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Sketchbook Mod by sadwonderland Sketchbook Mod by sadwonderland
I like to customize EVERYTHING I own in my office. It's like I just don't like anything to be the way it was when I bought it, everything has to be made more personal. I like to do little collages and such on the covers of my sketchbooks, mostly for decoration but also so I know at a glance what the contents are. I buy the same brand of sketchbook every month or so, which means they'd all look identical otherwise. And since I own shelves and shelves of sketchbooks, I can't flip through dozens of books looking for one series of drawings.

This doesn't mean other, non-related things don't end up in the books, but I can usually tell which ones are where by remembering the time frame the main drawings where done in.

For my Ringmaster Alice recent sketches, I made an RA book cover for a new sketchbook. On the left is the original cover, and on the right is my custom one. I spraypainted the cover white, then did a lot of doodling and pasting. I like to do these freestyle patchwork covers that are more about my thought process at the time, not just a pretty fancy illustration. I also like to use a lot of blown-up photocopies because I love how photocopied pictures look when they're enlarged and attain little artifacts and other blurries.

The whole cover I tiled with playing cards pasted on, then scribbled over them with markered checkerboard, a queen card in the middle (the queen of hearts is the opposition to Alice and thus this is sort of a representation of a "Wanted" poster, or of Alice's hatred for the Queen and her wanting to replace her.) Up in the corner is a favorite quote of mine from Machiavelli's The Prince, and then an enlarged photocopy from the original Alice book and colored in with markers a bit. Finally a title done in Word and printed out.

The quote in the corner says, "Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared? One should wish to be both, but because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much better to be feared." It's paraphrased and taken from instructions by Machiavelli to a hypothetical ruler, and reflects what I think Alice's thoughts would be on the subject in my story.

I'll go on adding little scribbles and things as the project goes on...I think the cover is really as important as the sketches within.

On the right is the first inside sketch, of the Queen of Hearts...all the drawings have piecemeal quotes from the book that I felt suited the characters in my mind. They're not really the most popular or well-known quotes (The Cheshire Cat's is not the "We're all mad here" quote), but they are the most suitable for inspiration for their personalities.

A sketch of the Queen of Heart's castle is on the end.

You'll notice my book is decorated upside down. I prefer to draw left-handed, so my sketchbooks go right to left and are upside down so the spiral doesn't get in the way of my hand :)
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MeikoMeikoPie Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2009
Hehe Machiavelli! I learned about him in history. :)
nobells43fish Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2009
Your sketchbook cover has been featured here --> [link]
sadwonderland Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2009
thanks very much!!
nobells43fish Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2009
No problem! :aww:
AngelusNoir Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2007  Professional General Artist
love it!!...yes,a non-decorated sketchbook is just wrong!?:D
MalteseLizzieMcGee Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2007   Traditional Artist
I like the Tenniel illustration you've integrated into this, makes it look quirky. You're left handed? Good for you. Apparently 13th August is left handers day, wish I'd known or I'd have thrown a party for myself
fruitsbasket01 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2007
That's really cool! :iconhuskylover15: has the same kind of sketchbook. O_o
Nayoko-Kihara Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2007
I'v never actually thought about customing-up my sketch books, though i've gone through a few of them. They're even the same brand. x_X; - Thankyou art class.
Ladyadokenai Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2007
very pretty! I just cover mine in Japanese and Korean stickers and be done with it. XD

I actually use the same brand of notebook. :3
Foxfairy24 Featured By Owner May 7, 2007
Oh, oh, amazing! You put the sketchbook to a much better use than I do...
:3 But I've got some ideas now for the covers of my new strathmore, I think!
Clemmie Featured By Owner May 3, 2007
Who that's amazing. I really like the drawing of the Queen and the castle on the right. The clothing is so detailed.
gambitgirl Featured By Owner May 1, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
i like decorating my covers, too-and for similar reasons, though i hadn't thought to do theme specific ones. i just do a cover that fits whatever theme i was thinking of at the time, then go on to fill it with whatever random crap spews forth from my head and hands...i usually seal the covers up once i get a somewhat complete illustration/collage thing finished for it, though, b'c i hate when markers get all runny in the rain and snow seeing as how i live here in freezing cold northern MI... :paranoid:
psychodelicpenguin Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2007
I also decorate my sketchbooks!!!! I posted all of my sketchbooks since I've been doing it in my scraps, if you want to check it out. I usually spend a whole weekend working on my covers so they are great. I keep them for about 3 months, so I want to make sure I like to stare at it. XD And then I tape it up so the things won't fall off. :D

This makes me soo happy to see that other people are like me. None of my artsy friends decorate their sketchbooks. Maybe you and I are just secretly awesome? ^_~

