A few folks have asked me why I haven’t blogged any scans of my notebooks recently.
A few reasons:
1) When I was working a day job, notebooks used to be my primary output — I wrote and drew in them constantly, and since I had a lot of material to choose from, I posted quite frequently. Now that I work in my own studio, a lot of my sketching and writing happens on loose-leaf paper or in legal pads, etc., and those tend to get spread all over the place
2) I got very grumpy in the past couple of years about “Moleskine worship”—that thing online where people only post these perfect drawings from their sketchbooks, as opposed to showing their mind in messy motion, thinking on the page. (I talked a bit about this in my Creative Mornings talk.)
3) As I’ve gained a wider audience for my work, my notebooks have become (as they should’ve always been) private spaces where I go to think on the page. My notebooks are shitholes where I go to dump my brains out, say things I wouldn’t even say out loud to my wife, places to find what I’m looking for, find out what I know. They aren’t pretty.
All that said, I want to show my work, of course, so I was leafing through my travel notebook recently, and picked some pages to scan.
Oh and because I know people will ask: I use a large Moleskine sketchbook because it has heavy bristol-like pages that don’t tear, it’s big enough to stick a boarding pass in the pages, and it has an envelope flap in the back for travel receipts. I do a lot of scrapbooking, so I carry transparent tape, Japanese Washi tape that my wife gave me, and a pair of safety scissors (TSA says under 4 inches is okay).
I doodle a lot and collage clippings from newspapers.
If I’m doing some sightseeing, I like to grab hotel maps and brochures and draw over them.
Sometimes I’ll map out the talk I’m giving later in the afternoon.
I make a lot of lists — here’s some of what I’ve learned so far on this tour.
Flights are the some of the only times I really get to clear my head. I try to avoid paying for WIFI on planes and just let my mind wander on the page.
Sometimes I just do good ol’ fashioned mind-dump journaling.
This is a page of tests from a stamp to help with stock signings.
This is a newspaper collage and doodles from a radio interview.
My notebooks from the Steal Across America tour are much cooler, IMO.