Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sketch Journal Class

 Had a really nice time last Saturday, as I had the opportunity to teach a sketch journal class for Fresh City Life at the Denver Public Library http://denverlibrary.org/content/craft-services-diy 
Originally, I envisioned the class as a sketch journal springboard, but somehow it sort of morphed into an altered-book, "smash journal" offering. While I don't consider myself an altered book artist, I do work on one from time to time, so I took it along (that's the cover, above. And yeah, it's falling apart).

 Above is a page from my one-and-only altered book--made from an encyclopedia given to me by Ruth Fiege.  I'm really a basic sketchbook person--pretty much use a sketchbook all the time for fun and idea formation, so I felt a bit of a fraud teaching a "smash journal" class.  Luckily, Ruth loaned me some of her amazing altered books--which are primo-examples--so I had a few really professional ones for the class to look through.
(Check out her blog at:

 I use my altered book for goofing around and trying out different media on the book pages.  I like the experience because I can get sloppy in a slightly larger format than my usual mini-sketchbooks. And because it contains more dumb pictures than my other sketchbooks, I don't have any fears of ruining it. 
But do I like the mess, glued-up fingers, and the snippings of paper everywhere? No!

 There were 32 enthusiastic people who attended the class, and they listened to me talk about how and why I use a sketch journal.  They each received a sketchbook and all of them got a start on smashing things into them.
I got quite a few tips from the folks who attended, too--always a nice perk to teaching.

So if you were there--thanks! Hope you had as much fun as I did.


  1. This is my first introduction to a smash journal, so I had to look it up. It's kind of like a scrapbook -- I past lots of things in my journal, but my portable journal is just for writing and sketching. It's fun to see all the different ways we can make a book.

    1. It was mine too, Joy--I had never heard of the term before! If you haven't seen it, check out An Illustrated Life, by Danny Gregory. It's by far my favorite book on sketch journals


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