Unsure of how other creative people (artists, writers, etc.) work, I seem to be at my best and most productive when I able to work when inspired. I had a friend that encouraged me to simply keep “showing up” as in, sit at the typewriter every day or in front of the easel every day, and creativity will eventually flow. I’m not sure I agree with that because it seems (for me) to generate a lot of wasted time and a lot of sub-par work.
As frustrating as the “showing up” felt to me, I’d feel an equal amount of fear if I didn’t do it because if I allowed myself to become distracted, I might never be able to tap back into that creative stream again. Ironically, I’ve since discovered that as soon as I have that thought and am able to push it away, I find myself right back in the creative flow. I guess for me, it’s all about having faith that the creative source is always there and is just waiting to be tapped. (Maybe if you look too hard for it, it just vanishes- like something from a Douglas Adams book.)
Image courtesy of cvg22 on Instagram
There are always lots of goodies to be found within the French Clairefontaine Catalog and the good folks at Exaclair (The North American distributors of Clairefontaine, Rhodia, J. Herbin, etc.) have their work cut out for them when deciding which products to import from France. I find it almost painful to flip through page after page of what I refer to as “The Big Book” screaming like a young Veruca Salt “I want that! and that! and THAT! I want that and I want it NOW!”
*Ahem.* (Taking a moment to calm my composure.) So what do you think of these new Clairefontaine ‘Graf it’ Pads? Would you buy them?
Translated from the French Clairefontaine catalogue:
Graph It Dot Grid stapled pad is the perfect companion! Simple, modern & very practical. 80 sheets of white drawing 90gmm PEFC paper with pre-printed lilac light dots. The light geometric dot matrix is used as a skillful guide for your sketches, technical drawings or note taking. This subtle matrix will become almost invisible at scan, or on photocopy to reveal only your sketch.
160 pages / 80 sheets
90gsm / 41lb white paper
Available in A4 & A5
These are our 20 winners from our Clairefontaine Crok Book giveaway – did you win? Stay tuned for more Summer Giveaways – including my SPECIAL Anniversary Contest here on Rhodia Drive!
Jennie S. from Sunderland
Michele S. from Ridgefield Park
StanF from Toronto
C Tyler From Beaverton
Sarah from Chicago
Elliot M. from Herndon
Karan A. from Buffalo Grove
JoniB from Phoenix
Melissa K. from Tulsa
￼￼Handy sizes and ultra-flexible, colorful covers make the Clairefontaine’s Crok’ Books a unique tool for personal sketches, notes and drawings.
- Stapled sketch notebooks (on the side or on top for larger formats)
- 24 sheets (48 pages) of 90g white acid-free paper sketch paper
- 270g cover with embossed logo (assorted colors)
- 4 available sizes: 6 3⁄4 x 8 3⁄4″, 8 x 12,” 12 x 17,” and the landscape sketch notebook 6 3⁄4 x 4 1⁄4″
Would you like to try one? We are giving away 20 of the 6 3⁄4 x 8 3⁄4″ Crok’ Books!
The contest will be remain open until midnight EST on Sunday June 9th. The winners will be chosen at random and announced on the blog on Thursday June 11th. One entry per household please. If you are viewing this post via e-mail or on a mobile device, you may need to visit Rhodia Drive directly to see the entry form.
Help us to get the word out? Please feel free to Tweet, blog or share this post via Facebook.
In yesterday’s blog post, I used an image of a Clairefontaine Triomphe writing tablet. Especially popular with fountain pen users, this extra-white 90g paper is extremely smooth- more so than regular Rhodia and Clairefontaine papers, although I think the paper in the Rhodia R tablets comes pretty close. All of the fountain pens tested (with varying nib widths) wrote true to size with no bleeding or feathering.
Because of this paper’s super smooth surface, Continue Readering »
Have you ever written a letter you never sent? You know, the one that says everything you really want to but you know you can’t send it because it would hurt the other person’s feelings? Or maybe the letter can’t be sent because the person is no longer living… In any event, allowing yourself to put into physical words everything you’ve ever wanted to say to another person (without sending it) can be extremely cathartic.
Maybe you have a few things to say to your mom or dad, your 5th grade school teacher, or the high-school bully.
Need inspiration? These Blogs are filled with such letters:
Letters I’ll Never Send (different blog from the first on the list)
We need your input!
Exaclair, (The US distributors of Clairefontaine, Quo Vadis, Rhodia, etc.) is contemplating the creation of an American made sketchbook. A book that would lend itself more towards artistic creation than writing – though I’m certain such a book could be used for either form of expression. The book would contain paper from Clairefontaine’s Schut Mill, (located in the Netherlands) and would be assembled at the Hamburg, NY plant where the Habana notebooks and other Quo Vadis products are currently being made. This sketchbook would be a bound book, (as opposed to a spiral) and we would love your input on how this book should be created.
