What goes on in a writer’s mind?

It’s well known that for many writers a Moleskine notebook is an essential tool for capturing ideas and thoughts, which may go on to become novels, articles and important texts. Most readers don’t get to see this part of the writing process; often only privy to the published ending. But as this first stage of creativity is the most important, we unearthed a few notebooks from our Detour archive to share with you. Read the descriptions below and watch the videos to see just how precious handwritten words can be.
For more information on what Detour is, click here.

Han Han
Chinese writer and blogger Han Han might have had several works censored by Chinese authorities, but his unique way of thinking has made him one of the most-read writers in modern China. And as a rally champion, it’s obviously not just his mind that’s racing. His Moleskine notebook is full of detailed notes, joined together by arrows and lines, showing just how intricate his thought process is.

MC Yan
Sometimes writing travels off the page and turns into music. Urban poet MC Yan counts both modern hip hop beats and traditional Chinese poetry amongst his influences. His Moleskine notebook has always been his on-the-go “thinking tool”, faithfully storing the ideas that come to him when he’s walking the streets. Having experienced life in both China and the west, Syan writes both horizontally from left to right, or vertically from right to left, when writing in Chinese characters.

For his contribution to Detour, MC Yan explores the interaction between the notebook and its filmed form, playing with the way a thought is written and could be read, and the order and disorder its pages convey.

Javier Marías Franco
Spanish writer and translator Javier Marías Franco filled a Japanese Album with notes and texts which, when fully opened out, gives the effect of a long scroll punctuated with word after word of prose.

Dave Eggers
It would be wrong to label Pulitzer prize finalist Dave Eggers just as a writer; he is also a philanthropist, lecturer and publisher and has been branded an “education activist” by TED. His notebook is filled with line drawings accompanied by short captions; snippets of thoughts and little observations jotted down day by day.

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Moleskine Author A Month – May Finalists

Thanks to everyone who took the time to share their art with us! Just like every month, we selected the most prolific contributors to bring you the 3 Author A Month finalists. If you wish to be considered for next month’s edition, do not hesitate to share your creations on the myMoleskine website.

And with that, on to the finalists:

Of Fish and Rabbits - contributed by Elissa Baltzer

Of Fish and Rabbits – Contributed by Elissa Baltzer

Sea - contributed by Luca Vogrig

Sea – Contributed by Luca Vogrig

Blonde Girl - contributed by Kasia Slupecka

Blonde Girl – Contributed by Kasia Slupecka

Which submission gets your nod? Cast your vote here.

Were these three your favorite authors? Let us know in the comments section!

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New York City Stories – A celebration of Sketching

The first episode of Moleskine City Stories in New York City is a wrap. It was the fun day we predicted it to be, as the Moleskine stores in New York City were taken over and turned into a sketcher’s paradise.

Moleskine City Stories in New York

A full day of exploring and sketching the streets of the city, dozens of Moleskine Sketch Album given away, and 4 artists from Urban Sketchers sharing hints and tips.

“A day of sketching along with the learning sessions was fantastic. The process of teaching is also a process of learning, and I got to learn so much” said Urban Sketcher Richard Alomar. “I learned about about how people love to draw – no matter what they think – and how important it is to take time to sit down and observe the world around us”

Richard Alomar at Moleskine City Stories New York City

I used to live very close to the SoHo store, so I know what a wonderful neighborhood it is, sunny, alive and truly urban”. Richard also shared his bit of motivational wisdom: “all it takes is a piece of paper and a pen or pencil and ‘corre l’immaginazione'”.

Moleskine City Stories in New York City

Take a look at the best shots from the day, here.

Were you there? Share your experience in the comments section!

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Moleskine Author A Month April – Ray Eng

With the fan vote in, canadian sketcher Ray Eng has been selected as our April Author A Month. Moleskine fans loved his artwork on myMoleskine, but when we reached out to Ray to write this feature, little did we know he had just started drawing again after 20 years.

Rabbits, by Ray Eng

Ray, what are your favorite art tools?

I’m out most of the time and tend to sketch while on coffee breaks or waiting for the train. So I usually only take art tools that fit inside my pocket – a pen and a Moleskine Sketchbook.

Do you remember your first experience with Moleskine?

It was ‘love at first sight’. I loved the paper quality and how ink wouldn’t smear or bleed through. I especially loved how it would open out flat, making it ideal for sketching and scanning.

My first experience with Moleskine certainly wasn’t my last…I have a tower of sketchbooks that are all Moleskines.

What is the idea behind “Rabbits”?

I was drawing a lot and noticed that I was filling up sketchbooks very quickly. My Moleskines were ‘breeding like rabbits…’

Rabbits, by Ray Eng


Tell us something about yourself! 

For a very long time I had stopped drawing.

Then last summer I met a group of artists who were spending their vacation outdoors painting and sketching. It was very inspiring and made me realize how much I missed drawing. Instead of trying to figure out why I stopped, I decided to pick up a sketchbook and started doodling. And I haven’t stopped since!

A quote for inspiration you would like to share with everyone?

