One of the questions I’m asked most frequently on Twitter is why I mention Moleskine sketchbooks so much (and why they are my own sketchbook of choice). I thought, rather than answering the question over and over again, I’d write a blog post that I can easily refer people too.
Almost my first sketchbook
I’ve been using Moleskines almost as long as I’ve been drawing. I discovered them via the wonderful Keri Smith back in 2004 and immediately saw why other people liked using them so much. Keri says she prefers the plain notebook Moleskines (she doesn’t like the paper in the the sketchbooks). I’m a fan of the large sketchbooks. I love that they open out into a large flat drawing surface, perfect for those drawings that ask to grow across two pages. This also means that they are easy to pop into my scanner, which I do a lot.
Great paper for pen and ink drawing
Unlike Keri, I love the paper in the sketchbooks. It takes ink well and, as I don’t tend to use colour when I draw, I don’t have the problem that watercolour doesn’t take to the paper (Moleskine do make a dedicated watercolour, portrait orientated sketchbook and some people even add watercolour paper to the standard shaped sketchbooks).
Beautiful to hold and use
Aesthetically too, they are very pleasing. That probably sounds very shallow, but when I first started drawing, the fact that I enjoyed the look and feel of my sketchbook was a great incentive to keep drawing. They proved a great talking point too. When I used to get mine out in a cafe to draw the cake I was eating or the coffee I was drinking, invariable someone would ask about my Moleskine. So they are also a great way to make friends!
The Apple Macs of the sketchbook world!
In many ways they are the Apple Macs of the sketchbook world. Functional and desirable and a pleasure to use! Pulling the cellophane of a new Moleskine is one of life’s pleasures.
- My favourite Moleskine on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.
- Moleskine dot com The official Moleskine website, including downloadable pages that you can use to customize your Moleskine.
- Moleskinerie a great site for news of all things Moleskine. I’m particularly enjoying their Snapshot feature; short interviews with Moleskine lovers from around the world.
- Keri Smith’s Drawing FAQs (with details of why she loves using Moleskines).
- Rebind a Moleskine sketchbook with watercolour paper
- Chronicle Books have a nice history of Moleskines and some useful links over on their site.
- Wikipedia The little black sketchbook’s Wikipedia entry.
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