After killing off my last cheap sketchbook which was from Ticonderoga and is readily available as of this writing, I shopped around for a replacement. I am usually gifted or accidentally fall across the scratchpads that have become the Sketchbooks from Heaven. I’m not sure if actively seeking out the sketchbook myself interferes with the magic of the process. Am I jinxing myself? I’m still in the process of finding out.
I wasn’t crazy about buying Chinese made goods particularly from Amazon, but I came up dry when I checked the shelves of the local art supply stores. The discount chain Five Below still carries their line of cheap art supplies, but they didn’t really do anything for me. I salved my conscience by telling myself that the other Sketchbooks from Heaven were also made in China so I caved and threw my money at a pair of Fuxi sketch books. Maybe they would work out, and if they didn’t, I was out ten bucks.
In researching this article I tried to determine what exactly Fuxi was or is. I assumed it was just a random Chinese factory or province with an unfortunate name when sounded out by people in the West. As it turns out Fu Xi was the first mythical emperor of China. He is seen as mankind’s first male ancestor, a cultural hero, and one of the most benevolent gods in Ancient China. Fuxi is credited with creating the invention of the writing system, fishing, and the domestication of animals. The 500 year old drawing of Fuxi above is what sealed the deal for me. It looks sort of like one of the crude doodles I would commit to these cheap sketchbooks.
So I am about halfway through the first of the Fuxi sketchbooks which you can see I have encrusted with stickers (I eat a lot of citrus.) The size is right and the binding is on the short side. The paper is off-white and toothy which I kind of like. For years I always favored hot press papers for the sake of crisp ink lines. As I age, my crippling quest to make that perfect line becomes a lot less important. I like the way dry-brush ink scumbles across the surface of this paper.So far, so good. The pair may just end up being utilitarian doodle pads. It’s mainly been used for sketches for other works such as the Halloween costume, Drawer Cards and the occasional note. I’m OK with that. If something great comes out of these tablets, I will share it here.