The Studio Journal

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Quite a while back, I wrote a little blog post about using graph paper while I'm working. But really, I use a notebook for a lot more than just keeping track of the specifics of a project while I'm working on it. I use it to plan projects, to take notes for future use, to spur my creativity, and to just jot down thoughts. It becomes a record of nearly everything that happens related to my work.

The pages I refer back to most often are these: I save pages at the back of my notebooks specifically to write down the details of elements I use often. Each entry includes a measurement (including a line to measure wire against right on the page) and any notes I might need the next time I make that element. I also take photos of those pages, so I have them when I use up all the pages in one notebook and move to another.

And even though I'm terrible at drawing, I do make little sketches of pieces while I'm planning. It's likely nobody else could interpret my sketches, but I'm the only one who needs to, so that's okay. 

The notebook is indispensable when I'm writing a tutorial. I keep track of the measurements of all the wire I use, the measurements of parts of a piece, and all the details that go into writing the instructions. (Complete with coffee stains and ink blotches!)

I don't just use the notebook for bad sketches and planning projects, though. I use it to jot down thoughts and to outline things I need to write (like blog posts!)

And last but not least, many, many pages of my studio journal are taken up with doodles. There's a lot of creative power to be found in doodling. All the swirly shapes and lines that come out of my pencil are my brain's way of processing, of putting different elements together in ways that I probably wouldn't have thought of without the motion of pencil on paper. Sometimes I come up with a good idea out of the doodles, and sometimes I don't. But the process is useful to me either way.

So that's a peek inside my studio journal. It's such an integral part of my process that I can't start a new project without my notebook within reach; I never know when I'm going to need to jot something down, or refer back to something I've done before. Plus, it's kind of fun to look back through the pages months or years later, to see the various places my mind has wandered. What about you? Do you keep any kind of creative journal, and how do you use it?

 

Comments

Wonderful!

This is just amazing. I really loved getting a look behind the scenes of how you design your jewelry.

Thank you for sharing this little gem!

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