Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Allround Book (a journal)

In January I started a brand new journal. I had just finished my previous one which was a solely written notebook (which is also why I haven't shown you any of it on this blog). However after a few months of only writing I really started to miss my regular journals where I just throw everything together and I decided to do something completely opposite, namely put everything I was doing in just one book. My morning art, my reading log, my writing, my photographs, my regular art, etc. My idea was to simply fill a book with everything expressive I was doing and not use any other books during that time. I decided to call it the Allround Book.

I chose a Seawhite of Brighton sketchbook of about 8x8 inches (20x20 cm) for this, because if there's any sketchbook that I see as allround it's that one. It has the most forgiving paper for just about any kind of media and I figured that would be perfect for my purpose.

The book itself is quite plain in black, so I decorated the covers to make it look more fun. For this I used images from the calendar I had for 2016 which featured a lot of lovely painted cats.

As I am writing this post the book (almost 200 pages!) is almost full and I love it very much. But...my experiment soon became a bit of a failure. It turns out I do the things I do because I like them that way (different books for different purposes) and if I try to change my approach it just doesn't work. So within a week I was already longing for my other sketchbooks and also doing my reading log in this book didn't feel right, mostly because the 'book reports' got lost between the rest of the journal. In the end the only thing that I kept doing in this book, besides journaling that is, was my morning art. But after this book is full I will separate that from the journal again as well. In short: the experiment will not be continued.

But...the book is absolutely wonderful and I feel totally at home in it and will be sorry to close it when it's full. I have that oldfashioned pleasurable feeling again of a steady companion in journal form that holds my life for future reference and current focus.

So here are some spreads from this journal for your viewing pleasure. Naturally I am only showing a small selection just to give an idea of what it looks like. 

The only drawings/art you see are from my morning art practice. In general my journals are not art journals, they are written journals with sometimes  bit of a layout or most often just added pictures and everyday ephemera. And that, as it turns out, is exactly how I like them.

Some of the spreads above are part of the travel journal I kept during my vacation to Schiermonnikoog. This is also a thing I will not do again. I like my travel journals to be separate from my regular journals so they are a special keepsake from a trip. Now, like the book log, my travel pages feel 'lost' in between the rest.

It's all a matter of personal preference of course. As much as I like the idea of one book for everything it's just not working for me. It's good to have tried it though just to feel more at peace with my own approach. Every now and then you have to try something different just to see if it's time for a change. Turns out it wasn't.

Hope you enjoyed this peek into my current journal and wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!