Less of an art journal and more of a sketchbook, to be honest

When I previously shared my art journal, I had a really insightful comment from a friend that poked at the differences between an art journal and a sketchbook. It took me a while to get a hang of art journaling for the same reason it confused my friend a bit–because each page seems to be it’s own full piece, a finished work of art (whether it’s actually good art or not, that’s another story for sure), so why not just keep it separate on the off chance that it turns out okay? I mean, it’s all just actually practice and brainstorming, really, and I’ve learned that it’s okay to cut out pieces I’m particularly fond of if I want to frame this (namely, and so far exclusively, this one). Still, though I kind of missed the freedom of small elements, of just one practice messy scribble on a page without feeling like I was ‘wasting’ it, however dumb that sounds. I picked up this sketchbook at Barnes & Nobles. It had a few things going for it–it was cheap as all get out, the pages were soft and lay flat easily, and the book was a nice big size.

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It was the first time I’ve picked up pencil in a long time and I had a lot of fun seeing what new things my brain was coming up with to draw out. A lot of the pages in here are just practicing different types of faces and lines and rocks. I drew a lot of rocks in here–it was where I brainstormed for David’s dad’s christmas present. It was also very journal-y in nature, and knowing what to look for, it’s pretty easy to track my mood swings throughout it. Also I used it to brainstorm for all sorts of things, including where the furniture was going to go in my new apartment.

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I’ve been working in this book on and off for almost a solid year and it’s at the point where it only has about five pages left. I know it’s silly but I’ve always liked the idea of leaving some blank pages at the ends of my journals and sketchbooks,  just on the off chance that I want to go back in and add some notes or last ideas. This book has managed to turn into its own meta-to-do list of sorts, with different pages being different projects. For the girl with the feather, I want to make a digital print of her as practice for my tablet, and I think the rock on page would look cool if I turned it into a background for my phone. It’s nice having a book like this–whenever I feel like I’m running out of projects to work on I just flip through it again and find some new ideas. They usually go through a few transformations before they’re finished, but that’s how it’s supposed to work. It also has the very beginnings of bigger projects, like the video game David and I are working on, with sketches for characters and backgrounds.

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