As Emily Michie wrote, some people draw and color in their bullet journals. She and I, on the other hand, shy away from decorating our planners that way. Planners are so public. When you pull them out people can’t refrain from discreetly looking them over. Who wants to display a poor drawing, or even look at it for the rest of the year? Much better to confine them to a separate sketchbook.
My amateur artistic pursuits make me pickier about my planner accessories than most people. The texture of your paper and the opacity of your pigment very much affect the quality of your finished artwork. Once you’ve experienced the difference, you can’t help but judge all your writing accessories by the same standard.
Because it’s Accessories April I went looking for interesting materials about pens. I’ve found three interesting books online that offer a historical perspective on how artists have put ink onto their paper over the last few centuries.
- The excellency of the pen and pencil, exemplifying the uses of them in the most exquisite and mysterious arts of drawing, etching, engraving, limning, painting in oyl, washing of maps & pictures, an artists’ manual from 1688.
- A Guide to Pictorial Art, an 1846 artists’ manual by Henry O’Neil
- Presenting the Speedball Pen, a 1915 book promoting the first fountain pen specifically designed for artists. Before then, I’m pretty sure that the pen you used to jot a note on your calendar was the same one you used to sketch a still-life. Of the three, this book is the most fun to read. It’s mostly pictures, with the writer’s enthusiastic comments about the possibilities the Speedball pen opened up for artists.
Besides telling me how to erase sketches with breadcrumbs and how to make my own crayons, the Guide to Pictorial Art made an important point for anyone who wants to improve in any pursuit.
Nullus dies sin linea
In English that phrase means “no day without a line.” In other words, don’t let a day pass without drawing or painting something somewhere. Every day. Anything you want to do better, you must resolve to do it every day, even if you do so badly.
So if you’re truly serious about being more organized, you must use your planner. Every day. As the Speedball book says
You may be an amateur-
You may be an expert-
You must know or will learn This:
–the more work you can do,
–the better you can do it,
–the quicker you can do it.