I’ve always loved sketch journals. Besides the sketches themselves, there’s a wealth of other stuff on the page to consider and enjoy: The writing often expresses personal viewpoints and feelings. Even mundane stuff comes alive just from the act of recording it. Sketch-collaging pages creates rhythm and emphasis that makes each page unique in flavor and in layout.
So why don’t I sketch-journal more? I think it’s because I’ve come to think of journaling as requiring the kind of patience I don’t have and to be about carefully built up pages, with exquisite calligraphy.
But then I did this page to record a big boo-boo last month and thought “that’s a journal page”. And I’m so glad it lives in my sketchbook and holds memories of that pretty disastrous and almost funny event. ( And maybe it’s funny only to me, because I wasn’t the one who spent 3 hours on cleanup!)
And that kinda changed what I thought of the process: there’s no fancy calligraphy on the page, just my regular writing. It was super quick to do. Plus, I got to record a whole bunch of stuff in little bits: my husband cleaning up the mess, and a closeup of the beautiful beets I was roasting, before I threw away the shard-covered beauties. Plus. some very important information and advice for all of you. (See the double-underlined DO NOT?)
So I’ve been doing more of these journal-style spreads and finding that they fit very well into my current schedule where I can work on the pages in little breaks throughout my day. I’m also finding that I am relooking at everyday stuff and recording it. And doing this makes me pay more attention to it.
Here’s a spread that started with a little vignette at San Jose State University with visiting urban sketcher, Joel Winstead. I then added my cup of chai and a mail in election ballot ( Please, please vote on November 6th!) later in the day. And then some thoughts on color choices in my current palette.
Here are some more pages…
I’m hoping to keep doing more of this and record more everyday stuff in my sketchbooks. And I have lots to look at for inspiration.
Among my favorite keepers of journals are Cathy Johnson, Brenda Swenson, Liz Steel, Nina Khaschina and Gay Kraeger. Some of them call what they do journaling, some don’t. But the all share the idea of recording information in both words and sketches on a page.