Mid-Week Mini: Field Notes End Papers: Initial Thoughts.

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The latest Field Notes quarterly release,End Papers, was another example of Field Notes pushing the boundaries of what they do with a pocket notebook. It seems like once a year Field Notes try something different with the quarterly release and this time we get a new size and the recurrence of the signature binding.

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End Papers is a little taller than the Signature Field Notes but the same width as a normal standard Field Notes pocket notebook. This makes it a little odd in size. Let me explain what I mean.

Binding.

Signature binding feels too burdensome on a pocket notebook. With small notebooks I don’t like or think signature binding is needed. Staples are easier and makes the notebook easier to use. Pushing against signature binding to just be able to use it is not a challenge I really want.

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Size.

The size of this notebook feels strange. It feels too tall and slim and too bulky with the additional pages - 68 pages versus the 48 found in a standard Field Notes.

Ruling.

Their is a mixed page rulings within this release, left hand page is blank and the right ruled. This mixed ruling makes me want to write on the right hand side and then leave the left unused. I don’t think a mixed ruling works within a pocket notebook, it feels like a waste of pages. On an A5 sized notebook there could be an argument of why this is useful and how it could be used, but for me on a pocket notebook it doesn’t work.

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Switching to a little positivity within this release the design of the End Papers is classic and simple with dark covers and debossed logo on the cover.

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The marbled papers on the inside covers are pretty and I really liked seeing the process video that accompanied this release. The colours are a little muted, it would have been nice to have a little bit of colour. I like the combinations used on the Timber Green notebook the most.

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Overall thoughts.

The signature binding makes me think of Write notepads and the more Field Notes use this binding on their notebooks the less inclined I am to use them. On the Field Note Signature series of notebooks the binding doesn’t inhibit how you use the notebook because of its larger size. With End Papers I don’t think this binding style works.

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I like that Field Notes try different things but this release isn’t for me. The marbling process was obviously the main goal with this release but I think it could have been implemented in lots of different, cool and impactful ways.

Mid-Week Mini: Inktober Progress so far...

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In my previous post I gave a brief sketching update and committed to taking part in Inktober this year. Sketching is something I have flirted with since the beginning of this year and I haven’t really found my groove. So the hope is that Inktober will help make my drawing aspirations a routine and eventually improve my ability. Basically I just want to get better.

My initial thoughts was that I would just draw the everyday and with this I expected to draw physical things around me, but this hasn’t quite panned out that way.

The good news is I have kept to drawing each day. I have enjoyed being limited in my tools and not having distractions. I know what I am using and I just get on with it. Finding things to draw has been the challenge. My thoughts beforehand haven’t panned out because I have to want to draw a thing, there has to be a level of interest there. I have also relied on the work of others and worked towards mimicking and trying to use this as a way to better understand proportions, line work and how to get the pen to move of the page. I have lots of thoughts on this and will share more on this in a future post.

Anyway below are each of my photos with a brief description of each…in case you find that sort of additional information interesting.

Day 1.

I drew the exterior of a new cafe that opened up near me. I am always drawn to buildings but I really don’t think I am very good at drawing them. This would benefit not only from improvement but also from some colour as the exterior is a wonderful bright pink.

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Day 2.

I was in the office, around actual people, and so drew a colleague who I don’t really know very well (slightly awkward) but I just felt compelled to draw him. The other face was taken from instagram by @ojhaderashish.

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Day 3.

I drew over two pages on this day. The first was a lotus flower and the second was a train platform because I was listening to Freya Ridings album and her song Lost Without You was going round and round in my head.

Day 4.

My thoughts on this day were around my body and so I ended up doodling body parts. Sounds a little odd when you write it down. The two head images were mimicked (poorly) from @todoxerrado.

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Day 5.

I drew a few pencil sketches again of a body image, a few flowers but the main one was a chicken, again taken from someone on Instagram @drawings.s.p. The chicken is hilarious and I had a lot of fun with this one.

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Day 6.

I was rushed on day 6 and ended up drawing pylons. I’d spent a lot of time in the car and it was the first thing that came into my head. Not my best day.

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Day 7.

I like drawing little houses. Simple. I found this one through Pinterest by an artist called Chris Lee, who’s work looks wonderful.

