Writing and sketching in cafes offers an antidote to the isolation of the creative life.
It’s an especially great way to find comfort when traveling alone, or documenting your experience while traveling while you refuel.
Here are a few tips to get started journaling, all you need is a blank sketchbook or journal and some simple, portable supplies.
Even if you’re not traveling, I recommend working in cafes in your home town. Especially if you work at home, like so many artists do. The simple act of leaving the house and being around other people gets me out of introverted ruts.
Bring your camera and take some snaps of your table.
I have a mild obsession with photographing my workspace at the cafe table — and these shots go in the journal, eventually. These are the type of photos that are generally only of interest to the writer. Which is even more reason to take them.
The tutorial will show you what these pages (below) looked like (and how I got the effect) before I wrote and drew on top.
This is a finished journal entry that I made while dining on tapas and wine in Barcelona, Spain.
I made a bunch of date labels before I left, which I stamped with my trusty date stamp. A gift from my local librarian when the hand-stamped due date went the way of the dinosaur. She knew of my fondness for date stamps. I’ll try and keep them alive in my own small way.
In this entry, I made a sketch of my wine bottle, and wrote my journal entry around it.
My selection of wine was based entirely on the beautiful typography on the label. It unfortunately didn’t taste that great to me. I’m sticking to Rioja.
Since I first wrote this post back in 2009 – a lot has changed, but the essentials of how I work remain the same as they every were.
I’m still an avid fan of working in cafes.