Sketchbook Journal vs. Scrapbook

My sketchbook journal habit has taken a serious hit in the past five-ish years; but it was justified because I was busy with, you know, college. However, now that I am not in college, I have resolved to give my sketchbook journal the attention it deserves.

I have two complete sketchbook journals from my high school years, and I love looking through them because of the memories and feelings they evoke. All the little things that were special to me — notes from friends, pictures, quotes — went in my sketchbook journal.

So, what’s the difference between a sketchbook journal and a scrapbook? In my opinion, a sketchbook journal is more intuitive. There’s less explanation and more feeling. You still include elements like photos and old notes, but you guide your viewer through them with color and symbols more than text. For example, here’s the sketchbook journal spread I finished this morning:

Sketchbook Journal | The Postman's Knock by Lindsey Bugbee

It looks like art — and it is art, for all intents and purposes. But more than that, it’s a way to organize my past and my life now. I used elements that were floating around in storage, things that I couldn’t bear to get rid of (but that weren’t serving any particular purpose in their present location), and combined them to tell a story. This page centers around my relationship with Hernán, my boyfriend.

I created the love tree on the left for him for Valentine’s Day. Since we didn’t frame it, I thought it would serve its purpose well in my sketchbook journal. Between its branches, I added the cities we have lived in together as well as the cities we originally come from. The top center boasts a note from Hernán that accompanied my 24th birthday flowers. I made him the blue and yellow notecard over a year ago as a little surprise; and the fold-out note was a note from late 2010 from me to him. I think, surprisingly, my favorite element on the page is the quirky “Please don’t smoke!” post-it. I stuck that on his bedroom door in 2009, and it stayed there until we graduated college in 2011. For some reason, he always kept it, and I found it among his things when we moved in together. (And, yes, he no longer smokes!)

Sketchbook Journal | The Postman's Knock by Lindsey Bugbee

I think another advantage of a sketchbook journal over a scrapbook is its informality. I am creating this fresh sketchbook journal in a vintage, scruffy atlas. The atlas was free at a garage sale.

Sketchbook Journal | The Postman's Knock by Lindsey Bugbee

This weekend, I hope to get more done in the sketchbook journal. I’d like for my next page to cover some of my memories and scraps from my time living in Lawrence, Kan. As a goal incentive and motivator, I have purchased myself a copy of Spilling Open by Sabrina Ward Harrison (a published sketchbook). I used to have one, but I lent it out and haven’t seen it again. In the meantime, we are enjoying our weekend sitting at Amante Coffee here in Boulder getting some work done!

Working at Amante Coffee | The Postman's Knock by Lindsey Bugbee
{These clothespins are for an upcoming baby shower.}

Enjoy your weekend! You’ll be hearing from me soon — and I don’t want to give away details, but we’ll have a fun guest blogger in the next couple of weeks. I know you’ll love the tutorial she has for us!

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