When looking to increase our skill sets, we are all in an eternal quest to "get better." There is some mystical notion that one day we will wake up and suddenly . . . be that artist we always thought we would become. But in reality most artists are all born the same. There are some of us that are born with a certain aptitude toward seeing a goal more clearly than others. But the notion of being "born with it" is very far fetched (in my opinion) and all too often idealized rather than a true reality.
What does set many of the great artists apart from the good ones? It is a great number of factors, perhaps environment, being exposed to the arts at a younger age, or perhaps an artistic family heritage. But in all cases of greatness the greatest certainty is that each master of his or her craft has devoted the time and energy toward that particular area the muse beacon's them towards. It's the muse that captures our attention. And once we are seduced by her tranquility, we are driven to follow the flow and grow along side the pencil lines we scrawl upon the page. One of the greatest ways to grow and become that artist we think we should be is a constant application into the things that we are driven to by the way of blood (our heart's pursuit), sweat, and tears (of joy, of course). We can do all of this by keeping a sketchbook. One of the greatest advantages to us is to explore and stretch the boundaries of our own craft in the privacy of our sketchbook(s). Keeping a sketchbook is an amazingly personal way, away from prying eyes, to sweat and strive to become better and grow on an individual level.
Sketchbooks are a symbol of freedom or a key to unlock a door previously unavailable to be opened.