A Finished Art Journal

Earlier this week, I completed the final spread in a sketchbook.  It took me about 6 months to fill the book, though I wasn’t working exclusively in the same book during that time. It’s so fun for me to look back through my sketchbook and rediscover the pages I love.  It’s very much like a visual journal because the feelings I was experiencing while I drew or painted each spread come flooding back to my mind as I look at them: pages are dedicated to influential people who passed away over the last few months (and goodness, it seems like there have been so many!) such as Harper Lee; the page I made the day of the Paris terrorist attack; and the one I made the day we discovered we are expecting a miracle baby (ps–IT’S A GIRL!).  As I flip back through my sketchbook, it’s like I’m flipping back through time.

Over the past couple of years, as I have been working daily in a sketchbook, I’ve discovered that I love this size.  It’s the perfect amount of space to do the work that I love to do, which is filling entirely a two-page spread with color and/or inspiring words.  I have a larger sketchbook that I’ve all but given up working in because it’s just too big.  I don’t enjoy feeling the need to fill that entire space.

The paper in this particular book was a little too thin, but in instances where pens, paint, etc. bled through to the other side, I just glued two pages together (the pages where glue was applied were blank) to make them thicker.  It worked well and I didn’t feel the need to work in a different book, but when I filled the sketchbook, I purchased this moleskin with mixed media paper for my next sketchbook. The pages are much thicker and can handle a lot more abuse without bleeding (huh…that sounded a little cruel).  They are not good for very wet watercolor, but can handle some watercolor without issues.

It’s so interesting to me to see the progression my work has taken over these past few months. I can see the seasons change from fall (when I started the book) to winter and spring in the themes and colors I used on my spreads.  It includes everything from collage and geometric patterns to florals and lettering. I can look back and see the benefits of a daily practice.  Improvements in skills take time, but with dedication and specific goals, progress is definitely made.  I love that I have this record of the many hours I’ve put into my goals.

Follow along on Instagram as I share my daily pages.