This is my Creative Journal. I like having the zipper binder so that all the goodies inside do not fall out. I keep sticky notes and scrap paper in the small pocket for quick notes. I also keep pens and pencils, erasers and pencil sharpeners in there.
In the back I have a nice pile of page protectors, graph paper, loose paper and spare pocket folders in case I need them. Sometimes I punch computer paper and keep it in there for a quick sketch. Because the zipper contains so well, I have learned to keep a small sketchbook in there instead. If I end up using a sketch, I pull it out of my sketchbook and file it with the project.
You can get all kinds of dividers. I prefer the clear pocket dividers because you can see through them. They are thick enough to hold the sales catalogs from art suppliers and sturdy enough to hold canvas panels if I decide to keep them in there.
In my project section, I keep printouts of referances, progress pictures, notations and anything pertaining to the project. Having Document protectors comes in handy for flat stuff. I can punch holes in gallon size freezer bags to hold ojbects that won't fit in a document protector or pocket divider.
The sections I have in my journal are:
Business info - For business information I pull out of magazines or print out from the web.
Journal - I jot down conversations, stories, the occasional deep thought, or even the shallow thoughts here that pertain to my art.
Creative ideas - Magazine clippings of pretty pictures, scribbles, ideas for paintings, possible painting titles, possible series ideas and ideas to jumpstart creativity.
Dry media - Documentation of Drawings and dry media projects.
Oil Paintings - Documentation of oil painting projects.
In my documentation I include a sheet of the facts, a log sheet of my time and progress and a sheet of my personal analysis.
The Log Sheet
I just recently added this and its still in testing to see if I will continue. This is to give me an idea of how much time I spend on a project and will help me break down how much time goes into prep work, etc. I will probably use this more if I ever do a comission. For now, I am mostly using it to build good habits.
What did I do well?
What did I do wrong?
What did I learn?
What would I do differently?
What did I do differently on this painting than others?
Why did I paint this?
Symbolism used (if any)
Where is the egg? (I just recently added this question.)
The nice thing about using the 3-ring binder is that I can always add and subtract the contents. I know there are lots of computer methods to achieve the same thing, but there is something kind of inspiring to see my own handwriting. I can tell if it was a good day or bad by the loops in my letters. It is kind of nice to sit down with a cup of coffee and browse through the old ideas or jot down a new one. On those not so good days, I can go through my finished project section and see light at the end of the tunnel. There is also a sense of accomplishment when I document all the thought time and effort I put into a project. It reminds me that this is not just a silly little toy I play with, this is my passion.
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