Planet Waves

New York, May 19, 2016 | View as Webpage | Order Your Spring Reading

About Those Journals and Sketchbooks

Dear Friend and Reader:

Notebooks have long been my home, a place where I can come back to myself. To this day, I always have a notebook and pencil with me. As much as I love computers and recording gear, most of my ideas take form first as my indecipherable handwriting on paper.

Planet Waves
Notebook from the pre-horoscope era in the 1990s.
I'm always searching for the next perfect journal or sketchbook. I've done this for years, as a live-in hobby. I love to write in them, and I love to customize them: to move in and take full possession of a creative tool. Planet Waves is the extension of the writing that I began hundreds of journals ago. The writing you read here, especially my horoscopes, is a vast, curious personal diary that I share with you.

When it came time to devise a physical object to offer Planet Waves subscribers, a notebook seemed like the perfect thing. My whole intent with Planet Waves is to spur creative revolution in my readers: to help you get fired up, to take the time and reflect on your own ideas, to get to know yourself better, and to reconnect you with a time when your imagination was a place to explore.

For months, I contacted those places that customize promotional merchandise and purchased many samples; but either I was never quite satisfied with the quality of the book, or the cost seemed too high for what they were offering.

Planet Waves
Transfer painting process can be done in any color.
Then I decided to start painting on high-quality sketch books. I'm working with books in all shapes and sizes; most of them unlined, cloth-bound and acid-free.

I also have some with lines, with spiral bindings and cloth covers. Recently I picked up some small pocket notebooks (like little Moleskines, with pockets) and have several of them going. I have a source of handmade paper books too. Basically, if you have not figured it out yet, I just love notebooks.

I'm painting in many different substances: surface coatings infused with pulverized rock, gesso, acrylic paints, acrylic inks, india inks and various types of gloss coatings. They are all works in progress. (They're never finished; they just stop in interesting places.) Some are a bit messy from the process. You might have to peel a few pages apart.

The idea is not to create precious art, but rather to christen the book with a touch of originality; to release it from being a manufactured product and make it one of a kind. (What was formerly my living room has now become a painting studio, following up on the “space is intelligence” dream that I based the Taurus Vision Quest reading on.)

The idea of these books is similar to the tradition of getting tarot cards from someone who already reads them. When I offer a tarot deck to someone, I take it out of the package, work with it for a while, and give it its own unique cloth wrapping.

Planet Waves
This one came out interesting. The matte finish is made from that pulverized rock stuff, great to work with.
While I was well into the painted journal project, I found the right deal on custom books and placed an order for some with a subtle Planet Waves logo on the front.

These come in four colors; tasteful, understated hues of red, blue, purple and black. They are high quality and pleasant to touch, with thick, friendly paper. (They are college ruled; I could not find blank.)

We're offering my hand-painted books to those who upgrade to, or extend, their Backstage Pass membership. That's the level that includes all the birthday readings, the Spring and Midyear readings, and discounts on everything else I offer (such as classes, and the annual reading). 

We're offering the Planet Waves branded books to anyone who upgrades to, or extends, their Core Community membership for a year. There's a limited supply of these journals; and while I plan to reorder when we run out, the first run is the first -- not to happen again quite the same way. The handmade touch of these books is that the Planet Waves logo is in my print-script handwriting.

Now, regarding the painted books for Backstage Pass members: no two are alike. However, I am open to doing custom books, both size and color scheme. I can also customize the paint style to some extent, though I never know how they're going to come out. I'll go as crazy as you like. I can also paint on the imprinted diaries as well.

Planet Waves
The custom notebooks are in faux leather, with nice thick paper, available in these four colors. They feel good in your hands.
The various sizes and shapes are described at this link and some of these books are still available. I can do direct painting, transfer painting, many layers or few, black or white, rough or smooth finish.

I'm about to do a few using a technique called decoupage, with an image from Book of Blue varnished onto the surface. I'll have a sample of that in the next letter (it's still in my imagination).

So there you have it -- that's the story of the notebooks. You get lots of great astrology and a creative tool that I've touched and worked on, that you can make your own; I learn to paint, and Planet Waves gets the privilege of you extending your membership. As you know, everything we do at Planet Waves is handcrafted, created by people working mostly from our homes, and sent to you with love and a breath of humanity.

Call us if you have any questions -- either at (877) 453-8265 or (206) 567-4455. If anyone wants a custom book, we'll send you my personal number and you can describe what you want. Looking forward to that!

PS -- along the way I discovered a process of transferring painting onto cloth. I am gathering a supply of shirts and kitchen aprons for that project, rummaging through every possible local source. I have many sizes, including kids' and babydoll tees. If you're interested, let one of us know.

Planet Waves
One-of-a-kind shirts using the transfer painting process. I have many colors and sizes: tanks, babydolls, kid sizes and so on.

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