The notebook as a place of refuge

The notebook as a place of refuge

| Alice Ross

This year I discovered the efficiency of writing important information in notes on my phone which has made many parts of running a business and my life so much easier. But for me nothing can compare to a to-do list jotted down in a notebook and my absolutely favourite thing to do, planning my wardrobe for a trip away which literally gives me a warm feeling in my stomach; excitement and feeling organised all in one heady mix. List making in notebooks feels more personal and less like work. For me drawing in paper notebooks offers a refuge away from the real world to a place where I can feel free to dream up characters, illustrate poems and draw an exceptionally high volume of shoes.

There's something different about writing and drawing on paper that will always feel more private than recording things digitally. The spontaneity of what we record is somehow away from the preying eyes and judgement of anyone and perhaps a truer reflection of what we want to express. There's a joy in the freedom that I feel you can always see in the drawings that sometimes never translates into a finished piece of art. Above and below are pages from my notebook for our Space Above the Ground collection, some of the motifs such as the moth hot-air balloon made it to the final design although I always feel a little sad I didn't include the cloud on a swing (see below).

Drawing in my notebooks is where the germination of our ideas for Forivor are born, a record of all the different ideas we've had for our designs. I love looking back through them and know I'll keep them forever. A few drawings below of early sketches for our Enchanted Forest collection show sometimes very little changes and you arrive at the end composition and some of the characters very early on.


For the past few years I've sketched in our own Forivor fabric journals which always feels extra special as the details of our designs on the soft cover provide their own little world for me. I feel less daunted by blank pages and like new stationary, they offer the promise of new beginnings, adventures and resolutions.

Inside our new journals we included a little 'This Book Belongs To' illustration as we remembered how much we loved claiming our notebooks as our own when we were children.

Our new Fabric Forivor Journals made from off-cuts from production and gold-foiled with 'IN THE DAY' and 'IN THE NIGHT' are now available on our website for £22. To create our books, we collaborate with Kapdaa an award-winning fashion brand who make eco-friendly accessories and stationary from designers, brands and mill production off-cuts.


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