“This Little Fella” is just too darn adorable. Once I finish with this drawing I’m definitely doing another one. I can’t seem to get enough of cute tree frogs right now. They bring a smile to my face which is sorely needed in these times. I’m almost finished with the background for this. I hope that you can tell that they’re leaves surrounding the frog. If not, then hopefully it looks like some kind of decorative design.
Today I just want to take a brief moment to share my growing line of illustrated handmade pocket journals.
This year has been a bit of a surprise for me. I can’t say I ever intended to get into bookbinding and making journals, it has all happened rather organically. Back in January when I found myself deep in a rabbit hole of YouTube bookbinding videos I thought I was just going through a phase. Sometimes things pique my interest for a brief moment and then I’m on to something else. I just knew for sure after I went through the trouble of making my first set of journals, that would be it. It wasn’t an easy process and I was a bit exasperated after a month of toiling through the specifics. I figured, okay, I’m not doing that again. But I knew it I was ordering PVA glue, bone folders, clamps and looking at book presses. Now here I am, eight months later and I’m up to four journals, which are all available here at my online store. What I thought would be a brief curiosity has now become a companion passion to my drawing. And here I thought I was getting too old to learn anything new. Okay, technically I’m not that old (47) but society can really do a number on ya and have you thinking that once you get past 40 life is pretty much over for you. Here’s to teaching old dogs/cats new tricks. 🙂
I’m finally finished with this piece. It’s taken a minute due to dealing with some health issues but I’m feeling much better now. I have to say this drawing was initially an experiment for me. What interested me in doing this was a curiosity sparked by looking at images of the egret’s white form against the background of a blue sky. I became curious to know if I could make a drawing much in the same way as an silhouette illustration but instead of doing the subject matter in all black like a silhouette, I wondered if I could do the background in all black and leave the subject white. I guess that would be a reverse silhouette, if there’s such a thing. And for the most part that is what I ended up creating. I’m pleased with the end result. There’s some shading to the beak, legs and eye area of the egret along with the tops of the cattails but everything else is just white. I really like the simplicity of this drawing and how I did try to add much detail to it. A former art instructor once told me that I have a habit of trying to add in too many details and that it’s okay to leave things out. It’s like how when you first get into drawing and you try to draw every strand of hair on a person’s head. It’s exhausting and unnecessary. Doing this piece took me back to my early art instruction and reminded me that a drawing doesn’t need to be overly complex in order to be appealing and interesting. You just have to figure out what to leave in and what the drawing can do without. 🙂
Well, I said I was going to make some prints and possibly a journal from my recent “Moon and Stars” mandala drawing, and so I’ve done exactly that. Getting the prints done wasn’t much of a fuss but the journal…that’s a different story. Trying to come up with a decent placement of the design on the cover took a lot of trial and error. At first I went with the whole mandala design on the front cover but I really didn’t like how it appeared, it looked too small and uninteresting. So I went with this idea of spanning the design across the front and back cover, which it turned out, to be far more appealing to me, so I stuck with it. Going into this I figured I would probably have to make this particular journal a little bigger than my pocket journals due to the cover design. It’s 5 x 6.75 where my pocket journals are 3.5 x 5.5, so you can squeeze in a bit more writing with this one. Also with this journal I did something a little different, instead of using blank paper for the inside pages, I went with lined pages. To achieve this I had to dig into some of my old graphic design skills and create a lined page template in Adobe Illustrator. Like my pocket journals, this one also has 32 pages, my little saddle stapler can’t staple more than 20 pages at a time and with cardstock added into that, I have to take out four pages, otherwise the staples get all jammed. So 32 pages is the most I can put in for now. In all the prints and journals came out really well, I even made of few journals for myself. 🙂
My little pocket journal line is gradually growing. Over the past week I made my second set of the three journal items I’ve made so far which I started back in January. This latest one is called the “Maybe Unfold” blank pocket journal set. It’s a two journal set with illustrated cover art reproduced from two drawings I did back in 2018 titled “Maybe” and “Unfold”, hence the title “Maybe Unfold”. I really couldn’t come up with a more snazzy name than that and truthfully, I just like to stick to the titles that I used for the original works. My other journals are the “Buddha Tao” blank pocket journal set and the “Koi” blank pocket journal. I’m striving to see if I can get a line of 10 before the end of the year. If you got any wonderful suggests for cover art ideas feel free to share them in the comments.
On another note, I’m still inking away on my “Moon and Stars” mandala. Actually I’m getting close to finishing. Once I’m finished I plan on making prints and possibly some journals, but that’s if the test runs turn out good. I’ve been a little slow on getting this done partly because it’s really been my stress reliever through these past two months so I haven’t been in much of a hurry to complete it too soon. But I have another mandala to get started on, so I need to go ahead and finish this one up. I don’t like to linger on one piece for too long other wise it just gets harder for me to finish and I don’t like leaving things unfinished.