Saturday 17 June 2023

How starting an illustrated journal helped me to notice things

I started a new journal in February this year, and I always knew that I wanted to make it an illustrated journal. I've written in more detail about how I use my journal here, but essentially it's a record of what I've been doing, places that I've visited, and what's on my mind at the time. I'm currently using a very simple Amazon Basics plain notebook (affiliate link), it's not a perfect watercolour paper but I like the way that my writing and drawing pens flow on the page, and as long as I don't add too much paint or water it's fine for simple sketches.

I like breaking the writing up with little pictures, I don't claim to be a great artist but my simple sketches are a way of recording something which was important to me at the time. Most of them only took 5-10 minutes which is exactly what I want as it needs to be a quick process.

Simple sketches from illustrated journal

I'm hoping that as I practice I'll get better and find it easier, and ultimately be able to take my journal out and about with me and illustrate it while I'm on the go! Especially for a travel journal, as I never get to sit still for very long when we are visiting somewhere. 

Since I started the journal, when I'm out and about I'm always on the lookout for something interesting to draw. I have a few regular walking and running routes near our house, and I've found myself noticing things that I never previously paid any attention to. For example the George V postbox in a brick and flint pillar which I've been obsessed with recently, I've drawn it loads of times but it always comes out a bit wonky!

I also noticed a little footpath down the side of a row of houses with a 'Private' sign on the gate and it has fascinated me, although I'm sure it only goes to the garden at the back of the house. I spotted an interesting gate in a wall that I pass on my walk over to the school, and the other day I was waiting in the shop for a pizza and I noticed a beautiful old church window framed by some modern houses. I've found myself snapping quick photos of all sorts of things and then hurrying home to attempt a vague reproduction in my journal! It's definitely helped me to notice more of what is going on around me.

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