I envy you artists that purchase or receive a gorgeous hard-cover bound sketchbook packed with creamy white but screamingly blank pages and not be induced into a panic attack. These things scare me.
So I came up with something else (probably not particularly an original idea, but that’s besides the point).
1st order of the day, the paper sources must be cheap. Cream coloured card-stock that I can’t find a use for (I love and use cardstock, just not the big wad of buff that I’m stuck with) is a good start, as it was taking up space.
2nd. the ‘sketchbook’ pages must be small in size, so their scary blankness is somewhat diminished, with a bonus of portable. These turn out to be purse sized.
3rd, easily acquired and replenished without the need of cutting tools, scissors, knives, rulers, paper-cutters, tape, needle, thread or glue: so enter my Ultimate Sketchbook, that consists of any quarter of a4-sized paper. Any a4 paper (a ubiquitous source) will do, fold it in half, crease in both directions and tear. Later, if you like what you see, punch two holes un the upper corner, and string them together.
As you can see, I’m using ‘book-binder rings’. It’s easy to remove or add single sheets from any part of the sketchbook (remember, I’m commitment-phobic when it comes to sketchbooks), and I get to predetermine the location of the hole punch.
I made some pre-cut templates handy, in case I want my drawings to be within certain boundaries. That way, if something turns out exactly right, I have the option of scanning, enlarging and transferring the sketch ‘as is’ to a larger format. So far, just have squares & and scaled down 8x10. I keep them in an origami pocket I made that becomes part of the ‘sketchbook’.
Thus far, this is really working out for me. It is satisfyingly thick, it grows, I can hide and keep things that don’t quite work-out, I can recycling the boring and bland immediately, or later upon reflection, and, on a future rainy day, when I can’t come up with a single idea, I can mine my sketchbook for a new linocut or painting. I can even tape in little printed bits of writing (very secret) if I like, so text is good too.
And best yet, it gives me a good excuse to start every art day comfortably seated at my desk with a coffee at my side and just draw. Warm-ups with benefits…