Welcome back to where I update you fine folks about how my “art” is going. Last time I updated you about it, I was still doing my regular “journal comics”. Two months later, I have continued to do them regularly. Not daily, but somewhere between 3-5 times a week. During these pandemic days, it’s getting harder and harder to do one each day. “I took a walk today” would be what they’d say most of the time, so I’m trying to do them when I have something to say.
This is to say: I’m currently at another ebb in art. After the high-point of Inktober, it was inevitable. I haven’t been using much in color, my journal comics have become sparser. I’m not feeling as motivated. Other projects have taken precedence.
It’s funny, because a few months ago, I was hoping to become more of an Urban Sketcher. I took out several books for the library, improved the kit a bit. Then just as the weather got better, the world got worse. Sure, I can draw buildings, but people would be more difficult. And for awhile it just felt weird being outside in one place for awhile.
But let’s be honest: I don’t think I’d ever be a true Urban Sketcher. All the guides I’ve read hold the whole “You must sketch onsite, in the moment” as the Paramount Rule. Me, I’m more into “Take a photograph, draw when you get home” type of person. Besides, I want to have fun and not be burdened by so-called tenets.
And let’s face it: At the time I thought I’d get into Urban Sketching, I got into Film Photography instead. Why? Because it was a new and different avenue for creativity. Sure, I took photos before, but this was different. I now have better cameras and a different medium to work in. I already knew how to draw (I think.) Figuring out f/stops, shutter speeds, and film stock was an unknown realm. It’s not to say I don’t want to draw more, and better. (And more better.) It’s just that this new shiny bauble has distracted me.
Yet I still haven’t gotten distracted by paints. The watercolor set I got over a year ago sits unused, sad and forlorn. I vow to myself, “This month, I’m going to crack it open”. Why haven’t I? Well, I never really liked to paint. I remember forcing myself to get into oils during my high-school years. I was going to be a serious artist, I was going to go to art school. I better get used to painting, like it or not. I even took a week-long summer class where I’d just paint. It never grabbed me. I didn’t go to art school after all (that’s another long and rambling story for another time). I got back into art via comics, which was just pen and ink. So for now, I look longingly at Mr. Early Morning Cyclist’s setups, take notes, and lose the notes somewhere on my desk. Then I tell myself, “Next month…”
But! It’s not all doom and gloom. Spurred on by my journal comics, I’ve really gotten into using pocket sketchbooks. While I expanded my kit over the last half-year, all I really need now is a mechanical pencil, fountain pen, brush pen, and one or two other tools, like a Micron pen or grey wash brush pen. This would be the set-up for whenever I go on a bike tour or camping trip again. Or if I’m traveling light. I decided I wanted something to hold it all together, but none of the readily available options were tickling my fancy.
So I got in touch with David of Treetop Goods. He works in leather and canvas. Besides making me a few choice bicycle bags, he made a leather cover for my pocket Rite-in-the Rain notebook. I talked with him about a leather cover to hold my Leuchtturm 1917 pocket sketchbook with the art tools. This is what I got back:
It’s a really nice kit. I can’t wait to use it more outside the house, hopefully sooner than later…