I keep a journal, although I don't write in it every day. It's a heavy hardcover black art sketchbook, the usual kind one finds in an art supply story. I wrote about how I customize it in a 2013 post here. But when I take a short trip, just a few days, I am reluctant to lug the sketchbook with me, so I tend to make one specifically for that trip. You would think I have plenty of blank books around, why make another? I like the materials to relate to the trip somehow. Or, I just want a fresh one for inspiration.
Inspired by the little notebooks they sell at Creativity Explored (sister organization to NIAD for artists with developmental disabilities. I previously wrote about works from NIAD here and here), I put together a softcover notebook in about fifteen minutes. It has a 6 x 9" postcard for a cover, some decent paper for writing and drawing and a little watercoloring, and a sewn-in ribbon to tie it closed. I liked using a large postcard that was sent to my address since it was automatically personalized, but you can use a blank one.
Here's the most recent one I made. Artwork on the postcard by CE artist, Tranesha Smith-Kilgore, 2022, mixed media sculpture.
- (1) 6" x 9" postcard, folded in half (15.2 cm x 23 cm)
- (6) 5 7/8"(or just a little less than 6" or 14.7 cm) x 9" (23 cm) pieces of paper, grained short, folded in half with the grain
- (1) 12" piece of waxed linen thread (30.5 cm)
- (1) 27" piece of grosgrain ribbon (68.5 cm)
- metal ruler, at least six inches
- knife and cutting mat / and scissors
- awl (optional)
- two pieces: repositionable-removable tape / artist's tape / washi tape / or low-tack tape (optional)
- corner rounder (optional: I use a sturdy large-sized one, like this one from Amazon. It works with text-weight paper, postcard stock, some printmaking papers.)