Tag Archives: pink camo book

The Joy of Crayons

My pink camo book is pretty much my default sketchbook when going anywhere. I have no rules for it: doodling, drawing, gluebooking, whatever. It’s all welcome here. After all, this was bought on a whim and on the cheap. The pages are smooth, not at all like sketchbook paper. Ink takes forever to dry, but it’s a decent surface for gluing.

Pencil on pink camo paper

Most recently, I dragged this old book to Anime USA in Arlington, Virginia, to give me something to do during the slow times in the artists alley. After gluing in assorted remnants from recent trips to Harpers Ferry and the African-American Civil War Memorial and Museum, I opened my convention program and started to draw a couple of the guests in pencil. Since I was doing this specifically to kill time, I felt absolutely none of my usual impulse to rush. One of them in particular came out fairly well:

Pencil on pink camo paper

Last time I went anywhere with this notebook I bemoaned my lack of coloring supplies. A few months ago I took advantage of the start-of-school sales and picked up a 24-count box of Crayola Crayons for a buck. I love coloring, and I love using as many colors as possible in a given picture. Thus, instead of using a realistic color scheme, my next drawing turned into Lady Gaga meets Jem (or, more precisely, Aja):

Bad Romance or Truly Outrageous?

Then I decided to try something different, and instead restricted myself to black, white, and gray, and was impressed with the range of tones you can get with crayons:

My husband says he looks like Brett Hart

Yes, he’s all smeary and rough, but my post-elementary-school experience with crayons is rather limited. And my patience for monochrome was short-lived:

yay kitty! :D

Do you ever use basic school supplies in your art? Any favorite kiddie brands?

Introducing the Pink Camo Book

I’ve mentioned the “pink camo book” on a number of occasions, and most of the time I think people assume it’s just some random name based on a brand or something. Actually, it’s far less interesting than that: the design – on both the cover and interior pages – is pink camouflage:

I wrote the bad poem in middle school. Shut up.

Pink camo on the inside too

I originally purchased the thing at a Target in Yuma, Arizona, in early 2008. It was the only unlined notebook in the place, as far as I could find, and I’d decided that I wanted to do some art journaling during my 24-day sojourn in the Grand Canyon State. I didn’t end up doing very much drawing, just some doodles during the long overnight tests (I was there for work). I glued in assorted clippings from the places I visited, but otherwise didn’t do much with it – in fact, that trip only filled 9 pages, front and back.

Forgot my book one night, so I pasted in the doodles

Yuma paraphernalia

Since the pink camo book was both cheap and ugly, I felt no compunction about turning it into an “anything” book: I drew it in while bored in the Artists Alley at AUSA or MAGFest; I used it during my brief time with dailydrawing; I used it for character designs for my unfinished graphic novel; I pasted in clippings from brochures whenever I visited somewhere, even just downtown DC. Many of my more recent pages have been of places visited while on snarfari. I now pack it for most trips and enjoy looking through it from time to time.

Philadelphia paraphernalia

Me drawing at AUSA 2009

The concept of trash pages is essential to any art. If you don’t want to put down anything that’s not pristine, you’ll never get started. Everybody needs somewhere to practice. This is why I carry around beat-up old notebooks for writing, and why I have sketchbooks like the pink camo book. I am wary of gorgeous leather-bound journals – I don’t want to mess it up with my crappy doodling and stream-of-consciousness babbling, so it just stays blank forever. That’s not useful. Now if I can just convince myself that all my sketchbooks are actually just sketchbooks and not pre-bound portfolios, I’ll be in business.

Trash pages.

What sort of “trash pages” do you use? Are they barely-started tunes in a folder on your computer? Stitches tried out with remainders? Or are you confident enough to use Moleskine notebooks or expensive yarn? Do trash pages apply to all creative pursuits?

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