5 Tips For Keeping an Artist Notebook
While some people have the impression that artists are really scatterbrained and unorganized, this is often far from the actual truth. Skilled professional artists realize the importance of maintaining an organized collection of their work; not only does such organization allow them to keep their thoughts and ideas all in one place, but it also provides a ready portfolio of their pieces-an important marketing tool for any serious artist. The following are five easy ways for an artist to keep to a notebook polished and organized.
1. Divide the notebook by tabs: This will keep the notebook organized by drawing medium (such as charcoal) or subject (such as “ideas for future sketches”). If a notebook does not already have tabs, they can be made easily by using folded over pieces of masking tape. Label each tab appropriately, and follow the tabs when creating new entries in the notebook.
2. Make folders within the notebook: In addition to section tabs, small pocketed “folders” are also an ideal part to any artist’s notebook. Such folders allow an artist to store small pieces of inspiration (like photographs or magazine clippings) for use in future projects. If a notebook does not have built in folders, then create your own by taping in folded pieces of paper to the tab pages in each section of the notebook.
3. Leave “preservation” pages: Often artists will attempt to be frugal and use up every page of a notebook. However, this practice should be avoided, as it often can result in smeared sketches over the years; prevent this problem by leaving in “preservation” pages-blank pages next to sketches so that that even if the sketches fade, they will not end up with any unwanted marks left on them by the opposing page’s drawings.
4. Make a table of contents: Leave a few pages at the beginning of the notebook to create a table of contents. This can be filled in as the artist works throughout the sketchbook, or even when the sketchbook is completed. Either way, creating a table of contents will allow anyone to easily find every entry that they are seeking in the book.
5. Date every entry: A simple suggestion that is too often forgotten by busy artists, dating every entry not only is important for keeping an organized record of one’s work, but it also can come in handy for potential legal issues.