I believe I am like most artists who are consciously and unconsciously, mentally and visually recording images we see throughout the day. These images are future material for our work. The way two colors play off of one another, reflections, shadows, and how certain forms interact in their environment. This visual diary serves as the basis for the next piece of work. For artists, this practice is inherent. It's programmed into our DNA. That is why I think it is essential for artists to carry a sketchbook -- to constantly record these visual snapshots. A sketchbook is a safe place for an artist, free of judgment and criticism. A place to work out ideas that sometimes succeed and sometimes fail. A favorite author of mine, Pat Conroy, recently passed away. I heard an interview with him this past week and one of his points really stuck with me. That if we always win we learn nothing, but it is when we fail that we start to change. To me, this statement captures a sketchbook perfectly. A place to fail in an effort to change and ultimately succeed.