members went to Hogle Zoo in order to sketch animals found there.

“It’s inspirational to see other artists interpret the same object you’re sketching,” Cotton said. “You might do a drawing of a moose, but you look over, and somebody else has a completely different interpretation in a way you’ve never imagined, and you incorporate some of those ideas into your own work, and it really helps you grow as an artist.”

The club has a blog, and on the weeks they do not meet for a workshop, the club’s vice president, Alyssa Petersen, a junior from Torrance, Calif., in the animation program, is in charge of posting a theme. Members are encouraged to submit sketches related to that theme throughout the week.

“For those two weeks, people are encouraged to come up with some little doodle, or some creative interpretation of it and post it to the blog in order to see what each other come up with,” Petersen said.

The blog also contains the upcoming information and meeting places of club events so people can know where to meet, and everyone is welcome. In order to join, simply show up to the next activity,which can be found on byusketchbookclub.blogspot.com and talk to Manwell. As president, Manwell said the club is always looking for new members, and emphasized the instruction and inspiration there makes it worth attending.

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