There is almost nothing in the world I love doing more than drawing in churches. For me, keeping an illustrated journal is not about being the best at drawing or painting – I can’t hope to do anything like that. It is about creating a page that is part visual memory, part field guide. And by drawing in a church, or cloister, or crypt, I feel that I am capturing part of its soul as surely as primitive people believed that a photograph did the same to them.
Whenever I travel, I always think: THIS time I am going to get so much done in my journal; dozens of pages, chapters. And…while it may happen one day, it sure hasn’t yet. Sure, I always manage to make a few really special pages* but I more often find that the way I really remember a trip is by using a technique I learned from Asheville, North Carolina, author and illustrated journal instructor Gwen Diehn. It is terrifically simple and effective.
When getting ready for a trip, take a break from packing, get out your journal or sketchbook, and draw a page-size box. Divide this into equal columns. I like mine to be about 1 ½ inch wide, but it sometimes depends on the size of the paper. It will look something like what it is – a mini-calendar that you can then fill in daily, no excuses. Label each day at the top of the column. Then, fill each column with anything that comes to mind in a small, thumbnail size.
When you get home, I promise you will be surprised at how much information and memories you crammed into this format. These are a sample of calendar-style pages that I’ve [read more]
Illustrated journal pages. Hidden away and up mysterious winding steps in Zurich is a park called Lindhof Hill. There people play petanque, a kind of lawn bowling and kids practicing their parkour moves. Men play chess with giant pieces on a board on the ground. It’s fun to watch because there are men in elegant suits and men in work overalls and students, all playing together and arguing over the others’ moves.