People often ask me what ties together or unifies my collection. Though I find the inquiry a tad pretentious, for many years it made me panic. It is neither here nor there, really, but I have realized all of my art does have one common thread: They all have a special process. Often, an artist’s process starts in their intimate, personal notebooks. As such, it is an honor of the highest order to peek inside some of my favorite artist’s and fashion designer’s notebooks.

Shantell Collage
SHANTELL MARTIN

Shantell Martin is an artist whose language is a palette of words. She draws on everything. Her style is spontaneous and free, and she has collaborated with many other artists and designers including Vitra, Artek, and Kelly Wearstler.

What is your favorite notebook?
My favorite used to be the Moleskine Japanese album—the pages pull out like an accordion. It was perfect for me: I could jump from page to page, connecting all the lines at the end to make one full drawing at the end. Nowadays I don’t really have a favorite notebook, and tend to change styles and sizes quite often; perhaps I’m looking for the new Japanese album.

What do you use it for?
I use these as my visual diaries.

Do you have a favorite entry?
I’ve included some images from one of my favorite of these books. It’s titled Totem Bare and is a mixture of ideas, thoughts, and travels.

shantellmartin.com

HollyCollage
HOLLY FOWLER

Holly Fowler is a fashion designer who hand-paints unique and limited-edition clothing, shoes and handbags. Most recently, she has collaborated on a line of Hermès Birkin bags available exclusively on Modaoperandi.com

What is your favorite notebook?
My favorite notebook is my muse, Princess Pamela! She is a character based on my grandmother, and I draw her dancing in all my dresses and gowns—she loves to dress up and dream. I have several notebooks that are filled with different quick sketches of her; I find it helpful to illustrate her in new designs I am dreaming up, and see if the colors and painting work on her, and the feeling each dress creates on paper. I develop my designs from here—she is the muse of my clothing and collections.

What do you use it for?
Each season these drawings and sketches come together in a beautiful illustrated book called Princess Pamela & ____ (each season she goes on a different adventure, so there is a different theme). The storybook I have included photos of here is entitled Princess Pamela & the Golden Jaguar! Princess is dreaming of a holiday, and, looking at the map, decides upon Africa. She travels there by boat, goes walking in the jungle, and falls in love with a golden jaguar, who falls asleep on her shoulders.

Do you have a favorite entry?
The illustration of the map and Princess picking her destination is my favorite from this season’s book. I adore maps and have been drawing them a lot recently. But my favorite all-time Princess moment is from an earlier book, a drawing accompanied with the words “…because Princess knows you must always leave room for fantasy”—which is what my grandmother always says, and it is oh so true! We must all find and create fantasy and dreaming and magic in our lives!

hollyfowler.com

Pae White Final Collage

PAE WHITE

Pae White is a contemporary, visual artist most well known for her tapestries, chandeliers, and small sculptures. Nonetheless, she has produced incredible works in a variety of different materials and media.

What is your favorite notebook?
It would be impossible for me to choose a favorite notebook. They have been with me through the highs and lows of my studio work, and many of the pages represent victories and failures.

What do you use them for?
Notebooks have been a huge part of my practice for many years. The early ones were bound but the later ones are more like standard notebooks, with loose and sometimes laminated sheets for easy removal. These books consist of all kinds of ephemera such as clippings, images, jokes, stories, food labels, graphics, color swatches, as well as images portraying tone and mood. These books are invaluable to what I do as an artist, and I always turn to them for inspiration before starting a project. I have a digital version of this as well. Thousands and thousands of images pulled from the Internet and categorized into folders designated by year.

Do you have a favorite entry?
Going through these today I find myself more drawn to page relationships that are often accidental, rather than to single pages, and this is what I have chosen here. I know that the laminated leaves were stored here for practical purposes, but I like the way they ended up in transparent layers, which has now inspired me to make a book.

1301PE
6150 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles
323-938-5822
1301pe.com

Kaufmann Repetto
Via di Porta Tenaglia 7
Milan, Italy
+39 027 209 4331
kaufmannrepetto.com

China Art Objects Galleries
6086 Comey Avenue
Los Angeles
323-965-2264
chinaartobjects.com

Katie Collage Tan

KATIE ROGERS, AKA “PAPER FASHION”

Katie Rodgers is a fashion illustrator who works primarily in watercolors. She has been commissioned by major brands including Cartier, Valentino, and Disney to work her “paper fashion” magic.

What is your favorite notebook?
At the moment, I love my bespoke sketchbook that was a gift from a friend of mine. It’s a customized Sloane Stationery sketchbook.

What do you use it for?
Jotting thoughts and ideas along with my sketches.

Do you have a favorite entry?
My favorite entries contain notes for a story I’m writing and illustrating at the moment.
paperfashion.net

LizaCollage
LIZA LOU

Liza Lou is a contemporary, visual artist who creates magnificent sculptures and wall art utilizing her trademark glass beading. Her most recognized work is an entire beaded kitchen that showed at MoMA, but she continues to create all sorts of beaded wonders on her own, as well as with the women of KwaZulu-Natal.

What is your favorite notebook?
While I am no stranger to our friend the Moleskine, my favorite notebook is a cheap A5 exercise book.

What do you use it for?
Notebooks are a big part of my process. I have literally hundreds.

Do you have a favorite entry?
My favorite page is always the first page. Don’t get me started on the right pencil.

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Locations in Paris and Salzburg
ropac.net

White Cube
Bermondsey, Mason’s Yard, and Hong Kong
whitecube.com
Xx Lottie Dottie