Saturday, June 6, 2009

Owlin' around....

Workin' on some new designs today, to incorporate into A5 journals.

I've had such an attraction to birds of late, so I've finally decided to do bring some Finki birds into the world. Today's focus is on owls in particular.

I will do a budgie or finch down the track, but I thought I'd start with an owl.
They are so much like cats almost, which might sound odd, but after sketching a few you realise that without the defining beak and wings they sort of have a cat silhouette. Probably those cute little ear things they have.

So I haven't narrowed it down yet, but I do like pudgy ones, with a retro inspired pattern on there bellies, and I haven't decided whether or not I'll go for a sketch or if I'll just use the sketch as an outline to create a collage owl. Hmmm...

On the A5 journal front, I have been redesigning. Mainly as a response to feedback at the market.

1: Do you have any with thicker covers.
2: Gee's they're expensive! (which I guess isn't really feedback, just criticism)'s important to hear what everyone has to say, and then take it with a grain of salt.
Now traditionally, I create original artwork for my journals. Print them on 210 gsm card stock, laminate, trim and hole punch them, before spiral binding them to 200 pages of lined or plain paper.

For my first batch, I cut my own papers. My little guillotine only does 10 pages at a time so by the time you get 200, it ends up being a timely process and maybe not all that peter perfect straight either. I went down this road because I really wanted them to be handmade....not just art covers attached to a pre made in china backing book. My thought process was that they would be art journals or sketch books, but people asked for lined pages too.

For the life of me I cannot find lined pages, made in Aus, that I can cut up into the size I need, or a good quality cartridge paper to use for ink pens e.t.c.
If you have any ideas, I'm all ears.
I've scouted out the option of buying the art journals and putting my own covers on, but it seems a cop out. So for now I'm using 100% recycled paper, hand cut and punched. It takes longer, but I feel it's a little more authentic and I can proudly call it handmade.

I have been readdressing my covers too. I really really like a more grungy, artsy, recycled look, and sometimes think my stuff is a bit too polished. So no more laminate.

For my new range of covers I have used recycled board, original illustrations and text from old books, hand stitching and of course a little bit of collage and original Finki artwork.

So, addressing my feedback,
they do have thicker covers ....... but......they are not any cheaper.
Sorry customer number 2, but if you want original art journals cheaper than$12, I can not sacrifice quality and originality just to pump out something made in china and mass produced.

In saying that though....I am trying my bestest to finalise some sketch pads, similar in make to an exercise book. It will have less pages and a less involved making process, therefore working out a bit cheaper.
I can't please every one, but I'll sure try.


  1. I LOVE all your owls!
    I know that probably doesn't help you much, but each has it's own special personality it's hard to pick just one!
    By the way, I don't think you could even by a plain journal for much cheaper let alone a handmade original, they're great.
    People don't realise how hard it is to actually produce something with so much love and uniqueness.
    Great to see you today, hope you have a great weekend :)

  2. Love the work Jay. Like yourself I'm trying to find things that are not made in China, so hard, so sad.

  3. I can't believe someone complained that $12 was too much for a handmade art journal. I think it's a great price. If someone wants to pay $2 then they can go to the reject shop.

  4. I think your prices are very reasonable, in fact I thought you could charge more!
    Have you been to a printer to ask about paper? I made some initial enquiries when I was thinking about making the books that go inside my journal covers - most printers should be able to provide blank or lined paper cut to whatever size you like, which you can then bind yourself.

  5. $12! For a handmade journal! That's ludicrously cheap. People just have not frickin' idea what it takes to create things!!! Next time they ask you that, send them to me and I'll promptly boot them across to the closest $2 shop so they can happily buy Chinese slave children's handmade work instead. Ridiculous.

    And I LOVE the owls! I can't wait to see what you create with them. xx

  6. Just remember all the people who have been more than happy to buy your journals :)
    (including me!). That's your feedback too!

    Jen in Melbourne

    PS - I'm still wearing a little Finki everyday, either a hairclip or one of my knitted rings or both!!

  7. Wrote a comment but it vanished. I believe it said:

    Stallholders should arrive at markets wearing matching teeshirts saying, "I'm worth this much!"

    People who visit handmade markets looking for cheap bargains have a disappointing day ahead of them. Perhaps the $2 Shop would be a better bet.


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