If you’ve never come across one of these before. Oh my! You’re in for a creative treat! I love the concertina sketchbook. Whoever invented this as a concept is a genius! A variety of choices exist on the market and again some trial and error to find which one works for you is probably recommended.

With up to and over 70 working surfaces here is why I love the concertina sketchbook!

  1. You can take your time filling it. I set myself the challenge of filling it with images twice a week around other things as a welcome respite and something more focused than generic sketching.
  2. Its still portable as if folds into a book. It opens up a page at a time. It can be challenging to work on at times if you are out and about but once you get used to folding the pages back on themselves you can use them as you would normally.
  3. Its a great way to group, categorise, explore specific themes.  Mine for example was a sketchbook filled with people.
  4. An element of magic to open up the pages! If you’re an illustrator and want to use this format to create a story theme this is a great format to practise on.
  5. It makes a great traveller’s sketchbook. Drawings merge, you can make notes, you can use mutliple paint or sketching mediums. The Seawhite Concertina Sketchbook is great for this.
  6. I use them to explore further the themes that my daily sketchbook uncovers.
  7. …And one of my favourite things about them is their “Wow” factor. People’s reactions to them as you start to open them is priceless as no one expects a sketchbook to open into an accordion of images that sometimes span the length of a room.

One of concertina notebooks is my ode to Yorkshire Folk that I see daily in my job and day to day living. The “people” that make up my community, the ones we work with or care for or teach or grow businesses with or befriend or look up to or have fun with…people.

Here’s to the girlfriends that meet up at lunchtime, the flourescent corporate cyclist everyone has in the office, cheerful travellers (American in this case) passing through our stations and airports, the children sneaking downstairs for bedtime toast with a panda or the dads strapping naughty toddlers into pushchairs on mummy’s day off, the hardworking musicians and creatives on street corners, the business man on his 3rd cup of coffee as I sketched him (slow down – its not worth it), the weekend football match – who needs a comedy gig when you listen in to conversations at one of these, police on horseback and public services stretched to breaking point, our elderly full of wisdom and pain and the support needed within the system to care for them, the grafting market traders and retailers, the millenial generation running an office from a phone and coffee shop in jeans, our youth – the leaders of tomorrow that need so much support and care and focus (I found 5 different shades of black to capture them!) the corporate presentation and the juggernaut of economy and last but not least the homeless, especially the very young ones I met along the way that remind me of our basic needs as communities and how we shouldn’t have 1 in 2000 Yorkshire Folk without a house to call home.

If you’re thinking about starting a concertina notebook head over to my pinterest board on them that will give you some ideas!

Thanks for reading.

Emily x