I love the Machiavelli quote. I read the Prince about a month ago. He was pretty wild, but a lot of what he said made since. I feel bad that people during his time had to connotate his name with the Devil. :(
Vashtastic Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2007   Digital Artist
i color code by month - its sad yet true
Ribb0ns Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2007
Your left-Handed too? Thats wicked cool! I switched my book upside down once, but I always opened it wrong and it got annoying because The cover confused me. I buy that brand too. Thats a good idea to make a new cover. Very cute and original!~
robot6boy Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2007
OHMYGOSHitsSARA Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2007  Hobbyist
Whoo! Lefties unite! ^^
songofthebloodangel Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2007
did you get the alice picture from the book? My mom came home a while ago with a wonderful illustrated version of Alice in Wonderland (along with several other books) and I think that picture was in there...just wondering^^

soaringwings Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2007
hah, I use that same sketchbook. I love them.
cafe-lalonde Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
I must say, this is a sketchbook my art teacher would just about drool over. She always hankers after the freshmen about doing multimedia collaging right in their sketchbooks.

Lovely. <3
Tentopet Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007  Professional
Since I'm a leftie who curves my hand around the top, I also draw in a sketchbook backwards! Except I start from the end and work my way to the beginning, and from the bottom of a page, to the top. On my comics pages, I draw the last panel first, and I've found it's annoying in that I like to do everything in order, but skipping helps me make sure I get the story from point A to point B because I skip to point B and work my way back to A.

I always look at these things you do and wonder HOW ON EARTH you do all this, make clothes, read up on things, AND make comics at such a fast rate. Jealousy!
sadwonderland Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2007
oh you think maybe it is because i am a BROKE ALL THE TIME? yes I THINK SO!! XD

:#1: you!
krshna-rose Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007
That's really cool. I just happen to have that same sketchbook too.
PhantomTeacup Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007
Hehe, you use sketchbooks like I do. xDD I like the cards in the background. They were the first thing that really caught my eye.
lyricsoul Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007
I agree with you about customizing covers! I have TONS of notebooks with stories in them and I like to customizing the front and back covers with things like pictures and quotes and stuff so when I put it down and work on something else I can always come back and remember where I was going with the story. :) It makes things more organized. ;) I love what you've done with the cover of your sketch book! It's really awesome. I'm going to start customizing my stories like that now ;) (well not exactly like it. I don't want to be a copy cat!)
bertBAbertbert Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007
i loooove collages.
i went to ireland and said i need a travel journal so i bought one on clearence at borders 4 bucks wow.
and then i did some lace printing on it.
and then i realized the inside was cheap looking how they just glued lined paper to the inside i made inserts out of cardstalk and a kids "boardgame" i snatched out of a martha stewart mag.
it made me happy.
yugami Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007
I love doing that to my sketchbooks, too.
hopeless-optimist Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007
love the Machiavelli quote. that's one of my favorite writtings, great artwork ;)
rchelsea2005 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
Very awesome.
Kitty-Terula Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Pretty cool, I would never have thought to do that...but that's just me.

And now all of a sudden, I'm some artist's artwork-advisor! o_0 Seriously. I didn't think I was good at helping others...but aparently he wants me to help with his work. ...Not that this had anything to do with decorating sketchbooks ^^;
yesicanfly Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007   Photographer
omgee =0 wow, it's like what i do to my notebooks.... only bigger more colorfulish and.... wowsier >.<
Verdokai Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007
I tried switching the sketchbooks upside down, as for them not to be in the way of my hand (I'm also left-handed), but due to some obsessive-compulsive-disorder-like-train of thought, I couldn't stand it, so I ended up buying sketchbooks with the spirals on the top of them, like this:


And by the way, that cover is really cool. I love card-art:)
hokuto Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007
Oooooh, neat - and a great way to organize. XD I can never remember what art's where...

Weird, I even have that brand of sketchbook. o.~
tigereyeY3K Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007
Ooh, customizing sketchbooks for easier distinction. Great idea! And a lovely cover! :]
VanillaHigh Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Othique-Studio Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007
lefties.. righties..
lovely customization.. xD
i want to steal it now..
littlecoconuthead Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007
yay! someone else who doodles on the outside of their sketchbooks! I knew Iw ansn't crazy...
twisted03 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007  Student Digital Artist
Looks very nice.
dukongmeng Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooo, thats so awesome! |D
CutePinkFluff Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007
yay! go left handers!! ...i draw a lot either landscape way or on big enough pages that the spiral doesn't matter though...
Duplica Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2007
looks very interesting
TheTower Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2007
You're very creative. :nod: I just sorta scribble all over with pen and leave it. xD
Schweetie Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2007
I love mad little projects like these. If I had my way, the wall of my room would look the same... But I dont think my Aunt would go for that. lol.
lalajulep Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2007
Woot! Left handed pride!

Overall, I love it! Can't wait until I see the entire product!
nekonezume Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
Very cool. :D <3
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Submitted on
April 23, 2007
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Date Taken
Apr 24, 2007, 12:08:27 AM