Running Ink

So I was messing around in the Moleskine over the weekend. I had a few off cuts to slap on the page.

I slapped a little minty green I watercolor I mixed up around the edges. It wasn’t enough.

This blue acrylic ink is such a beautiful color. I dumped a couple of drops on the page using the dropper, and held the book vertical for it to run down the page a bit. Meh. Setting the book down the book mark flopped into the wet ink. Well ok, if that’s going to happen, let’s make it more intentional. Not as meh. Grabbed Poppy’s pen from the jar and dragged the dry nib out from the wet ink. Delightful movement.

Then I saw them, running down the hill with joy—hair streaming behind. Amazingly upright, most likely due to all the legs outstretched.

Secret Notes

Yesterday, the Kenosha Chamber of Commerce had a hybrid meeting, and I zoomed in to find out how to maximize my KCC membership (the topic of the meeting). I filled two sides of a composition page with notes. How to fit it into my Moleskine notebook? Hmmmm…

I think this solution was a bit more fun than just putting the notes in the book. Order out of chaos and mystery to boot. I added “of the KCC” when I thought of my enfeebled brain looking through the book for the notes I took, “where did they goooo????”

Planning my own UX.

Flashback 2006

I’ve come to a decision about my old Moleskine notebooks…I’m tearing them up for use in my new Moleskine and altered book.

There is too much stuff in my life, and I feel too precious about things. With all of the fires here and there, I’ve frequently found myself reflecting on what I would grab and what I would leave. I would leave a lot. Why do I live with a lot? We just accumulate things. I

also find the clutter more distracting than I used to. I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking that I need to get rid of things. I’m angry when I need to clean and there is stuff in the way.

I pulled a Moleskine from 2006-2007 off the shelf and ripped out the pages I like and the rest is gone. These particular pages are not that great, but for what I was creating at the time, they are not too bad.

2006 was 15 years ago—that’s really strange. It feels like it was yesterday.

In an odd twist, the first two spreads of my 2022 Moleskine calendar now feature a tree sketch.

Peace of mind & cohesion of thought.

Personal Project—2022 Planners

Inktober and other fun projects took a back seat this week because a personal project arrived!

Opening this box was like Christmas morning in October. I was so excited for these to arrive!

2022 calendars have been on my mind recently because I receive several wall calendars in the fall, and they are usually accompanied by donation requests.

Still, It occurred to me that a calendar would be a great piece of swag to send my clients as an end-of-the-year thanks. Instead of another wall calendar, though, I thought a planner might be more fun. My business is publishing, after all, and 2020-2021 have been far more digital than print. I’ve been itching for a box of fresh printing to arrive on my doorstep.

I wanted the planner to showcase my design tastes, and the artwork needed to be mine too. I crawled through datebooks and sketchbooks going back to 2006, and pulled some of my favorite pieces. There are a few below. Every month has one or two pieces of art, and there is room for making notes/doodles/to-do lists.

The planner contains my personal and professional brands because it is where my art and my design world meet. Twenty have already shipped with hand-written notes and, yes, a couple of business cards, to my clients from 2021. And some of these will be thank-you gifts to the people who have been so supportive to me as I’ve built Nan Mellem Publishing.

Backfilling the Calendar

I love sketching little doodles from life as I do them. In the summer, however, I barely get a chance to note what is going on much less doodle about it.

I gave myself an hour this afternoon to backfill the calendar with some doodles.

How do I know these are my favorite watercolor pencil colors? They are stubby compared to all the others. The shortest? Orange. I never would have thought orange would be it…not actually my favorite color.