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Day 8.

I drew my living room. I was watching TV and hadn’t found anything else to draw. Again not my best.

Day 9.

This is a sketch in progress and I did manage to do another. I found this again through Instagram (@jessicalewerin) and I found it very funny. It seemed to reflect how I was feeling.

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And so we are up to date. Today is day 10. I have no idea what I am drawing but I am sure I will find something. I hope you have enjoyed todays post. I will aim to do another in a week or so sharing the next batch of questionable drawings.

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My Sketching Update

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I wrote a post not too long ago about my experiences sketching while on holiday. Finding the time to sketch, using the scenery and people around me to document our trip gave me ample opportunities and enough inspiration to sketch a lot. I wanted to continue with this when I returned home to normal life and unsurprisingly this proved challenging.

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Taking up any task at home is always hard to do with life and work commitments eating in on your time. Sketching the everyday is tricky and finding something that peaks my interest is difficult.

In the past few months I have found inspiration in some of the old English villages close to where I live. I often take photos when out and then sketch in the evenings. The time and confidence to urban sketch have not fully aligned (yet).

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My sketches are mostly in ink and watercolour. My technique isn’t great and I still can’t quite wrap my head around how watercolours work and the best ways to mimic what I am seeing. My painting feels childlike and simple, but I’m working on it.

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I have been using two sketchbooks, my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook and the new(ish) Field Notes Signature sketchbook. The Field Notes sketchbook worked as something small and lightweight. I drew rough outlines of things, sometimes in person, or just doodled. The Moleskine was where I then put a little more effort in, used my watercolours and took some time to do improve on things.

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Recently I’ve started playing around with coloured pencils as an alternative medium. I can quickly grab a coloured pencil to add some accents to a pencil or ink sketch or to use this as the dominant medium. I try to not be concerned about replicating the same colours and just use the palette of pencils I have with me, but this doesn’t quite feel natural yet.

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Inktober starts tomorrow and I have had floating thoughts about taking part this year. A conversation with an old friend got me thinking about my drawings and gave me some encouragement to re-focus. Inktober is a great opportunity to commit to drawing everyday. There will be an abundance of moral support and ideas. I have a new Field Notes sketchbook ready as I am almost done with the old one, and plan on keeping everything simple, pencil and drawing pen. From there I’ll see where the month takes me.

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I want to focus on the everyday as I think this will help make sketching more of a habit but also make me observe the things around me a lot more. I will try and find the inspiration and beauty in the everyday things.

I will share as much as I can through my Instagram account but also will commit to a follow up post at the end of the month to share my thoughts and learnings from this exercise. A month should be sufficient to make sketching a real habit and help me find a routine.

I’d love to hear about your sketching journey and if you’re taking part in Inktober so please feel free to share.

Mid-Week Mini: Baum Kuchen x Superior Labor Leather Pen Holder.

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I bought the Baum Kuchen x Superior Labor leather pen holder on a whim. I was in the process of buying a few other items from Baum Kuchen and I thought this pen holder was pretty, but also would be a useful when I need to carry around a couple of pens.

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The pen holder comes in a natural, undyed leather. It is a 2 pen sleeve with stitched detailing and a brass clip on the reverse side engraved with a very apt analogue quote (there is a clip-less option too).

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The branding is on the reverse of the pen sleeve which means everything is simple and classic in its design.

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I have been using my pen sleeve for about three months and the colour has changed quite a bit purely from sitting on my desk rather than being exposed to lots of sunlight. In the photo below you can see the colour in comparison to a Superior Labor portfolio in the light brown colour.

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The leather has moulded nicely around my fountain pens which have been faithful partners on the pen sleeve. If I were to swap these out for alternative pens, or pens without clips, the fit wouldn’t be so snug and I’d need to be careful not to lose anything.

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I haven’t used the clip at all. I did think I would clip this onto my Travelers Notebook but the position of the clip makes this look a little odd and is unbalanced. As I don’t move around with these items much I also don’t feel the need to clip the pen sleeve onto a notebook. You can do it and its sort of useful for moving things around but that’s about it.

Overall thoughts.

Superior Labor produces really nice products and this collab is the same high quality. I am surprised by how much I have used it and it’s quickly became an item that I use on a daily basis.