my first sketchbook tour!

Hi everyone, welcome to my first sketchbook tour! This is a mini-Moleskine i.e. a Moleskine Pocket, and it took 10 years for me to fill it! I hope you enjoy this one. If you do like my video, please do click the like button, so I know that you enjoyed it.

You can also watch on and subscribe to my YouTube channel. There are subtitles available, and the transcript is below if you need to read as well as watch. I’d love to hear what you think, so leave a comment here or on youtube, or email me. Sign up to my email list as well for more at

00:00 Introduction
1:27 Sketchbook Tour

I am not sponsored by any brands; here are the origins of each of the materials used in this video:
– Mini Moleskine sketchbook (purchased)


Hi everyone I’m Arati Devasher. Welcome to my studio. Today’s a special one, because I’m filming my very first sketchbook tour!

I have had this sketchbook since 2010… so 10 years it has taken me to fill this tiny little Moleskine pocket sketchbook. I bought it when I first moved to the UK in 2009, and I always write on the back where I got it and, um, the size of the sketchbook. So it’s a nine 9×14 Moleskine and I bought it at Waterstones in Piccadilly Circus. Now, I’m going to switch to a top-down view and I’m going to give you a little tour and a little talk about what’s in this little thing. Let’s get started!

As I said, this sketchbook has taken me 10 years to finish, mainly because there were a few years where I didn’t keep a sketchbook at all, where I hardly drew, and then there were a few years where I mainly painted silk, so I have a different sketchbook for that… but this is something that is small enough to put in my bag and take around the place and that’s what I did. So most of the drawings in here are with pen or ‘sketch pens’ or as we would call them markers that were easy to carry around, easy to take with me, and to sit in a waiting room somewhere drawing, or on a bus or in a park. So let’s get started with this one. I will point out the ones where I’ve actually made a final piece based on a sketch in here and I’ll kind of put a picture somewhere here.

I’m going to flip through the pages fairly quickly… things that are not very interesting I’ll just skip over and they’re pretty self-explanatory. I think I was at the British Museum when I drew this one. most of them are patterns and I’ve written here… “I always seem to notice people’s shoes in the tube maybe ‘cos I always look downward never meeting anyone’s eye.” This was when I first moved to the UK and I felt very very uncomfortable because I didn’t know anybody, I didn’t know where I was going and I was constantly on my… on my back foot, just trying to figure out things, and I think that’s very reflective of that. Sitting in leicester square… more patterns… another woman on the tube going to Brixton. I spent a lot of time in central London, wandering around looking about, um, exploring mainly, and that says 2013 so that’s another three years after I bought this bought this little sketchbook.

More patterns, and I think I had metallic markers at this point. I’ve said “Just passed a man sitting by a tree and howling like a wolf and alternately barking like a dog outside Golders Green Station. Talk about barking mad.” That’s London for you, isn’t it? You find all sorts!

More patterns and I would assume that these were done much later than these ones because I seem to have turned pages and drawn on the right hand side and the left hand side I seem to have painted later. And at this point I didn’t put dates on these ones, so I know these are 2013 but I’m not sure what… when I did these ones… probably sometime maybe 2015–16 or even 2018–19. I don’t know, I think I would have remembered if it was 2019, though!

Again, “Victoria sponge for sale at Cancer Research stall as well as a raisin roll.” I was still drawing food at that point, always drawn food… more patterns and I’ve replicated this one in marker.

“Animal print is in in 2013” and it’s back again in 2020–21… always in! Here’s, again, my obsession with fruit – papayas, citrus…

“Embrace the Shake 2013”… now, 2012 was a difficult year for me and if you know me personally you’ll know that I had some health issues which are ongoing to this day and because of that my right hand shakes a little so this one I think was to remind myself that having to draw a straight line isn’t a necessity. You can embrace it and you can bring it into your work and still make it look interesting and I think I do that to this day.

More patterns, “Florals too.” So I think this one continues on from this one which says animal print is in in 2013 and florals are too and florals are back again, aren’t they? It’s like a cycle. More florals… clearly, I was drawing florals at the time. That’s very similar to that isn’t it? I guess I was trying a different layout. I’m not sure what I wrote there but again more patterns… in 2013 and I think it’s pretty obvious that I worked on the right hand side in 2013 and filled in these pages later isn’t it?

A lighthouse somewhere…

Now these… I have been drawing balloons and sheep because I’ve been dreaming about them for a very long time I always had these weird dreams of balloons with sheep hanging from them among the clouds. I’m never there. Nobody else I know is ever there, but I have these weird strange dreams and I actually turned this into a pattern and a tea towel which I’ll insert here.

More interesting patterns… I think I was just testing out paint here… more patterns… Bubbles are another thing I really really love. I draw them a lot.

More fruit and veg, unsurprising if you’ve seen my work. I guess this was just loosening up my hand, probably around 2013 when I had to ‘embrace the shake’.

This is something unusual. I don’t often do landscapes. I must have been experimenting. It’s probably the only one in this little sketchbook. Back to food. I think this is gouache and this is pretty much… I’m pretty sure this is 2018–19 sometime. Gouche and insects… more vegetables. I should probably do something with these illustrations. More fruits… I quite like these ones… more of the same. Clearly, I was going for a theme here. Must have been obsessed with something at the point.

And then this one is interesting… so I was trying lettering it’s not my thing… and more florals… more florals…

Oh this is… I was going through a low point I guess so “This is how I see me. Is this how you see me? How do you think I am looking? Am I happy or am I sad? How do you think I feel?” Probably the only self-portrait I’ve ever drawn. I don’t think I’ve done any others.

Again, my obsession with balloons… I did turn this into a whole series. I’ll see if I can find some pictures and insert them in here.

Flamingos… now these are some sketches that I did because at the time I was painting silk and I was doing a custom order for someone which did end up being a scarf, so again I’ll insert a picture here if I can find it.

More images of flowers… more florals… and I did use this sort of image in some of my work. I made a scarf for myself for myself using this pattern… again, I’ll insert a picture.

More patterns… these are all using markers. I must have got a new set of something. I think maybe this is around the time I got the Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen, um, set of 90.

But yeah, I think the rest of this is just different patterns… easy to carry around a set of markers with you and just doodle. More patterns and here I’ve done the same pattern in different colorways. Quite likely I was doing a class or something.

And that is the end of that little book. Can you imagine, that that took me 10 years to do! Unbelievable, isn’t it?!

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