I've been spending a lot of time working on my journal for The Sketchbook Project. My theme is "Lines and Grids". I don't remember when I've had so much fun with small-format collage art.
I know there's been some controversy about the quality of the moleskein journals which were sent out for this project: the binding is simplistic; the paper inside the journal is lightweight and too flimsy for wet media; and worst of all, the pages are perforated, thereby nearly assuring that they will wish to exit the book at some point in the lifetime of the journal.
I took these properties as challenges, rather than viewing them as "problems", feeling that my task as an artist was not only to create my own interpretation of my chosen theme, but also to make sure the book is archival. This is, after all, a public library that's funding this amazing project, and libraries aren't generally known for possessing extravagant budgets.
With that in mind, I've been reinforcing the binding and covering the perforations by adhering a strip of fabric or paper directly over them, right down the middle of the spine between each 2-page spread. It gives me an excellent opportunity to bring together artistically both sides of the spread, which has always been one of my goals, anyway.
I've been using only original images- in the form of sketching, stamping and screening- to create each page seperately and then I collage them into the book.
The collages contain both fabric and paper, as well as random materials like dryer sheets and deli paper.
Because of the bulk created by making collages- sometimes on heavy substrates like watercolor paper, cardboard or quilt remnants- and then adhering them directly to the pages of the journal, I've had to sacrifice a few of the forty pages offered to us by gluing some of them together. I really hate to waste any of the paper, but this method has the benefit of adding strength (and hopefully, longevity) to the pages.
I have a few more 2-page spreads to finish, but for the rest of this week, my journal is going away so I can work on a few other things. Happy creating!