(See how to submit your feedback at the end of this post.)
In the meantime, Karen sent me a batch of paper samples to test and I chose 4:
If I am going to work in a bound book, it’s got to lay flat. For me, there are no exceptions to that rule. I’d like the book to be about the same size as a large Webbie – 5×8″ish with a firm cover so if I was working with the book propped on my knee, there would still be a good amount of support.
To me, the most important feature of the paper in any sketchbook Continue Readering »
“This is what I normally have in my bag. Being a Uni student, I gotta have a big bunch of notebooks, so I have a few Clairefontaine A5 lined notebooks, and a couple of A4 Rhodia Cahiers, grid ruled for Calculus. My pens include a Platinum Century 3776, Pilot VP, Lamy 2000, and Lamy safari blue fountain pen, pencil, and rollerball. I have to have a Palomino blackwing plus variable-length sharpener for graphs and quick notes, and three Rhodia pads of different sizes for planning projects and to dos. My Traveler’s notebook goes with me pretty much everywhere and has all my plans and schedule inside. I’m a diabetic do I have my blood glucose meter and insulin all the time, as well as lollies and a muesli bar! And of course my wallet and keys!”
PS: Check out the staff favorite work bag pics at NoteMaker. Love peeking in people’s bags!
Image courtesy of Jonathan Gilmour. Follow him as jonogilmour on Instagram.
We recently sent our friend Sandra Strait a Clairefontaine Graf-it pad to try out. She put this paper to the test by drawing in it with a multitude of different products including: pencil, colored pencil, alcohol markers, watercolors, drawing pens and more. Continue Readering »
From our good friend Sandra Strait (aka Molossus) of the blog Life Imitates Doodles.
“This is a picture I did in my Clairefontaine Carnet de Voyage travel album for a Design Team blog hop with Viva Las Vegastamps! They decided to use it as an advertisement for the fall issue of Rubber Stamp Madness! Yay, Clairefontaine! Your excellent paper made it possible!”
Congratulations! Sandra is well known for creating her amazing art with Zentangle inspired designs and patterns. You can actually read about the entire process that Sandra used to create this image in this post.
Sandra’s original review of the Clairefontaine Carnet de Voyage travel album can be found here.
Image above © Sandra Kay Strait.
I started to regularly use Rhodia and Clairefontaine products after discovering years ago that the waterbased inks in my (at that time) new favorite writing tool, (a fountain pen) did not play well with the paper in my then favorite notebook. I then started upon a mission to seek out the perfect pen/ink/notebook combination and documented many of my findings along the way Continue Readering »
Playing around in one of the new Clairefontaine Carnet de Voyage Travel Albums – not yet for sale in the US. (Soon….) It’s noted as 180g (83lb) “drawing paper” but that wouldn’t stop me nor Sandra from trying a multitude of art supplies on its medium textured surface. Continue Readering »
If you’ve ever wanted to view all of the Rhodia products currently available in the US, be sure to visit rhodiapads.com where you can also search for a local or online retailer.
Located in New York City, Exaclair is the exclusive US distributor for Rhodia products and also the other brands under the Clairefontaine umbrella which include: Clairefontaine, Quo Vadis, J. Herbin, Exacompta, G. Lalo, Brause, Mignon and Decopatch.
If you have questions concerning product availability in the US, you can submit your question here.
If you have questions about Rhodia products outside the US, please submit your question here.
Mr. Frank Thompson (“Frankie T”) is a lobster fisherman living on the island of Vinalhaven, Maine. He needs to keep records for the National Marine Fisheries Service, and he uses Clairefontaine wire bound notebooks to write down his entries. Some of the fishermen use laptop computers, but Mr. Thompson considers them unreliable, and sticks with Clairefontaine. His faith was rewarded after a recent disaster. Continue Readering »
Our UK friends at the Pens and Paper blog tested a number of notebook papers with four different fountain pens – each filled with a different ink. If you ever wanted to know how water based inks react on a certain paper, this is a great series of photos and commentary to help you choose the best product for your needs. The papers that were tested:
- Whitelines (grid);
- Rhodia Webnotebook (lined and dot grid);
- Quo Vadis Habana (lined);
- Monseiur (plain);
- Moleskine (lined);
- Leuchtturm 1917 (lined);
- Rhodia ePure (plain);
- Jottrr (lined/plain);
- Rhodia Exabook (lined);
- Clairefontaine (lined and Séyès ruled);
- Smythson Featherweight (lined); and,
- Archie Grand (plain).
Read the full post here.