Friday, September 25, 2009

From the journals of Mr. Peacock...

I’ve kept journals, or should I say “scrapbooks” for decades now (yikes-time flies). They’re not really a journal in the traditional sense, but more of a visual diary of my life. I've always been obsessed with assorted bits of ephemera and magazines (I work at them and buy them). I admit I can be somewhat of a pack rat too. As I’ve mentioned before, I was always a gypsy and moved around many times in my life.

One day I started gluing everything that I liked into my sketchbook, and I’ve never looked back. When I would move—all I had to worry about was my journals, instead of stacks of magazines and boxes of ephemera.

I know many people enjoy keeping similar cut & paste journals. I find the actual act of clipping, gluing and collaging to be very therapeutic and relaxing. I try do constantly maintain my journals, but sometimes I get behind on keeping up with my “paperwork.” In fact, right now I’m behind a few months, but I’ll eventually take a weekend and plow through my “stuff” and get caught up. Over the years I’ve even had some intimate friends become frustrated, and almost jealous, at the time I spent maintaining my journals.

My journals have been like a close friend to me over the years. I turn to them when I want to escape, to be cheered up, or if I need a bit of inspiration. I can tell what year I created a journal just my thumbing through the pages. It always takes me right back to where I was at that moment in my life—much like a written diary for some folks.

I’ve purchased the same size hard-covered 10.5” x 13.5” Canson hard cover sketch books year after year. I've had some red covers & white covers, but most are black covered.

I always put a “title” on the front of each journal that sums up my mind-set at the time. I’m not too precious when I work on my journals, no straight lines or perfect layouts here; they’re just for me. I can tell you I've gone through cases and cases of glue-sticks over the years.

The IKEA Billy Bookcases in my living room nicely store some of my journals ( above-on the bottom two shelves behind my sofa).

I’ve never tallied up how many journals I’ve filled over the years. They’ve been in storage, lost, stolen, and regrettably I sold some journals.

Above: I like the way some of my "vintage" journals are getting a patina and discoloring from time.

Almost 20 years ago, I sold some to a shop owner that purchased rare books and magazines. When you entered the shop you had to check your bag. The shop owner peeked at my journal as I shopped. When I retrieved my bag he asked me what my book was and I said it’s my “journal.” He asked if I had anymore and said he would be interested in buying them. I told him I didn’t sell my journals. However, when I needed some quick cash I took a few back and sold them. I don’t even remember how much I got for them, but in hindsight I wish I had kept them.

I'll probably continue to keep making my journals until I die, although, unfortunately I'll run out of space to keep them. Many pages of my journals are naughty, and I can't share them here, but over time I will share some more "G" rated pages from my journals (and photograph them better).

Do you keep a diary, journal or scrapbook of your life and thoughts? Or do you have a ritual that inspires you at the uninspired lulls in life? Whatever you do, I hope you have an inspiring weekend!

13 comments:

pve design said...

I have the same sort of journals to define me. I think it is a way of archiving what inspires me....of capturing it in one place....some things that I used to love...make me laugh. It is always changing like the seasons.
I would love to see your journals. They look like a treasure trove.
pve

ArchitectDesign™ said...

I'll just start with I love your living room. Now that that is out of the way, I love this idea. It could be an entire seperate blog (with a parental warning of course -i'm intrigued by naughty!). Invest in a scanner and go through scanning page after page -what a fascinating autobiographical blog that would turn into!
I do something similar, but not as personal -i put the pages I tear out of magazines in chronological order into plastic sleeves and then into 3 ring binders -a little more antisceptic and bland compared to yours!

jon said...

whoa- those are pretty incredible- i always try to start journals, but never end up staying consistent. There was a time when i would put my tears in plastic sleeves as the above commenter, but now I just stacks inside plastic bins. but your journals are totally inspirational!

jason said...

I love this idea of yours. I like how you say that just looking at the clippings can bring you back to that time.
I might just start it myself...albeit very belatedly. Better late than never, I suppose.

Felicity said...

Thanks Mr Peacock, you know I love looking at your journals....felicity

Daniel-Halifax said...

i do the EXACT same thing you do, even down to referring to the un filed stuff as "paperwork." Its always a bit awkward when someone looks at them, but I appreciate you showing yours. glad we share that!

Frances said...

I do the same thing as architect design, because though I have had Canson journals as well, I never feel quite satisfied with what I've done with them. I guess it's a control thing! At any rate, yours are great! And nice use of the billy bookcases. ; )

roscoecasper said...

They remind me of the scrapbooks kept by Peter Beard. Besides clippings, his books may have feathers, bones, dried flowers, etc. He's been keeping them since he was a child and they document his travels and experiences.

Made To Measure NY said...

Absolutely brilliant.

You are TRULY a graphic artist.

All the best,
D.

Steve Doyle said...

Can I come and look at your journals for a week?! I think you may have the most inspiring home in the world.

Mr. Peacock said...

Hi everyone!!!

pve designs...
I'm know your journals
have to be fantastic!
If we were on the same coast
we could meet up and have a
coffee klatch and share journals!

ArchitectDesign...
Thank you, our living is comfy,
but it's going to be evolving soon.
Give me some time, but I will
email you a naughty journal page.
I do the same thing as you,
with a three ring binder,
for my work projects.
And that works just as well too.

Jon...
The thing I like about the
plastic sleeve process is sometimes
there is something inspirational
on both sides of a page or item....
in the plastic sleeves
you can really see it well.

Jason...
Yes, now is a great time
to start a journal!
There is no rules...you can
put anything you want in it.

HI Felicity!

Daniel-Halifax...
Fantastic! Yes, unless
you maintain a "journal" yourself,
you don't really understand
how personal it can be.
Although, I love checking out
other people's journals!

Hi Frances...
Control is good!
Those Billy Bookcases are handy!
Do you have some too?

Roscoecasper...
I love Peter Beard! Yes, his are very exquisite!
Some of my journals have extra stuff
(feathers, fabric, ephemera)in them too.

MadeToMeasure...
Thanks Dennis!

Hi Steve...
If you're ever in San Francisco,
stop by and have a pint and
peruse through my bookcases!

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