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October 14, 2015

Oh my! A Manga-inspired Handdrawn Daily Planner

What is it about artists’ diaries that I find so captivating? I used to think I love them because I am a nosy person who likes to snoop on people’s business, but I’ve just been proven wrong. I can hardly read a word from @oharu1205’s instagram account, and yet here I am—scrolling months deep into their daily planner. Last Christmas, Haru Suzuki committed to posting a photo each day of a doodle from their journal and the project is still going strong. The bubbly manga style fills me with a sense of sunshiny optimism from the drawings of what was on the artist’s mind that day. It’s a log of daily life brimming with the colorful exuberance of a doodler who thinks everyday is special, even the ones where it seems like nothing much happened have something worth jotting down and illustrating.

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July 24, 2015

Scrapbook Meets Sketchbook

I went to eat at a friend's swanky restaurant recently, and he stopped me when he noticed I started my meal without touching the lemon wedge on the rim of the plate. He explained that the lemon is an important finishing touch to the flavor, and the chef leaves the wedge there so that you can feel included in the preparation of your food. I thought of this just now, as I was looking at Mall Licudine's illustrations. There's a sense of purpose in the way she photographs her finished works with the tools she used clearly visible in the periphery. I found myself examining the clutter of her workspace and looking back to the drawing to figure out where she used what in the picture. This gave me a surprisingly clear mental image of the artist at work and the steps she took to construct specific pieces, almost making me feel as if I was there during the creation. It's an unusual experience that doesn’t happen for me often! 

Her sketchbook drawings have dates incorporated into the art, which makes me wonder if this is a form of journal. Typography in the illustrations is often inspirational or emotional in subject, which suggests something therapeutic for the artist. There’s also a nostalgic aspect which comes from using snips of patterned washi tape to add elements of collage into the sketches. A scrapbook made of sketches instead of photos? You can follow Mall Licudine's instagram or tumblr to see more.

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June 19, 2015

Letting Go, Step by Step

"How a graphic artist discovers to free his creativity and have fun" is the alternate title for journal d’une décomplexion graphique, a record of an ongoing journey in letting go of artistic insecurities. A detailed, hand-written note on the blog explains, "I love my job, but I don’t love my work. Few are the projects which I feel proud of and would like to put in a book." Crushed by deadlines from time-consuming jobs, over years this artist began to feel their sense of creativity shriveling. When do I have fun in all this? Stuck behind a computer all day with no chance to mess around and then coming home too tired to do anything, there was a growing fixation on the idea of taking a pen or pencil to paper.

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April 1, 2015

Illustrated Travel Journals

Chris Buchholz has mastered something I aspire to create myself: the illustrated travel journal. He's had the opportunity to do a good amount of travel, and his experiences spill out brilliantly onto the pages of his sketchbooks, accompanied by written reflection. Chris's sketchbook is his constant companion as he travels through and lives in these different places. The images you see here are his time spent in the Dominican Republic and Italy. The drawings themselves are bright and beautiful, especially when seeing them on such simple a canvas as a sketchbook.

Chris's technique with line and color brings the viewer into the experience: you can feel how hot it is in the DR, and how delicious a super fria cerveza would be at midday. Furthermore, you can taste how fresh the fruit is at the Italian market.

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February 28, 2015

Drawing Across Used Journal Pages

A little bird told me about an upcoming exhibition in London featuring Fran Giffard's body of work that layers the wild over the domestic. After she filled up her personal moleskine journal with writing, Giffard did some repurposing and began to paint birds over all of its used pages with aquarelle, gouache, and graphite pencil. The result is a vivid safari adventure through an unexpectedly personal landscape.

While birdwatching, I caught sight of wedding dates, grocery lists, vacation plans, even diary entries. Weirdly intimate information about a stranger, which makes me feel like I’m flipping through something I know I shouldn’t be looking at. Sometimes the birds are painted alongside the text, carefully leaving the words unobscured. Other times, their plumage covers entire chunks of writing and I realize how nosy I am being trying to read someone else's journal. That's something you're not supposed to do, isn't it? Too bad, because I can't look away.

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May 22, 2014

Tumblr of the Week: Snippets

This is exactly the kind of thing I regret not doing for every trip I've been on. When I'm visiting other countries, everything seems like it's unforgettable, and that I'll remember it years to come. But beyond the most "noteworthy" attractions there are countless sights and moments that were so subtle, that after a few years most have slipped my mind like sand through my fingers.

Emma Sylvie's illustrated travel log puts so much emphasis on the small details that you wouldn't really know about if you didn't go there yourself, I almost feel as if I'm experiencing it with her. What stands out for me beyond the touristy things is the moments of people-watching. The best part is the way her drawings are narrated, so I can know what she felt in that moment and see the world exactly through her point of view.

If you're addicted to tumbling as well as doodling, follow Doodlers Anonymous on Tumblr for even more daily inspiration. You might even see yourself on there!

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April 1, 2014

Tumblr of the Week: Adventure Journal

Today's Tumblr of the Week hasn't updated in a while, but it has enough cool content on it to share anyway. It's the adventure journal of Kailey, who tried to combat her shoddy memory span by drawing the events of her life every day. I love that it's really just a diary detailing what she did on a daily basis sprinkled with illustrative doodles. Some days there's only a few lines about how she feels and one thing she did. Others go into longer detail about all her activities and what specific drinks or food she had, to the point where the text has to squish itself around the drawings.

It's endearing to read all the little details that she decided were important enough to draw down so that she could remember it years later, like drinking hot chocolate after getting yelled at by a bus driver.

If you're addicted to tumbling as well as doodling, follow Doodlers Anonymous on Tumblr for even more daily inspiration. You might even see yourself on there!

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