Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nina Crittenden: Kinda Sketchy

I feel super honored that Amy asked me to share my notebooks. It took me a little while to figure out my notebook system, and then I came to the realization that I don't really have a system... I have a variety of different notebooks going filled with sketches and thoughts and ideas, here are the ones I use the most:


The Comic Book Layout Pages Sketchbook is fun when I am trying to work out really rough storyboards, I have a few little Field Notes books going, and the small Rhodia notebook goes with me everywhere I go. Drawing on graph paper is nice because I don't have the pressure of a big, blank, white sheet of paper staring at me (but I must admit that I draw all over plain white paper, too). My phone works in a pinch for writing down ideas that I end up emailing to myself, and I even have a little note section where I keep jokes that I make up. Scraps of paper get scribbled on and then end up in an "idea drawer" in my desk. There is also a notebook on my nightstand in case I wake up with ideas in the middle of the night. Keep track of all of your thoughts any way that works for you,

because you never know when a little idea like this...


could turn into something like this...


and end up looking like this.


I try to do something creative every day; whether I draw, or write, or even knit. Some days are super productive, and some days aren't, but I really think it all evens out. The most important thing is to do your own thing, be open to learning and growing, and just be your own quirky self. 


Nina Crittenden an illustrator who loves pancakes, silly jokes, and is currently obsessed with ferns.  You can visit her here at her website or here at her blog.

Many thanks to Nina for offering her wisdom and also a giveaway on today's post!  If you leave a comment on this post, you will be eligible to receive the Nina-illustrated book, CEDRIC AND THE DRAGON, as well as a pocket-sized Rhodia notebook.  Please simply leave a comment, and check back here or at The Poem Farm Facebook page on October 26 to see if you have won!  Thank you, Nina!


13 comments:

  1. Great tips, Nina! I need to try the graph paper one, especially because it makes everything look very important.
    P.S. I am also obsessed with ferns!

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  2. I would've thought Nina's joke section were stacks of notebooks, reams of paper, and overflowing drawers! That lady LOVES her jokes!

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  3. Yay! Amy, this is a wonderful post and Nina, I love your work. Thanks for sharing your notebook process with us.

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  4. Hi, Nina...This is Mrs. Cruikshank`s third grade class from Potsdam Central School in Potsdam, NY...we are learning about writers notebooks and how to use them. We really enjoyed seeing your work...especially the drawings and how it came from a little idea. You are a great artist.

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  5. Oooh, I love this sneak peek into Nina's world!

    Although I'm just a lowly writer and not an illustrator, I like to doodle as I work on a picture book, it helps me loosen up and get the ideas flowing. The grid notebook is a great idea for me...I can draw and write! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I love your system of notebooks, Nina! And I'm glad your seascape drawing started as a bonjour spouting fish. Here in France, all the pads, notebooks, loose leaf paper etc have grids. Lined paper is rare. I think you must be a little French or something ;) Anyway, you'd love the notebooks here! Your work is great. Bonne continuation!

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  7. Way to go Nina, love, love what you do my friend! : )

    a : )

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  8. It's great to see the beginning idea, and then through to the beautiful final published page. And thanks for telling about the comic book layout pages sketchbook-just right for a few students I know. Thanks Amy & Nina.

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  9. So cool to see this type of notebook....I have students who visualize first and then write, so this would be wonderful to share with them.

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  10. Cool! :) I love seeing idea sketches...

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  11. In our district, we are taking a closer look at boy writers and trying to close the gender gap we see in our test scores. We're reading Boy Writers by Ralph Fletcher. This post made me think of the importance of letting our boy writers draw, create, doodle, and play in their notebooks. I'll be sharing this with our boys. Thanks!

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  12. Thank you, Amy for your blog. And Nina for sharing. This is so helpful for teachers and kids alike, not to mention just plain interesting to others, too. Reading others' commments gives me ideas, too, especially sharing Nina's sketches with kids who are artists or just love drawing to get their ideas going. Janet F.

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  13. Thank you, Amy, for inviting me here, and to all of you for your kind comments! xoxo

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