The Handmade Notebooks of José Naranja
José Naranja creates beautifully detailed sketchbooks by collaging elements of photography, writing, stamps, and his own precise drawings of everything from poison mushrooms to a bird’s eye view of his dream studio. The ex-aeronautic engineer began working with sketchbooks after he discovered pocket-size Moleskine notebooks in 2005 and realized they were the perfect vessel to document his daily experiences and develop his wildest ideas. After 13 years of using the pocket Moleskine notebook, Naranja now crafts his own by hand.
“It creates a special link between my journals and me,” says Naranja. “Drawings of calligraphy are just useful tools to express ideas They are the visible layer in the whole notebook as a piece, a mandala, and it’s the final artwork. Every detail in the process should be taken into consideration because I give the best effort. At the moment they have given me back only good news.”
The sketchbook artist also sells edited copies of his best work in a compilation called The Orange Manuscript, which you can find on his website. You can see up-to-date sketches and follow his travels (which happen nearly year-round) on his Instagram.