Review by Tina Koyama
If you read my review of the Make Art Every Day planner, you’ll recall that I really liked almost everything about it – the charming art, the visual variety, the tips and prompts. But for a planner to be useable, especially when drawing or doodling as well as writing, the book must stay open flat on my desk. This planner’s glued, perfect binding was a deal-breaker for me – I had difficulty keeping pages open long enough even to photograph them, and I knew using it would be a problem. It was disappointing.
When Ana read my review, she had a brilliant yet simple idea: Why not have the book rebound with a spiral? I popped myself upside the head, wondering why I didn’t think of it myself, and took it to my neighborhood FedEx Kinko’s. For 6 bucks and change, a 1/8-inch slice of the binding was cut off and replaced with a smooth, round spiral binding.
Now every page spread opens completely and stays open on my desk. If I want to save space, I can also easily flip the side I’m not using to the back.
It was an easy solution to make the book useable. Boo to planner publishers who don’t think of usability, but yay for hacks!
So now the question is: What kinds of media can be used in it? I threw my usual media tests on a page, including some juicy brush pens, paint markers and a Derwent Graphik that had a messy meltdown.
The broader nibs and brushes ghosted a bit, but the only products that bled through (and only slightly) were a Kuretake brush pen filled with Platinum Carbon Black ink, a Zig Painty Fx paint marker and a Krink paint marker. Even the blorps from the Graphik meltdown didn’t bleed.
I also tried watercolor pencils with a light wash, watercolor paint on dry paper and watercolor wet-on-wet. As you might guess, the text-weight paper is not intended for wet media, so the spot where I applied water heavily buckled badly (and stayed that way after drying). A light wash applied on dry paper, though, wasn’t too bad. In my apple sketch made with watercolor pencil, I activated the shadow with a light wash, which didn’t blend well on the unsized paper.
Overall, I think this planner would be best with pens, brush pens, markers and pencils of all types.