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Another Month another Artist's Toolbox.

This time I'm pulling something rather more personal out of my arsenal of tools which is my own individual way of dealing with the infuriating issue of

I want to draw... but I don't know what.



There are a number of ways people go around dealing with this issue. Just doodling til something pops out. Working on a list of prompts. Asking people to help give them ideas. Doing an entry for a contest.... there are lots of ways of going about finding something to draw.


EH = Ernest Hemmingway


My own personal way of dealing with it, makes use of the opposite problem.

I have loads of ideas! But I have to go to bed/have no time/paper/drawing equipment.



When I have lots of ideas, as is common for me before I'm about to go to bed, or when I'm supposed to be doing something else, I write it down in my magical sparkly kitty book, AKA my Artist Journal. If I just shrug and go "I'll draw that later" I'll forget the idea and so when I do have time to draw, I'm back to the original problem of "I want to draw, but I don't know what."



A Journal is nothing special. It's just a book. The book I use was a gift from a friend, but it has lines inside and I'm not much of a writer, but it became the perfect vessel for a Journal. It's a beautiful book. It's got a little magnetic flap which discourages other people from opening it keeping my ideas private, it's the right size to transport around with me in my bag and not weigh too much, but have plenty of paper so I don't run out.

I like to think of it as my Henry Jones Senior book that perhaps one day will lead to my own personal Holy Grail


Stickman Indiana Jones saving my Journal from the bad guys.

Every idea I have goes down in this book. Usually just in a list. The good ideas, and the bad ones, but I write it down anyway. Unless I choose to show people this book will never be read by anyone so there's nothing to be embarrassed about.



And later when I have time to draw and I open the journal to find an idea, I just draw the good ideas. The bad ideas will forever be hidden away. ((And if an idea is too embarrassing even for me to read, I stick a picture over the top of it from an artist I like, that way I have something inspiring to look at and not have to read my bad idea every time I open my book.))


Doll by Marina-B

I have also dumped a number of quotes I find inspiring, interesting, or just funny, into my journal. This is something I like to do because I see a lot of amazing quotes from amazing people shared on the internet and this way I get to see them over and over again to continue to inspire me.



I would always recommend keeping a journal or inspiration book to anyone who is an artist. My book is never out of my reach, it goes in my handbag everywhere (even when I can't take a sketchbook) and that way no idea passes me by just because I forgot it later. I can also say I have not been without an idea since I started keeping it, because my ideas are always to hand, even if I can't remember them.



If you want to start your own journal, just get a book and start putting things in it. Do whatever comes naturally to you. If you want to write it in prose, do prose. If you want to stick a bunch of pictures from the internet or a magazine in there, do that! If you want to write long lists like I do, do that. Dream places to go visit, or maybe places you're going to soon and want to remember what you wanted to see when you got there.



The book you use doesn't have to be as fancy as mine, I personally like using a fancy book so it's very pretty and decorative sat on my desk, but you could use a plain book, or one you go out shopping especially for, whatever suits your tastes. (Or if you're like me and your friends and family always buy you tonnes of empty books for your birthday because you're an artist then you'll have plenty to choose from!)

I hope this article has encouraged you to perhaps start a journal, or if you already keep one I'd love to know how that works for you.

The journal isn't for everyone, but it certainly works for me.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the rest of the Artist's Toolbox week coming up at :devprojecreducate:






It appears somehow I managed to deny comments on this journal... Oops... I fixed it now though.
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:iconkampfly:
kampfly Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
I like! And I love the end quote, lol :D
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yes sometimes quotes are thoughtful and sometimes they're just random and fun. William Gibson FTW
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:iconlightbleueyes:
lightbleueyes Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Student General Artist
I always keep journals like this! :) Except I call it my "Idea Journal"! xD
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
Mine is actually titled "My Henry Jones Senior Journal of Epic Ideas" but that didn't make such a good title for an article. XD
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:iconlightbleueyes:
lightbleueyes Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Student General Artist
xD Epic Name! :P
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
yeah I had the idea while watching Indiana Jones where they're fighting over Indiana's dad's journal of lifes ideas about the Holy Grail and I was like "omg I could do that for art"

Thank you pop culture..
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:iconlightbleueyes:
lightbleueyes Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Student General Artist
Awesome! ^^ I always love those mysterious notebooks in movies! xD I don't know why, but they just look awesome! xD
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
I always get jealous of other people's sketchbooks... I think they look better and more interesting than mine.

But then they're probably thinking the same about my sketchbook. The grass is always greener on the other side and all.
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:iconlightbleueyes:
lightbleueyes Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Student General Artist
Same! Everybody thinks badly of their own work.
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
It's not the work specifically it's more that "omg their sketchbook looks so lovely, all the sketches sit nicely and the notes are so pretty" and my sketchbook is just a mess XD the drawings I like, collected into a book it's a bit like "darn what a shitty book" XD
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