Duct-tape Sketchbook Pocket

My working sketchbook goes on adventures with me. Sometimes I’ll end up with ticket stubs or programs from events– and sometimes I’ve got worksheets from class, or doodles friends have given me. I like to keep these items organized chronologically, and stuff them in the back of my sketchbooks, where I’ve built a duct-tape pocket to prevent things from falling out. Now you can make one, too!

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Oil Pastel Blending Secret

Sometimes when working with oil pastel on a toothy paper, you’ve got delicate color shifts that unfortunately don’t sink into the paper’s tooth. Generally applying a lot more oil pastel would be the solution; but that can sometimes ruin the original colors that were laid down.
Fear no more! Pilot’s FriXion erasable pens have rubber “erasers” (no more than a little rubber nub). These blend oil pastel brilliantly! The rubber nub for erasing (it’s called FriXion because it removes the ink via friction) never seems to wear down. Keep some newspaper handy so you can clean it off from color to color.


Dearest Pilot FriXion magic oil pastel blender, you’re now part of my art arsenal.

Make your own Hanging Zoetrope!

So you’ve always liked animation and you always thought zoetropes were cool. Perhaps you wanted to make your own zoetrope but felt a little lazy and didn’t quite have the motivation to go dig a motor out of some old kid’s toy? Or maybe you never quite knew how to go about it before.
Well, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, I now bestow upon you my super-simple, super-cheap, relatively-quick instructions for a zoetrope made out of household goods!

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Cheap animation disc desk instructions!

Hey all you animators that just took off for home and plan on working on your films but don’t have fancypants desks that lift up at angles! This one’s for YOU!

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I figured I wanted to animate and clean up in comfort, so I scavenged around and found a backing to an 18×24″ Biggie pad that was sitting around, waiting to become useful. I came up with this contraption, which requires no more than said piece of cardboard (non-corrugated, this is really tough stuff!), a box-cutting knife, packing and duct tape (though you could probably get away with just good ol’ duct tape).

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  1. Here’s how it works. Take the cardboard and cut strips approximately 2.5″-3″ thick strips down the long way.
  2. On one side of these, make a light cut into both ends, approximately the width of the packing/duct tape you’re working with. Fold the board on these light cuts; now, turn over the board and make a light cut exactly in the middle of the strip. Fold the board back on these new cuts. You should have your strips shaped as you see in the following illustration, by the massive “x2″ (as you’ll make two strips like this, one for the left, and one for the right).
  3. Get your packing tape ready! line up the “feet” of the strips vertically with one of the long edges of the remaining part of the board that you originally cut the strips from. Tape the feet on flat. Now, with the strips bent in an upside-down V, place your disc on them and figure out a distance (with the board pushed to the edge of a table against a wall you plan on working against) that you’re happy with your disc being propped up at. Translation: figure out the angle that you want the strips to be bent at; an angle that you’re comfortable with. Once you’re happy with the angle, make sure the remaining “feet” are about lined up and tape them in place… when you tape the feet, tape them on the front of the board and wrap the tape to the back. (Hence the overhang in the illustration).
  4. Now, get a little sliver of duct tape and fold about half an inch of it over itself and tape it down lined up with the start of the angle of the bent strips. This piece of duct tape will hold your disc in place.

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That should be it! You’ll work with the entire “contraption” pushed up against a wall so it doesn’t slip away, though I’m sure you could tape it down to a desk instead. There’s plenty of room for a desk lamp to be used as a backlight as well, which also helps weight down the entire setup.

Improve on it as you wish; this is the first thing that popped into my head and it’s working so far (though I’m only on day 1 with it!) Feel free to post comments and suggestions– I hope the instructions are clear!