When you work on a big project, it is real easy to get caught up in trying to make everything look crisp, professional, or cool that we loose sight of what it's like to be playful with our craft. Doing comic art takes hours upon hours UPON HOURS of drafting, polishing things up, and problem solving. So putting time aside to sketch gets shoved into the back of our brain and our priorities.
It's also easy to overlook doing sketches because they're not as "sexy" as a comic page or polished illustration. There isn't a deadline for drawing pages in your sketchbook and if you work traditionally, then you're typically not using the highest grade paper neither. Also if you are creating comics you're producing multiple pages in a week or month and you think to yourself, "Aren't I getting a lot of practice just doing those?" But it's not about the practice, it's about the experimentation.
It's your sketchbook, paper, or digital canvas, so no one has to see what you're doing. This is your opportunity to go nuts! Try to use tools you wouldn't regularly use, or use your most standard tools in different ways. I have three sketchbooks (four if you count my graphics program). One for standard drawing with pencils and ink, one better suited for watercoloring my drawings, and one with heavier paper for gouache or acrylics. That might sound cumbersome, but it's nice to have all of those venues open to you if you want to try something out.
"But Tim, what about making time for it?" Well that's a hard question to answer isn't it? One can't really have a cookie-cutter method of how to fit sketching into your schedule. You'll just have to look at your schedule and etch out a spot where it would best fit. like from 7-10 on Wednesday night for example.
So get out there and make some time for some creative experimentation!
Thanks for reading!