Designing A Sketchbook Cover

10:54 AM

Exploring Ideas
Building a sketchbook, or modifying one I've purchased, is part of the fun when I'm planning a trip like Paris 2018. (Wanna come to Paris, too? Click the link!) After all, why wait until the month before we leave to start playing with our art supplies? I'm ready to go now, but since that isn't possible, I can start preparing.

The system I used when I went to Acadia National Park was one of the most successful systems I've used for travel. (You can read about it here.) It involves creating a leather cover and signatures of the pages separately. The signatures are held in the leather cover via elastic bands like a Midori Traveler's Notebook. Once the trip and pages are complete, everything is bound into a permanent book with a nice cover if I choose or I can leave them in the leather cover.
Second Arrangement
I liked the system because I have a lot of flexibility to change the order of the pages and the ability to add in a page if I needed. It also saved a lot of wear and tear on what would be the final cover. One of the other BIG reasons I like doing it this way is a little scary to mention, but this is it—if I should lose my sketchbook or it became damaged, chances are good I would only lose the pages currently in the sketchbook because I won't carry all the completed sections with me each day I'm in exploring Paris.

In the images above, I have stamped out a variety of stamps on paper and then cut them out so I can arrange them in a bazillion ways on top of the paper that represents the overall size of my sketchbook. Until I find the combination and layout I want, I'll continue to push the pieces around.  

Once I discover the winning combination for the leather cover, I will use permanent ink to stamp them onto the leather and I'll share that part of the process with you in case you're interested in building your own system.

Since the trip is still ten months out, I have plenty of time to explore these ideas and make the sketchbook. If I was boarding a plane next week, I'd be going in a completely different direction with either a book I've already made or altering the cover of a purchased sketchbook.

Do you prefer to make your own sketchbook or do you use one you've purchased?

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5 Creative Thought(s)

  1. What fun! I usually prefer to make my own sketchbook, but I’ve done both. And I’ve never made such a trip-specific cover in advance, but I love the idea. Also of the flexibility you’re proposing.

    1. The flexibility is what makes it worth it, Cheryl. I don't usually make my covers location specific, but I'm hoping to go back to Paris more than once and decided to make a dedicated cover. Of course, this is also presuming it works out the way I have the cover envisioned!

  2. Oooooh I am so jealous and soooo lazy! My journals are the ready-made type, but your ideas are wonderful. I urge your readers who are planning a trip where they hope to be sketching, to check the Urban Sketchers home page and to click on the map. I met a colleague in Turkey this way and the meeting made our trip all the more wonderful.

    1. Thank you, Lee! I'm sure we'll be contacting the Urban Sketchers. Thank you for the suggestion.

  3. Dear Laure - I have never made my own journal but you are certainly inspiring me. Love seeing how your cover is being created. Take care and have a great Thanksgiving. Hugs!


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