Planner Review: Make Art Every Day A Weekly Planner for Creative Thinkers

Review by Tina Koyama

Make Art Every Day: A Weekly Planner for Creative Thinkers  is a unique planner and creativity inspiration book. Written by illustrator Katie Vernon, the 127-page book is filled with her colorful, whimsical images that evoke children’s book illustrations.

After the weekly planner pages (enough for a full year), the book includes more than 500 equally colorful stickers designed to be used in the planner. Some stickers are blank symbols that you can enhance yourself.

The book begins with an overview explaining the six categories in which creativity can be incorporated into our everyday lives, no matter how busy we are: Feast Your Eyes (seeking visual inspiration); Make a Creative Connection (reaching out to others); Make an Art Appointment (scheduling time for making art and other creative actions, even if only for five minutes); Try a New Technique (prompts and ideas); Setting and Achieving Goals (large dreams and achievable steps); Take Care of Yourself (nurturing the inner and outer self to be ready for creativity). The symbols used throughout the book and on the included stickers relate to the six categories. This introduction is followed by a few pages of techniques and tips on using simple media.

The bulk of the book is made up of the weekly planner’s 52 page spreads. Every week includes a space for goals. The other divided spaces include creative prompts, ideas or techniques. Some spaces are large enough for small sketches or doodles.

I like the varying page spread formats; the changes give me a small visual shake-up every time I turn the page. Using the book as my general planner for work and personal activities, I can see that the invitations to take small inspiration breaks and space to sketch on each spread would be helpful in reminding me to make time for creativity. Toward the end of the week, if the “Creativity Starter” or “Quick Sketch” spots were still blank, I would feel compelled to fill them.

Some pages include longer techniques with brief instructions.

Final Impressions

Visually, Make Art Every Day is a fun, colorful book with delightful illustrations. The author’s main point is that creativity is not only about making art; it’s also about preparing oneself for a creative life in a well-rounded way. The format encourages developing a daily habit of creative expression.

My only complaint – and it’s a big deal-breaker, unfortunately – is that the darn book doesn’t stay open on a desk, so I find it impossible to use as an actual planner. I had to hold each page open to take most of the photos (the ones that stayed open by themselves long enough to be photographed flipped closed a moment later). I’d like to see this book reprinted with a spiral or, better yet, stitched binding that enables each spread to stay open flat for both sketching and writing. And as long as we’re going to repackage this, why not include a small set of markers or colored pencils? It would make a really nice gift set that way.


tina-koyamaTina Koyama is an urban sketcher in Seattle. Her blog is Fueled by Clouds & Coffee, and you can follow her on Instagram as Miatagrrl.


DISCLAIMER: The item in this review include affiliate links. The Well-Appointed Desk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Pilot Iroshizuku Momiji

Review by Laura Cameron

I love Iroshizuku inks, so when Ana handed me Pilot Iroshizuku Momiji ($9.90 for 15 mL) for review, I couldn’t have been more pleased.

Momiji, or Autumn Leaves, is a wonderful pinkish red that makes me think of my favorite trees in the fall.

Iroshizuku Momiji

Rhinebeck

On the swatch I couldn’t quite capture all of Momiji’s colors. You can definitely see the red leaning pink.

Iroshizuku Momiji

But somehow that swatch doesn’t convey the depth of the red, or the orangey sheen that I get in heavy applications.

Iroshizuku Momiji

In regular applications, primarily with my Delike dip nib pen, I got varying shades of red and pink.

Iroshizuku Momiji

As with all Iroshizuku inks that I have tried, the ink performs well. It is neither too dry, nor too wet, but just right for my use. The only drawback is that Momiji doesn’t appear to be very water resistant (and I don’t appear to be very smear resistant!).

Iroshizuku Momiji

In terms of color comparisons, Momiji is definitely more red than Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu Gaki, when is much more orange. While I think Momiji tends to a deep pink at times, it also doesn’t have any of that pink or orange of Sailor Jentle Sakura Mori. It’s not quite as red as BBS Watermelon Red, nor is it as pink as Lamy Vibrant Pink.

Iroshizuku Momiji

At least in the swatches I have, Momiji seems to be a color unto itself. And one I need more of!


Laura is a tech editor, podcaster, knitter, spinner and recent pen addict. You can learn more about her knitting and tea adventures on her website, The Corner of Knit & Tea and can find her on Instagram as Fluffykira.


DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by Jet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

A Request for the Community

(poster by Skylab Letterpress)

Pen friends,

I hate to ask for a favor and you are under NO(!!!!) obligation whatsoever –I totally understand that everyone has financial commitments and personal causes they support– but I thought I’d throw this out:

I’m getting up early and WALKING for 30th Annual AIDS Walk Kansas City 2018 next Saturday. I’ve walked many years in the past but have never mentioned it here nor asked the pen community to support me in my effort to raise funds. 

If you would like to make a pledge (even $5 will help), you can make one here. 

The goal is to raise money to help people in KC living with HIV/AIDS and raise awareness about HIV. All the money raised stays in our local community.

