The importance of a sketchbook can never be overstated. Artists have always used their sketchbooks as a way of documenting their surroundings and explore ideas creatively. Sketchbooks are also used as outlets that foster creativity in times of artistic dormancy. This is exactly how I use my sketchbooks, and yes I have multiple. Some are more filled than others, but all are used in the same way.
For me, documentation happens in the form of quick sketches that can vary in the amount of time spent, or more detailed pieces that require more thought and execution. I rarely plan my sketches, I simply allow the ideas to flow, like the lines. To me sketching is the first step in ideation and no idea is perfect in its initial conception, so I always leave wiggle room for change and interpretation.
Take a few minutes every day to sketch. Engage in quick sketch exercises from life in order to train your eyes how to see and represent form accurately in your work. The natural light surrounding us allows us to see evey shape differently, and actively attempting to represent what we see on a daily basis will improve your drawing skills exponentially. I learned from a very early age how to draw by drawing from life, not from books or magaines that do not accurately represent the depth you wish to achieve in your own work; depth that is present in actual physical objects.
Drawing a person is hard, painting a person is even harder, but dont let that deter you. I have spent countless hours perfecting my ability to draw someone and nailing their likeness. A large part of that is my individual talent, but the rest is as a result of years of practice in learning how to see and perfecting that hand eye coordination that so many great portrait artists have. Draw on the train ride or bus ride home. Draw while even walking (this is extremely hard) but it will improve your accuracy in mark making, allowing you to perfect putting the exact lines that you want down- diliberately.
These are but a few of my countless drawings and sketches that I have done over the years. The ability to draw is fundamental for any artist, because it all starts there. You do not have to be the best at it, but it is vital to keeping your creative juices flowing and that fire for art burning. Keep practicing. Draw more.