Student Spotlight Don Marsh

Student Spotlight: Don Marsh


Don Marsh hails from Madbury, New Hampshire and made a few attempts at drawing throughout his life, but just recently found his drawing groove and kickstarted his creative habit this year!


Q: Don, give us a day in your life! When do you create? What else fills your days?

A: I work as a software engineer during the day. It’s satisfying work that requires creative problem solving, but it doesn’t afford much in the way of artistic creativity. Sometimes I’ll take time during my lunch break to sketch, but it’s usually when the work day is done and I’ve had some form of exercise when I’ll sit down to draw. I’m a night owl so I feel the most inspired and motivated in the evening. I think it’s having the deadline of the day ending that motivates me to create. If I have too much time on my hands, sometimes I struggle to get started.

Don Marsh artwork

If it’s the weekend and I don’t have any other plans (my favorite kind of weekends!), I’ll often head into Portsmouth, NH to do some sketching. Portsmouth is a wonderful small coastal city with lots of sketching opportunities. I love seeing it in a new light through my sketchbook!

Don Marsh sketch work

**Q: Can you tell us about an early drawing you did that sticks out in your mind as a favorite or a learning moment?**

**A:** I definitely don’t remember my first drawings. Most of my drawings as a youngster were more worthy of the waste basket than the fridge. But here you can see some of my drawings from that timeframe when I almost developed a drawing habit. This drawing of a room in my house (above) was instructive because I did manage to make something recognizable and was surprised by that. Alas, I still found the process frustrating and had to wait another 10 years to get over that!

**Q: What has your creative practice taught you?**

**A:** I don’t mean this in any grandiose enlightened way, but I literally see the world with fresh eyes! I spend time seeing how things and people are put together. I see how light reveals forms and I pay more attention to details. I also notice things I would have completely missed were it not for the time spent in close observation while drawing. At any given moment you might find me holding a pencil out in front of my eyes, measuring the world around me!

Student Spotlight Don Marsh artwrok

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to a brand new artist or someone who’s just recently joined SBS, what would it be?**

A: If you are interested in making art, NOW is the time to start. You CAN do it! Start today, draw anything. Then do it again tomorrow. Let go of perfection, EMBRACE your imperfect lines, and don’t worry about the end result. You’ll enjoy it more. If you enjoy the process, you’ll draw more. And if you draw more, you’ll improve. That’s the MAGIC formula!

We like Don’s formula for success, and love having his positive spirit and infectious enthusiasm in the SkoolYard! You can see more of his art on Instagram here:

3 mins

Stay up to date with the latest news from Sketchbook Skool!

Did you enjoy this blog post?  
It helps us a lot if you share it!
creative habits

How to Start

I could start with a humorous anecdote, maybe something self-deprecating —I’ve been doing a fair amount of that sort of self-flagellation lately. Maybe about the time I fell asleep in the library in college and was so embarrassed when I was awoken by another student that….

Read More »

Everyday Matters – Profile of Catherine Youngren

Welcome to a new series from Sketchbook Skool about what making art means in our lives, as told by members of our Spark community.  “Making art gives me balance.” When life became turbulent, Catherine Youngren found stability in her sketchbooks. Art by Catherine Youngren I just retired from my work as a commercial interior designer

Read More »

Student Profile: Tammy Murdock

My name is Tammy Murdock, I am an enthusiastic artist who does illustration, collage and hand lettering. I love wonky lines, splatters of paint, earl grey tea, warm socks and drawing outside the lines. I live in Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island and I have been an artist since I held my first crayon. When

Read More »