In my meaning here, a “hack” is an alteration, usually a clever one. There are 3 hacks in this photo.
First, I made the cover of this sketchbook black. It’s a spiral bound, 9×12 Montvall Watercolor sketchbook. The cover has some text on it.
I like to add stickers to my sketchbook covers, particularly of the places I’ve sketched in the book. It’s also paper and I prefer a thicker, more supportive cover. I added a black heavy card stock by gluing it on to the existing cover. It made it both plain black and a little heavier. I’ve already added some stickers.
The next hack is the removal of the spiral binding. This was not my idea. I saw it on Steve Reddy‘s book a week ago. He removed the spiral binding and replaced it with a few book rings. These are available at any stationery store in a choice of sizes and even colors.
This makes it easy to remove and replace a sketch out of the book. I scan my sketches and the spiral binding makes it really difficult to get good focus on the flat bed scanner. Being able to remove the sketch, scan it flat and then put it back in the book is a good thing.
The spiral binding also takes up extra room in the sketch bag. The book rings seem not as bulky.
The last little hack comes from Brenda Swenson. She mentioned it during the workshop I took recently at Daniel Smith. Many sketchbooks come with an attached elastic band to hold it closed. Brenda uses an elastic hair band when the book doesn’t come with an elastic! The child size ones are good for smaller sketchbooks. This large sketch book uses an adult one. They are also available in many colors. When I take it off to use the book, I just wrap it around my wrist so I don’t loose it while on location.
There you have it. Three hacks in one post.