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As a passionate listmaker, it goes without saying that I love all kinds of notebooks and paper products, and it is even better when I get the chance to make them unique with my own drawings. Lately I have been on a kick of drawing on MUJI plain notebooks in a coloring book style, and adding color with markers while I am in the train commuting to and from work. I am so used to drawing in the slight motion and shaking of the train that whenever I sit on a solid seat to draw it feels odd! Most of what I make ends up as a gift to someone, but I also make them for myself, of course. The ones I know I will keep are usually where I experiment with new ideas, knowing that even if the result is not great I will still love and use it.

Another way to experiment is on my old-time little notebooks made of scrap paper. At work I end up with a lot of printouts that have only a brief time of use. I always feel bad throwing out paper, and the pages usually end up in a messy pile next to my desk. Every now and then I get the urge to create something, and then I cut and fold them to various sizes according to need and simply use a staple to bind a few pages for instant gratification.

I have been making and using and giving away these notebooks since I was in primary school, and over the years they have been given away on Earth Day at the Library reference desk, made into light and portable expense notebooks to keep close track of expenses, sticker books for the boys, or simply a place where I keep a specific type of information gathered in one place.

The covers change according to whim, from laminated collages to being covered with stickers, to a simple drawing with or without color. I made the one on the last photo above just now, when I simply had to make a 10-page booklet from some almost blank pages I printed out.

We got a magnetic drawing board for the boys a while ago, and it has been a great thing to have around for many reasons. They love to have me draw stuff (trucks mostly) while they ask what each part is and contributing to the picture by asking me to add things (lights, bumpers…) For me, it is liberating to just draw something fast and on a slippery surface, often with someone bumping my arm or jumping on my back, and know that however bad it is, it will soon be erased and no trace of my ineptitude will remain 🙂 In fact, this feeling of freedom has actually helped somehow improve my minimal drawing skills. Thankfully the boys don’t mind my level at all, and I comfort myself by thinking that the abstract scribbles I make help develop their imagination 😀

Having said that, sometimes I am in need of ideas for what to draw next, when I get bored of the fire truck and carrot-bearing truck I usually get asked to make. Earlier today they asked me to make them a snake (they actually said “sssssss, sssssss”) and the idea of impermanence was not so liberating any more. I want them to remember what they liked to see drawn at that age, have some reminders of how much they loved cars, trains and animals, so I took some shots of a few of what we make on the magnetic board.

  

The other day a friend was here, and he made a portrait of V on the board too. Thankfully I had my phone in my hand, so I took a photo of his first portrait!

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July 16, 2011

July 15, 2011

July 14, 2011

July 13, 2011

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