Actually DOING The Sketchbook Project

by LP

After no less than three posts on the preparations, on to The Actual Process! 😀

After making a couple of zines and a lot of trial and error, I have found a way of working that uh, works for me. From August to January, I made a list of things that I think define me right now. Some letters were easier than others, and some letters had multiple entries, but it all worked out in the end. In this blog post I boldly proclaimed that I wasn’t going to use text, but that soon turned out impossible. I can’t do without words apparently. Which is why they’re under “W”.

I drew 38 squares (34 pages plus inside/outside front & back) and wrote down what goes where. This is the only way for me to make sure that 1) I don’t make a calculating mistake and 2) know where I am at any given point in the process, because (like with writing) I don’t start at the beginning and work my way through the end. I jump from one page to the next, depending on the topic and the materials at hand.

The first thing I did was the cover, which I later realized I should have done last, you know, to keep it wear and tear free. Oh well, something to keep in mind for next time. The biggest problem I had is the paper creasing and scrunching up because of the glue. The glue stick was the worst, but even with the mod podge, some combinations of paper just didn’t want to be friends. Putting them under a pile of heavy books (Norton Anthology of English and American Literature 1 and 2 FTW!) did help a bit. There’s one page that’s still all crinkly and it hurts my heart, but I’m just going to pretend it was supposed to be that way.

Another problem I had, was that the sketchbook is thin and ink bleeds through like whoa. I solved this by buying 8 more rolls of Japanese masking tape, and wrote on that. It was my first time working with masking tape and I must say: it rules. I understand why people are so crazy about it. What also rules, is this fabric-like paper. It’s HELL to glue (I needed both hands and my mouth!) because it’s really thin and has a tendency to tear, but the texture is AWESOME.

Protip: if you’re planning on using photos, make sure you get two prints of each and that you check the prints before you leave the store. That will save you heaps of misery later on. Oh, and use photo tape, not glue.

Regarding the content: the hardest page was the “R”, about my cat Rood who died in june 2011, but it did turn out like I wanted it. There was one page I just wasn’t happy with, I redid it and it turned out exactly as I had imagined it. Which felt really awesome, because with my limited artistic abilities I hardly ever get things the way I want them. And fixing things usually makes them worse, but in this case it worked. Yay!

Usually when I write/create something, there’s several points at which I get enormously frustrated and start yelling that I QUIT. I did get a little frustrated at the beginning, when the cover took way more time than I expected and I had some glue and tape problems, but after that, everything went smoothly. So all in all, it was a great experience and I’m really looking forward to doing this again!

I posted some more pictures of the process here, will keep you up to date on where the sketchbook is and will link it as soon as it’s been scanned and uploaded onto my Sketchbook Project page!