Breaking in the Book
Greetings Taosenas!! I have crafted another little video for you, this time sharing with you how I go from the daunting plain book that many folks lament over ‘messing up’, to the book-bound playground every sketch-journal should be. As I suggested in the last video post, I recommend the Stillman & Birn Alpha series books. But any book will work for this class if the paper will stand up to watercolor. And my process of ‘trickin’ out the book’ so to speak can be used on any book, even the fancy ones. Even if you have a lovely little leatherbound book that someone gave to you as a gift, you can still do things to make it YOURS.
Usually I do collage on my covers as I demonstrate in the video, but anything goes really! If you have a painting practice already, paint something wonderful on the cover of your book! Think about what these books will mean to you over time and choose a quote to place inside the front cover. I call this a ‘Quote of Intention’. It tends to set the tone, which is a nice way to start a new volume. Install a place for ephemera. By ephemera I mean the brochures and business cards you might pick up on your travels, bits of paper and information you might want to glue in later. I often keep handy a few post card stamps to mail things out to friends while on my travels. Pockets are just fun. So put one in your book if you are so inclined! The point is, before you even begin making drawings or playing with your watercolors, HANDLE your book. Make friends with it. Number the pages even! Get the spine cracked. Otherwise it’s just too difficult to get going on those first few pages. Best to give yourself the headstart of a gently altered new book. Over time, as you fill these books up with your drawings, your grocery lists, your thoughts about things, the travels you take, etc, they add up to be a physical indicator of time well spent. You’ll find you focus on positive stuff in your day to day when you have a journaling process, especially one grounded in drawing and painting.
So give yourself some time to play with your new book, to make it into a one of a kind! This video is just over 15 minutes long. But the process of getting the book ready might take a few hours. There’s no wrong or right amount of time to spend. Enjoy! And let me know if you have any questions!!