The perfect notebook

If you had to save one thing from your house what would it be? Maybe your dog, yes maybe a significant other, photo albums or money. For me it’s my sketchbooks. They contain all my caught ideas. I sometimes throw out artwork, because once finished, it does not mean anything to me. Like a rotten dish. But my notebooks hold the recipes. I look through them for inspiration and my brain starts cooking. It is a goldmine. I’ve been doing this since 1998. I have a lot.


Notebook addict by Nadja Ramsaroop (c)

I am addicted to fancy notebooks. I cannot contain myself in an art supply store. In fact, I avoid them. My brain goes directly from spotting them to check out. I can finally go to Boesner again because I TRIED ALL THEIR PAPER. I’m healed. For now, I need to avoid Modular and their enslaving product range.

With nothing else in my life I am this particular. My pen does not set foot on mediocre paper. When I elect them I investigate the bookbinding, sizing, paper weight and surface, strechtability and design. Paper needs to be sturdy to avoid bleeding but at the same time needs to weigh almost nothing like it doesn’t matter. You need to be able to bend it without breaking, like this:

At home I have a library of empty books. Some become diaries, others sketchbooks, an improv manual, graphic novel, travel journal, collage collection, joke book. That’s where I create a new stand-up routine. A perfect notebook makes you work automatically. The feeling of mining a pen into paper spreads roots in the brain. Writing it down later on the computer is just for archiving. Sorry, Macbook. I carry one notebook wherever I go. I have taken notes while driving on the Autobahn, while walking, even on a techno club’s restroom. This is how a typical note page looks like:

Last year, I travelled to Ljubljana and discovered a small paper art manufacturer tipoRenesansa. An invisible force dragged me inside and a second later I found myself unconsciously buying their most precious sketchbook: The only prototype of a gift made for German paper pope Gerhard Steidl. I keep his magazine he did for DIE ZEIT in 2015 on my desk, every page is made from different paper. I don’t think I ever read it, I just touch it. He’s famous for his book printing. Artists that beg to print with him get locked into a chamber in his small half-timbered countryhouse in rural Göttingen until the job is done. My biggest dream. The last photo on this shows his beautiful introduction words of what paper means to him. And here’s a movie about how he made that magazine:

I’m writing these lines while unpacking my second order from tipoRenesansa. Again, these are the best notebooks I ever had, bendable, sturdy light weights, and I can’t wait to find out where they will take me:

My new notebooks from tipoRenesansa: two beautiful prototypes, the pig, my favorite animal, and the red one is the code of arms of Slovenia when they were part of Yugoslavia


My Gerhard Steidl Prototip Sketchbook and the 2015 Magazine (the feather card to the left was a personal note from tipoRenesansa, so sweet!)

1 thought on “The perfect notebook”

  1. Not only do I love that a drawing of me is featured. I also relate 100 % to this, but for me it’s diaries. My 25 (ish?) diaries starting 1995 would be what I’d save if the house was on fire.

Comments are closed.