I promise I’ll wear my Rainbow Brite sneakers while I walk. I will be walking with many other Hallmarkers as a team and our goal, collectively is to raise $15, 000 and we are halfway there with nine days left to meet our goal.

Can you help? Thanks so much and I promise I will not bother you again.

Planner Review: Floral Weekly Planner from Ruff House Art.

Review by Laura Cameron

As an avid crafter, I love supporting local artists.  And who better to support than a local paperie and press shop?  When I received the Floral Weekly Planner from Ruff House Art ($18), I couldn’t have been more excited to support a local artisan and plan my week.

The Floral Weekly planner is an undated spiral bound planner, perfect for those who like to make lists.  The covers are letterpress printed with a lovely floral design (front cover) and the adorable Ruff House Art logo (back cover).  Inside are 54 undated weekly planning sheets.

Desk Calendar

Desk Calendar

The desk calendar is approximately 6.5″ tall by 12″ wide, and I find it’s the perfect size to keep on my desk at work to jot down notes, appointments, reminders, to-dos and the like.

On the first page, I used my Pilot fountain pen with a super fine nib and some Robert Oster Berry D’Arche ink.  As you can see there was a bit of show through on the paper, but the ink didn’t bleed all the way through, which I consider a win, especially since I don’t plan on using the back side of the pages unless I have extreme list overflow!

Desk Calendar

Desk Calendar

On the second week, I went ahead and experimented with more fountain pen ink (Pilot Metro Pop, F nib and Diamine Purple Dream ink) as well as some of my Ink Joy gel pens.  Again, the fountain pen ink had a bit of show through, but the Ink Joy gel pens were perfect for this paper. I think it would also be great for Retro 51 ballpoints or rollerballs.

Desk Calendar

Desk Calendar

I enjoy the fact that the planner is undated so I can create my own weeks, and that the bulleted lists don’t have time slots so I can write down everything from what to make for dinner to my top five tasks for the day all in one list.  My one minor complaint is that Saturday and Sunday are grouped together.  I realize this is an area of some debate, but I tend to load up on chores and freelance work on the weekends, so having two separate days to plan would be preferable.

That said, I haven’t stopped using this desk calendar since I got it and I foresee more of these in my future.

Desk Calendar


Laura is a tech editor, podcaster, knitter, spinner and recent pen addict. You can learn more about her knitting and tea adventures on her website, The Corner of Knit & Tea and can find her on Instagram as Fluffykira.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Ruff House Art for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Link Love: Oops!

I’m just back from Atlanta, so I’m catching up on other people’s stories from their trips to Atlanta and Notebook Stories’ cross-country journey as well.

Be sure to check out The Pen Addict Before The Pen Addict episode of Enough that Patrick dredged up and posted on The Cramped (link is down in Other Interesting Things). I think you can even play a round of TPABingo with it.

Been missing Art Supply Posse? I continue to try to include links about creativity and art supplies here and the new Make Do podcast might help fill the gap. But if you still crave more, check out the new Artsupia – Art Supplies in Action art supply online forum put together by Marcus Clearspring. He was a fan of the podcast and is now the creator of a new line of notebooks and truly creative soul.The forum has been in soft beta for a couple months and is ready for more users. So come over and request access and join us.

Pens:

Inks:

Pencils:

Notebooks & Paper:

Art Supplies & Creativity:

Other Interesting Things:

First Look: Banmi “Color Ink Gift Series” 12-Color Ink Set

Review by Laura Cameron

I’m not going to lie.  When Ana handed me the beautiful box of Banmi inks to swatch for a first look, I was sure I’d hit the jackpot.  Ban Mi inks are produced by a Chinese company and are the latest in gold dust inks that are becoming super popular.

Ban Mi Ink

Though you can purchase Banmi inks separately ($6.90 per 15mL bottle), the box set includes 12 inks ($60.90 via YesStyle). Banmi actually produces more than 12 colorways (ed. note: knitterspeak for “color combinations”), so each box is its own mini-adventure to see what you get, although I am informed that the Dragon colorway is included in every box.

Ban Mi Ink

The color palette includes quite a few bright standard shades of ink, all represented by animals on the front of the bottle. In Ana’s particular box, the only color family I felt like was missing was orange.  Otherwise we had a range of greens and blues, yellow, red, pinks and purples, and brown and black.

Ban Mi Ink

Ban Mi Ink

The gold dust ink is somewhat subtle and hard to capture for me.  When the bottles sit for any length of time, the dust accumulates so you know it is in there. But once you shake the bottle and use the ink the sparkle is so subtle it is super hard to see and photograph.  I found that most of my samples showed no sparkle, but then they dried and that sparkle was there when the light hit just right.  My camera (or really rather the photographer) just can’t do it justice.

Ban Mi Ink

Ban Mi Ink

Overall, this was a fun set to get a sneak peek into!


Laura is a tech editor, podcaster, knitter, spinner and recent pen addict. You can learn more about her knitting and tea adventures on her website, The Corner of Knit & Tea and can find her on Instagram as Fluffykira.