Open Your Books…

As the holidays draw closer, I’ve been trying to get a clean start of things.  Get on top again, get my mind sorted out, and move forward with clean, clear steps.

I’ve been loving these little tiny sketchbooks lately.  Although Moleskines are my standard faves, these Ranger Dylusions are fun because of their shape, the little pocket inside, and the fact that I can draw on the covers (although the paper inside is meant more for inkwork and stamping, and doesn’t hold up well to much waterwork).  I get the 5″x8″ one, and it’s nice to be able to carry it around and have it with me wherever I go.  The binding even has a spot to hold my pen!

But what seals a sketchbook for me is being able to draw on the cover.  I used to spend countless hours (pre-child) giving meticulous thought and detail to the front cover of a new sketchbook.  I overthought it–I had to be sure it was “exactly right,” as if it determined the future success or failure of the work it would soon have inside.

Now that time is more limited and precious, I’ve had fun letting the daughter draw on them with me.  I start with a roughly-drawn simple face, and she adds the rest.

Like this dragon gathering…

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These cute little girl-gnomes, building robots and taking care of things…

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This amazing xenomorph queen (Myla has a great love of xenomorphs and their whole lifecycle, although she’s never seen the movie) with mutant aliens, a chestburster, and facehugger…

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And this fantastic little Harry Potter, complete with other little characters from the movies we love so much…

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When I’m really pressed for time and anxious to start a new sketchbook, I turn to my collection of stickers I’ve amassed over the years.  I LOVE stickers!  Friends send them, I have some of our own artwork.  I even got a giant grab bag of mixed retro stickers from a seller on Etsy once.

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Sometimes I cover the backs, because they make me smile…

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Here’s a glance of the insides, with the pocket, and the spot for the pen that is my favorite feature…

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And to look at them makes me smile.

I hear from people all the time, such humbling stories about the struggle of finally getting back into art after a long dry spell, especially after having a child.  Maybe it’s not drawing, maybe it’s sculpting, or sewing, or music, or dance.

Whatever it is, maybe it’s time to start fresh.  Maybe you don’t have to start at the new year–resolutions can happen today.  Open a new book and fill the cover with pretty things that invite you in every time you look at it!  And if you do, share it with others, because in my experience, sharing helps.  Sharing makes people feel connected, even from miles away.

And here’s to the hopes for a wonderful new year–a new, beautiful blank book for each of you to start decorating…

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