Renaissance Art Leather Journals

This morning I’d like to send out a great big Thank You to Arthur, a leather craftsman of the highest order and the owner of Innovative Journaling.

The level of care that he puts into his hand-made journals and field bags is truly inspiring. Everything he makes is an heirloom quality work of art.

A couple of weeks ago I ordered a new art journal for myself using a special 40% off promotion Arthur was giving to us Facebook holdouts.  That is, his Facebook followers who still hadn’t broken down and ordered one of these marvelous journals.

I had some idea of what to expect before I even ordered it as I already had one of his other journals that I got for Noah’s birthday last month as a model. While I was there, I’d also taken advantage of his free journal offer, which is for a small, passport size refillable journal that I gave to Miss Kate who is, herself, a budding artist… I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that a time or two.

 Both journals from that order are exceptionally beautiful and well crafted without being intimidating, so I was pretty sure I was going to love mine. I was right.

Brief Description

My journal, the Large Travel Journal from the old site, which isn’t being made anymore but is similar in size and design to the Large Snap 240 Page Journal,  arrived yesterday evening, unfortunately I didn’t  get an opportunity to sit down and play with it until this morning. 

Stitching at Center of Section

The Pages

Like the previous two journals, all of  the pages are thick sheets of  hand-torn 100% cotton rag Arches paper.

While the paper has a slight tooth to it, its remarkably soft and simply begs to be touched.  Other than size, the primary difference is that, unlike in the previous two, the pages in my journal are hand-stitched into the leather cover in six sections.

A Journal You Want to Use

These aren’t journals that you want to put up on a shelf and admire, these are journals that you want to start playing in as soon as you open them!

In his description of this journal on the Renaissance Art site, Arthur writes:

As you begin scratching out your thoughts on the slightly textured rag paper, the blank pages will call to you, enticing your creativity to come forth.

When I first read that I couldn’t help but laugh because my usual experience with a new journal is a very predictable case of blank canvas syndrome.  All that perfect empty white space staring up at me completely stoppers my creativity and sends my muse flying off to parts unknown, I don’t want to make a single mark for fear of ruining that perfection.

Arthur was right though, this journal makes you WANT to create in it! As soon as I opened it I wanted to jump in and do something.  My muse was jumping up and down, just bubbling over with ideas!

First Steps in My New Journal

The first thing I did was join the six sections of the book by gluing different colored sheets of thin hand-made cotton fiber paper to the first and last pages.

Now, no matter where I open the book I have a full spread to work with and it adds an interesting texture to those pages as well. 

Later on I might glue some more paper in here and there so I have some accordion pages or maybe I’ll jump in feet-first and create some full spread watercolor or mixed-media backgrounds.

Alterations Joining Two Sections

The point is, this book doesn’t just entice you to start playing, it begs you to jump in and get messy.  It feels like the safest, most natural place to create… a place where no matter what you do it’s going to be beautiful.

Pink Background with Leaf
Messy Warm Page
Green & Blue with Dried Flower Petals

Would I recommend these journals?

Heck, yes!  If you love journals then this is an absolute MUST HAVE!

If you’re not sure if a leather journal is for you, I encourage you to give the free passport size journal a try, all you have to pay is shipping (and it’s a steal at that).  Go ahead, I dare you not to fall in love with it!

Okay, I’m done. I just can’t put it off any longer… I must go play in my journal some more… It’s calling me!