I just made some major changes to my workspace, so I thought it would be a great time to share all of my favorite pencil grips, cases, and drawing desk tips! Want to hear all of this in video form? Watch the video here: I […]
If you haven’t stumbled upon Archive.org yet, get ready to lose some time sifting through beautiful old books. Archive.org is a non-profit with a mission of providing universal access to books, so anyone without access to libraries can still view, print, and share the wealth of knowledge stored in the library.
If you’re like me and you live in a tiny city with a library that basically just has romance novels and kids books, then this resource is a lifesaver. The site is an incredible bank of imagery for artists, designers, and anyone with a penchant for old books, so beware if you have important things to get done today!
Their books in the creative commons are always available for viewing, but newer books require an account to view. If you create a free account you can “Borrow” books for 14 days. So just like a real library, books can be checked out, and you can join a waitlist for any books that are already checked out by someone else.
One important note for artists and designers using these books as references — books that are 100+ years old are typically in the creative commons and are safe to use as a reference in your work. However I wouldn’t recommend using anything under 100 years old because it could still be protected by a copyright. Archive.org allows anyone to upload books, so be sure to check the date printed on the book before using anything in your artwork!
A quick tip for searching the site to be sure you look at the oldest books first:
- Enter a search term and tap GO (I searched for ‘botanical illustrations’)
- Select ‘Search Text Contents’ under the search bar so that you’re only searching books (not videos or single images)
- Set the search order to ‘Date Published’
- Reverse the sort order by clicking the little arrow by the words ‘Sort By’
I have found so many amazing books on this site, I couldn’t possibly share them all here, but I wanted to share a few examples of the beautiful imagery you can find:
Looking for some inspiration for your hand lettering or font making? There is no end to the amount of typography inspiration on this site. Tip: once you find a book you like, scroll down below it to see similar books. I found most of the books listed here that way!
If you’ve ever wished you had a go-to resource for borders, flourishes, and illustration ideas, check out these three books for tons of ideas.
Whether you’re looking for fine line drawing, watercolors, or just composition ideas, you’ll find a seemingly never ending supply of botanical inspiration on Archive.org!
That is just a tiny sampling of some of my personal favorites, but of course you’ll discover tons of books that fit your personal style and interests. Discover something interesting? Send me a message, I’d love to see it!
Not sure how to use these resources? Check out my class on Art Nouveau Illustration to see how I turn vintage inspiration into modern illustrations.
If you’re like me, you spend wayyyy too much time searching for color combinations. I finally broke down and did an exhaustive search in order to narrow down my favorite resources for color palettes so I never have to suffer from lack of good colors […]
While I love planners with an interesting border or background (like my last free planner here) sometimes I just need to simplify my life with some minimalist bullet journaling. My new planner has simple bullet points and an open layout that is easy to customize with the colors and stickers that fit your personal style.
In this quick tutorial I cover some tips for downloading and using the planner + some tips about Goodnotes 5 that make it easy to bookmark important locations. Check out the video here:
The planner includes 6 sections. A yearly page that links to each month of the year:
A monthly page with a few bullet points for each day:
A weekly spread with bullets for each day + a notes section:
A lined paper section for notes:
A blank paper section for lists, sketches, etc.
A goals section for keeping track of daily or monthly goals:
And a sticker page with 64 stickers:
I show my whole process for making this planner from start to finish in my Skillshare class on designing a digital planner on your iPad. Check out the class if you want to make your own!
Remember to check the video tutorial above if you have any trouble downloading or using the planner!
*If you want to use the stickers too download this PNG file and place it on the sticker page after you download the PDF for Notability.