I was just thinking about the sketchbooks I keep.
For the past decade, I’ve really favored plain black spiralbound hardcovers with cream drawing paper. I love them. The best is the Strathmore Field Drawing book. I usually stick to the 9×12 or 7×10 size.
When I crack open a fresh one, I first do the following:
1. Take a full-page Avery label and affix it to the inside covers. (Two for the 9×12, one cut in half for the 7×10). That is where the table of contents will live.
2. Write my contact information and some kind of threat for nonreturn on the back label.
3. Decorate the cover. If I don’t designate one side over the other, I will repeatedly open it the wrong way and get all angry. This usually involves stickers.
4. Number as many of the pages as I can before I get bored (will continue as I fill it up).
Occasionally I deviate. Sometimes a hardbound book, one with stuff on the cover already, yadda yadda.
Anyway here are two of my favorite recent covers:
The book I am currently using already had a purdy cover. An impulse buy at B&N – chatting birdies! – but I kind of regret it now. The book is nice enough, but I really miss the spirals.. Being able to fold the book entirely around and have it stay open is key! I tend to flip back and forth a lot, and I fear that perforated pages will break off and fall out. Earlier this summer I started taping in all these old papers and things I’d been saving, and I ended up having to rip out a lot of pages at the back so the book would even close (spirals have a little more give). I do like the ribbon bookmark. This thing has way too many pages for me to finish it by the end of the year, and I kind of just want it over with. Clearly I need to get cracking on some drawing to get it out of my bag and onto my shelf.