Sunday, 10 January 2010

Scrapbooks a great resourse

It may be a little old fashioned of me, but I still use scrapbooks. OK, I may refer to them as sketchbooks or even reference resources, but in essence they are and always will be scrapbooks!

The illustration below is only a small part of my 'reference resource', to give you an idea as to how large this collection is. I have over 12 of the A4 ring-bound sketchbooks and about another dozen of smaller scrapbooks. The contents include pencil sketches or roughs, downloaded pictures from the internet, cuttings from newspapers and magazines and (one of my favourites) illustrations from modelmaking or gaming magazines and catalogues.

Those who know me will know that I never attend a wargame or model show without a sketch-book of some kind (I can usually be found with a pencil in one hand and a sketchbook in the other, frantically sketching a particular model or terrain piece) while family and friends know that a sketchbook or journal will always be welcome as a birthday or Christmas present. In fact for the last three years my son and his girlfriend have given me a sketchbook for Christmas (2009 being no exception) which is very welcome and soon put to good use, in this case the one in the front-left of the photo - with an illustration of Jane Fonda as Barbarella!

Even with the Internet, I still enjoy doodling and cutting up pictures that may (or may not) be of use to me at some stage. In addition the scrapbooks have come in very useful when meeting with prospective customers for DampfWerks projects, I can easily show examples of work-in-progress while also sketching down ideas. Dave at Grand Manner and I can spend hours checking through reference books and sketching ideas (those who know Dave or have been to his office in Bromsgrove will know how his walls and workbench are full of sketches and fantastic inspiration from all sorts of places).

The main reason for this rambling post is to point out to others how good a resource these books can be and recommend to others that they go back a generation (or two) and invest in a scrapbook to work as a reference book or just as inspiration when the creative juices are slow to flow. I will guarantee that it will be a fulfilling experience and one that will produce dividends.

As a further example, the second photo shows just some of the library books, loans and cheap charity shop finds that I am using as initial reference for my 40mm 'Sword and Sandal' project using Typhon from Alternative Armies as the rule set. I'll browse the children's illustrated history section of the local library for illustrations, then re-draw them in my scrapbook before (hopefully) producing some themed terrain.

In 2010 why not set yourself a New Years Resolution to (like me) invest in a scrapbook while attending wargaming or modelling shows?



Andyroo said...

Nice idea

I've been using OneNote to keep pictures and webpages in and taken to scan magazine pages but the time taken is sometimes worth more than the result!

Do you add an index page so you can find things or just spend hours flicking through and forgetting what you where looking for (me and the Net I must admit)?


Tony said...

I spend ages - flicking through. Sorry but I'm not so organised as to have an index!

It's much more fun this way.


Eli Arndt said...

I do something similar with countless spiral notebooks where I write rules, adventures and then also draw out and sketch ideas for this game and that. It's a muttled mess and someday I'd like to go through and cut and paste all the good stuff into one place.

Cronickain said...

I keep several books for the various versions of my hobby including the rpgs and miniatures in which I keep notes and ideas. Heck I even keep a notepad always on my computer to write down notes etc. As a writer I also tend to keep a pad of paper handy in case an idea comes to me. Who knows, by placing this post perhaps you inspired me to write the next great rules set.

BigLee said...

I've always kept a notebook of some kind. I don't always keep them as they are usually for making notes and references on current projects. I never go anywhere without a notebook and pen.

Rob Alderman said...

Hey Tony,
on the contrary, I wouldn't call it old fashioned!
I am 19, I always carry a sketchbook, pencil and if I can a camera. It is an excellent idea to keep all these ideas down, especially when one is so reliant on going back on all those little notes you make in your head.
In future, I WILL take them to shows as well. It's a great idea and I'd love to flick through some of the flintloque related ones you may have done.