After a busy few weeks of card-making closely followed by Folktale Week on Instagram over at my Binky McKee Illustration account, my notebooks had become rather neglected and deranged, and I felt the need for tidying in time for the new year. I always have several books on the go at the same time which I dip in and out of for years, collecting and adding ideas. I photographed six current ones opened at random pages in my work room this morning. The oldest dates back to 2009. Over time they acquire affectionate nicknames, which I labelled above.
You might notice one small notebook is named ‘The Messy Drawer’, although most of them are pretty messy, and The Messy Drawer isn’t as messy as the Book of Materials. I think it refers mostly to my thought processes rather than its appearance, as it was the originator for my Confused Flags series for Brexit. The Book of Materials contains scraps of experiments with different media such as wax, inks, oils, metal leaf, and drawings made with unlikely instruments. All my finished works originate in these books one way or another, and there are usually two or three open in my desk with a large one on the floor as I work.
They should all probably be locked in an iron safe, but then they wouldn’t be part of my life any more. And I’d probably forget the key code.