Journal or scraps of paper?

On the chat group of an online class I’m taking, we discussed (or rather bemoaned the poor state of) our methods for noting our art techniques and ideas. This is a mildly sore subject for me, as I struggle daily with mounds of household paper, 2 young kids who bring home mountains more in the form of homework and field trip notices, and a DH who hates clutter. I should also mention that my mother is an inveterate scrap-of-paper note maker, so I’ve got that childhood lesson to contend with (see, Mommy, I can blame you for just about everything!!)

For running my daily life, I keep a yearly school planner next to my computer in which I write almost everything. In addition to the regular planner stuff, like appointments and sports practice times, I’ll also jot down notes like art products or blog addresses. I keep a list of books to read in the front of the planner, and my kids’ computer user names/passwords in the back part. I admit that I fall back on my mother’s solution, also; there are quite a few scraps of paper stuck in the front and back of the planner. I don’t know if my sister reads my blog, but if she does, you can be quite sure that she is rolling her eyes and laughing at me right now. She laughs at me quite often, frankly, and it’s annoying because I’m the older sister and should be respected by my younger sibling. But I digress.

At the end of the year, I go through my old planner, transferring important information like birthdays, user names (gotta remember how to log onto those internet games!) and books, into the fresh, new planner. Then I cull the bits and detritus of art information still unused and lurking in the old planner, dealing with it appropriately. Which usually means writing it down on a scrap of paper and sticking it into the new planner.

In my studio, I keep a large sketchbook for sketching out quilt designs for my customers. No one touches that. Yet. They (and you know who “they” are…) leave my planner and my sketchbook alone, for some reason. I’ve thought about keeping art notes and ideas in that sketchbook, but it is kind of inconvenient to run out to the studio every time I hit on an idea. Not to mention the fact that by the time I got out there, I’d forget why I went out there in the first place.

BUT– although I have tried and tried to keep art sketchbooks to note my ideas and techniques near my bed or my computer, SOMEONE (ahem, kids or dh) always nabs them. I have even tied girly ribbons onto the wire binder of lowly school lined notebooks with zero success (my fault for teaching them how to use scissors?)

So, once again, I resort to notes on scraps of paper scattered throughout the house. (hi Mom!!) I write on napkins, old homework, and even the empty spaces on subscription cards that fall out of magazines. With no real desk of my own, guess where the scraps end up? (hint: planner)

I look at all the blogs and magazines featuring beautifully crafted journals, and sigh. The kids would appropriate mine for writing down “cheats” for their video games.

I’m sure to get better organized once the kids learn to leave my stuff alone, but in the meantime, I can only imagine what a genius artist I’d be if I could remember all of my brilliant ideas!

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1 Comment

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One response to “Journal or scraps of paper?

  1. You can’t remember who I am, and you think you should be able to remember all of your brilliant ideas? Sheesh! 😉 I actually used to collect notepads. I finally stopped buying them, in hopes of narrowing my options for note taking. I kinda sorta thought it would make me more efficient. HA! That’s what I get for thinkin’!

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