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Mike's Moleskine Update

And now, a few Moleskine-related tidbits:

Proj: Exhibition Pages 19-20

Proj; Exhibition Update
Today I was reminded of my involvement in Patrick Ng's proj: exhibition show in Hong Kong because of Jeremy Wagstaff's post about his visit to see it:

"Just had a chance to visit the Moleskine Art exhibition in Hong Kong’s Times Square (a rather impoverished version of the original, the huge outdoor screen blaring trash across the concourse being the focal point).

Anyway, a modest exhibition in the basement, in one glass case in the shop. But nicely done by enthusiast Patrick Ng, and a true window on what people can do with their Moleskine notebooks. Here are some terrible photos I took with my cellphone of some of the exhibits...

Anyway, I’m probably biased because I interviewed him, but my money is on Mike Rohde, who does some lovely sketches in his:"

Thanks for the mention Jeremy! :-)

I'd almost forgotten that my little sketchbook was sent to Patrick way back in January. Well apparently the show is popular, as I'm reading that the sign-in book (a large Moleskine journal) was filled up and Patrick had to start a second one:

"We didn't expect such a great respond from customers, but the result is fascinating. In a week's time the comment book (large size blank Moleskine) was filled up entirely, so I have put a Comment Book 2 in Times Square last night, hoping to capture more comments. I found that there are a lot of people leaving messages to their loved ones, friends and schoolmates also."

This is great news! I'm happy that all of Patrick's hard work to get this event going has paid off for him in nice ways, and I'm honored to have been invited to participate. This was one of those rare win-win projects, so Jeremy and Patrick's reports make me very happy. Great job Patrick!!

Armand does NAMTA with Kikkerland
Meanwhile, Armand Frasco is living it up at NAMTA (National Art Materials Trade Association) with the Kikkerland folks (distributors of Moleskine in the USA), sharing stories of Moleskinerie and Journalisimo. I'm very proud of Armand commanding the attention of Kikkerland and hope that this recognition will bring him even more fame, fortune and Moleskine books! just be sure to send me some samples Armand! :-)

Baptized Moleskines
I've had positive and unfortunate experiences with my own Moleskine collection. Two of my pocket Moleskines have been water damaged in a freak accident involving my Café Bag and my Naglene-esque water bottle that wasn't fully sealed. The carpet in our car got wet, and then soaked through the canvas of my Café bag and into the bottoms of my Pocket Moleskine sketchbook and gridded idea book inside.

I've learned that while Pilot G2 ink is nice and dark, it isn't totally waterproof. Unfortunately parts of some sketches and writings were smeared, and that's too bad. However, on the other hand it almost feels like my Moleskines have been "baptized" as it were and are now truly broken in. I'm glad that I've been using waterproof Uniball gel ink in the Signo 207, so that I'm ready for the next baptism.

Keeping a Moleskine Daily Diary
Now the good: I've been thoroughly enjoying keeping a daily journal in a Moleskine Pocket sized daily journal sent by Patrick Ng. For a few weeks, I'd explored the idea of replacing my Palm handheld with the Moleskine, but came to realize that it was too vulnerable for my tastes (lose the book, there goes my personal life, no backup).

However, because I veered away from using the Pocket Daily Diary as a "daily driver' I instead began using it to record thoughts from each day, before going to sleep. I've found this very therapeutic and enjoyable. If I have a very busy week and don't record thoughts for a few days, I've been back-filling those days when I do journal. The net effect is that I've been keeping a daily diary since the end of February, a first for me.

I really like the Moleskine Pocket Daily Diary because the pages are just right — enough to allow some deeper comments and thoughts yet small enough that I don't feel overwhelmed by a blank page awaiting my thoughts.

Having a record of every day is also quite interesting for reading back in time. It allows me to see progression of thought and to pinpoint when shifts may have occurred in my thinking or environment. This blog has already worked in this regard, but the daily record goes even a step further.

I plan to continue with my daily entries. It will be interesting to look back one year from now to see the full impact of daily writing in this little book. I have a feeling I'll be ordering another Moleskine Daily Pocket Diary from Patrick for 2006. :-)

Reader Comments (7)

I always enjoy your writings and your incredible sketches (my stick figures don't compare). I got lucky and got my Pocket Daily Journal from The Container Store online for 1/2 price (sometimes procrastination does pay!). In fact, I ordered both sizes. I agree, the Pocket size is the way to go. Keep up the great work here and with Journalisimo!
April 14, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterRT
Mike, that's a great rendition of Nathan. You really captured him in that sketch.
April 14, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterTim
Sorry to hear about your cafe bag disaster Mike, but I think that it's great you can be so philosophical about it.

Your thoughts about ditching the Palm and doing a daily diary are really timely for me, because I've been considering much the same thing. I've had so much fun keeping a journal in a Moleskine since January, that I've become more and more frustrated by my Palm, to the point that my organization system is in danger of crashing around me. So I'm currently in the process of trying a more analog approach, with the help of the marvellous DIY Planner from Douglas Johnston ( My problem is deciding how to integrate analog and digital, because I don't want to throw the Palm out of my system entirely, but I'll work it out eventually. Thanks for posting your experiences. They are, as ever, much appreciated.
April 14, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterNeal
Neal, good to hear you are contemplating how to merge analog and digital into your life I think this decision is pretty personal and takes time to come to. In fact, it will likely shift as you continue changing the way you work.

I use my Palm much less than in past years (PIM), but it's also being used in some new ways, mainly as a blog, web and ebook offline reader and MP3 player.

I've brought much more pen and paper back into my life, for sketches, notes and ideas, where they fit better than forcing the Palm's Grafitti to halfway do the job.

In the end it's really a matter of finding what is most efficient for yourself and living with it long enough to prove out your assumptions. Sometimes what you think will happen doesn't and what you never imagined, does. ;-)

Good luck!
April 16, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Neal, as for my Moleskines getting wet, I think it makes no sense to fret since there isn't much to be done now. :-)
April 27, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Thanks for writing up how you work, Mike. It's interesting and for many of us, valuable to know. It's still hard for me to imagine being able to be the Art Director at a distance. Curious how the work flow works. Sorry to hear about your water accident.

Re Palm and Moleskine. I'm finding the Palm without a keyboard is mainly good as a source of information. And the Moleskine is great for entering information and writing. Both are very handy but my pockets get awfully full when I wear jeans!
April 27, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Tokerud
Janet, glad you've enjoyed this and my more recent posting on my work life.

As for art directing at a distance, mainly it's a matter of working with good people (I do) who trust me, are great at what they do and whom I trust. It also requires good communications to describe what I mean, whether text in email or chat or voice.

I often find that sketches work well where words sometimes do not. Still it is harder than art directing in person, and for the most part, I art direct myself.

As for the Moleskine vs. Palm, I'm moving much more in your direction -- Palm becoming a reading/hearing device while the Moleskine becomes more of a capture device. I'd alomost rather go from Moleskine to Mac and keyboard than fiddle with the Zire 72, though the 72 does have much better Graftti recognition.

As for jeans, you might want to have a sub-set of your Moleskine for travelling light using the Hipster PDA with some 3x5 cards. Maybe go to Kinkos and get some nice stock cut down for this -- great thing about 3x5 cards is, they fit into the pocket of your Moleskine.

Another option might be a Moleskine Cahiers, which come in pocket sizes, all the standard paper stocks, but are super thin for putting into a pocket.

Hope those thoughts clarify things a bit more. :-)
April 27, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde

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