Friday, February 01, 2008

my new art journal


Journals have fascinated me for quite a while, it was only until recently that I made a serious effort to keep one on me at all times. So, before I talk about my current journal, here's a little background info...

My wife bought me an artist journal with handmade paper about 6 months ago. I filled it up with various drawings and illustrations, then carefully cut out most of the pages as final artwork. After realizing I didn't want to have the book sitting around, its remaining pages full of subject studies that will never see the inside of a frame and matte, I decided to cut out the remaining "useless" work and re-bind the book. It had sentimental value and it marked a key stage in my career so I was determined to continue using it.

Well, I'm not a book artist so my first two attempts at re-binding the book were horrible. The vision was there, the craft was not! Not only did the unstable result have a fraction of the pages I would normally need, it was uncomfortable to use. The only good thing about it was the accordion pocket I made and secured to the inside back cover, filled with various types of paper. And that's when my "a-ha!" moment occurred.

Since I really liked the dimensions of the original book (roughly 9" x 6"), which made it comfortable for me to keep in a bag or in my car, I decided to only fill it with accordion pockets. This way, I could fill one pocket with different kinds of paper for drawing and writing, and fill the other pocket with "found stuff" like cut out photos, labels, etc. Gone were the feelings of uncertainty when handling my journal; now, I could get the most use and fun out of the journal! Anyway, here are some photos:


The cover in all its glory. It has a nice handmade/textured feel to it...




The journal opened, with paper slid out of the back pocket. The papers I have in there now are newsprint, Strathmore drawing paper, regular notebook paper, paper with the texture of packing paper, and some smooth paper from an older journal...




A different angle of the pockets with some found items and experiments. I can't wait to start drawing on the front of the outside pocket...




This is the first page from the original journal, cut out and adhered to the inside cover. It started as a "table of contents", then became a montage of words and thoughts to include my favorite definition of illustration from the book "FINGERPRINT, The art of using handmade elements in graphic design" by Chen Design Associates...

"The visual communication of an idea or an object is executed, at least in part, by someone with exemplary powers of observation - and the ability to translate those observations into meaningful hand-articulated forms."




I think what I love most about this new journal is that when I use all the paper I just refill the pockets, keeping select older pages for future reference.

4 comments:

lyn said...

Welcome to EDM! Looks as if you already journal. Its fun to see what other artists are up to, I think you'll enjoy the group.

laureline said...

I can't read the text on your posts at all! There's so little value contrast between the brown background and the blue (?) text that it just isn't appearing on my monitor. I'm very interested in the work you've shown and would love to read what you've said!

Joe said...

Laureline, I'm working on fixing that problem...thanks for the heads up.

Joe said...

Thanks lyn! Yeah, journals are great...especially when they're custom/altered books.