|Dissatisfaction noted on 8/9/22
Early this year I began a new sketch journaling process
that satisfied several needs: My carry-everywhere Field Notes notebook became a
receptacle for not only my usual memos, lists, ephemera and written
observations but also my casual, fitness-walking sketches. Calling it my
“whatever” journal, it became an ideal catch-all for skyscapitos, my 100-Day
Project sketches and my 30-day challenge compositional studies.
I loved the chronological continuity of things I recorded daily, either
visually or with words, all in one book – something I had been wanting to do
for a long time but never got the habit to “stick.” Finally, it was very
satisfying to fill a 48-page pocket-size notebook in a couple of weeks and then
move on to a fresh one.
I happily kept up my whatever journal from January through mid-July – and then everything turned Ugly.
|Ahhh... so much Ugliness!
I don’t want to sing the praises of Uglybooks too highly; after all, they’re just stapled paper notebooks. How about if I just say that they have changed my life? As soon as I discovered them and started using a few of the brightly colored, 80-pound interior pages, I knew I couldn’t go back to sketching on white, 60-pound paper again. Like the red Field Notes Sweet Tooth books, which changed my whole perspective of toned paper, Uglybooks are everything I have always wanted in a pocket-size sketchbook – with even heavier paper than Sweet Tooth and slightly larger, too! And in more colors!
In fact, Uglybooks are so thin and light that I can carry a white one along with a colored one even in my small, fitness-walking bag (because you never know when you’ll be in the mood for color on the page or whether black and white are just right).
|Sketcher's eye view of my small fitness walking bag's contents. Uglybooks are slim enough that I can carry two at a time.
Initially, I tried using Uglybooks for my “whatever” process by writing notes and observations on the same page as sketches, just as I did with Field Notes. But with seven books currently in rotation (How could I possibly use only one color at a time? That’s a rhetorical question), the chronological continuity of a daily journal was instantly lost.
|Seven Uglybooks currently in rotation! A showcase for two new stickers: Gabi Campanario's publishing company (bottom row, center) and an adorable mouse from Anne (bottom row, right). Other stickers credited in my 8/1/22 post.
After Uglybooks came into my life, I continued to make a few half-hearted sketches in the whatever journal I was carrying, just to see how that felt. My disappointment was noted right on the same page (top of post).
|Logo-drawing practice while waiting
for my takeout order.
|Diagram of a yoga studio's layout
that I was describing to someone.
It was nice while it lasted, but I guess I wasn’t meant to have a chronologically continuous sketch journal, no matter how much the concept appeals to me. Paper – its weight, color and size – matters to me. Especially when the paper is Ugly.