Index cards work great as a personal organizer (though I prefer a spiral notepad), software development tool, and about a million other things. Recently, I've been thinking they might also work well as sketchbook replacement, too.
Besides being compact, cheap, durable, and offering both lined and blank options, they also don't have the intimidation factor that a perfectly clean sketchpad has. Finally, I can toss them on the glass of our All-In-One Printer, hit the scan button, and they'll be saved as individual images. That makes for easy publishing.
I was curious if others had this idea before me, and of course, they did. Though, the best resource I found on the topic was from Daisy Yellow, who started her own little challenge: Index-Card-A-Day. The program works just like you would expect: every day you take out an index card and make some art. Paint, draw, sew, write, whatever. Just do something. You can see what folks have come up with here and here.
The results are brilliant! Simple and powerful, just the kind of idea I can't resist.
Even if you're not going to participate in the challenge, it's worth checking out her FAQ. If nothing else, the FAQ is a great checklist for how you might want to put together your own kind of challenge.
Finally, on a totally different website I found this wonderfully clever index card creativity hack:
- Drop a tea bag randomly onto an index card and let it dry
- Draw a grid of panels over the stain
- Shop for images in the panels, and riff off those with some doodles and captions to make a mini-narrative
This doesn't sound like much, but check out the results, pretty amazing if you ask me.