Many artists say this… But it seems to work:  “Draw. Draw. Draw.”


Thanks for sharing, Ray! If you like his work, make sure to download the “Rabbits” sleeve and bookmark templates we made out of his sketch “Rabbits”. Available for free here.

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An Author a Month – April Finalists

Thank you to everybody who shared their artworks on myMoleskine last month! We received close to 200 fan uploads, and we were glad to see so many new contributors. We have selected the uploads of the 3 most prolific artists in April, to bring you three finalists.

So, with no further ado…

Enlightened - Contributed by Dane

Enlightened – Contributed by Dane

Rabbits - contributed by Ray Eng

 Rabbits – contributed by Ray Eng

Fall - contributed by Horacio Vicente

Fall – contributed by Horacio Vicente

Which one gets your vote? Pick your favorite artwork here.

Want to be considered for next month’s edition? Share your Moleskine artwork in myMoleskine. Have fun, and good luck!

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The 140 meter tall Moleskine tower (and other #MoleskineFacts)

The official Moleskine Instagram @Moleskine_World recently reached 10.000 followers. That’s not a bad achievement for a new account like ours.

10.000 followers should make for at least 10.000 notebooks, right? If all our Instagram followers joined forces and stacked their notebooks one on top of another, we’d have a 140 meter tall #Moleskinetower. The tallest Moleskine tower ever constructed would be even taller than the London Eye, Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel.

Assuming all of our 10.000 followers had a large-sized notebook, if we lined them all up together we’d get a 2100 meter long line of Moleskine notebooks. That’s roughly 6890 feet, three times as much as the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Khalifa Tower in Dubai.

If they each had a pocket-sized notebook instead, the line would measure 1400 meters, or 4593 feet – the length of about 5 Eiffel towers.

If we were to line up 10.000 open pocket-sized notebooks next to each other, they would cover 1800 meters (5905 feet), more than the Missisippi river at its widest point. If we did it with 10.000 open large-sized notebooks instead, it would take you over 30 minutes to walk past them.

Do you have other #MoleskineFacts you’d like to share with us? Tell us in the comment section below!

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New York City Stories – Meet the Urban Sketchers

The May 17th appointment with Moleskine New York City Stories is getting closer, and is looking to be a great celebration of sketching and art as a whole. Visitors at the Time Warner and Soho Moleskine Stores will have the chance to sketch their favorite corners of the city and exhibit their work in-store, try out the Moleskine Art Collection, and hone their craft through free learning sessions by 4 accomplished artists from the global collective Urban Sketchers.

Let’s take a look at our special guests and get a small anticipation on their learning sessions.

Richard Alomar is the co-founder of NYC Urban Sketchers, an assistant professor of Landscape Architecture at Rutgers University, and founder of the Urban Field Studio in New York. He’s going to showcase his use of sketching as a means to capture and document daily moments, as well as his experience as an Urban Sketcher.

Jason Das is Urban Sketchers’ President, and he’s going discuss the uncontrollable factors that make urban sketching such a special challenge: weather, lighting, traffic, strangers, etc. – as well as a discussion of the mission, history, and activities of the Urban Sketchers nonprofit.

Josiah Hanchett is a professional artist with a lot of travel experience under his belt. Having visited a big number of cities and famous sites, he grew a taste in architecture and honed his craft as an architecture sketcher. Josiah’s Learning Session will be about his way of recording  locations, people and landmarks in sketchbooks, as well as ways of sharing sketches online and receiving feedback from users and artists from around the world.

 Custom House Wharf by Suma CM

Suma CM is an editor, writer and artist who enjoys exploring the world and capturing its moments in various media. Her work is featured at specialty shops in Philadelphia, New York City, and London. Her Learning Session will be about the joys and challenges of on-location sketching, capturing gestures quickly, looking for people who might repeat a pose, and various styles of marks and experimenting with different media.

Book your free learning session at the Soho Moleskine store, or at the Time Warner Moleskine store.

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Moleskine Author A Month March – atmosfrozen

It’s been a tight race, but here we are with Moleskine March Author A Month, atmosfrozen. This young man’s talent is as bright as his sense of humor, and if you’re the type of person who struggles finishing artworks, keep on reading – atmosfrozen’s experience might just come in handy…

Tell us a little about yourself.

First of all, I started drawing about a year ago.

After getting my Architecture degree last year, I realized “real world” architecture had way too many limitations, too many boundaries for me. So I decided to get into the videogame-entertainment industry, and I will start studying in this business next year. Hopefully I will be able to let my ideas flow more freely in this field.

Do you remember your first experience with Moleskine?

I remember getting my first Moleskine Sketchbook from a friend. The sketchbook looked very pretty, to the point where I was afraid to even begin sketching in it! It was my first time drawing on a small sketchbook too, and it’s been great ever since.

What is the idea behind “Double Exposure Suburb”?

The village was a perspective training for school. I love doodling architecture, first I put masses randomly and then begin detailing it.

The girl in the image is just another doodle too, maybe inspired from the girl I like (ahem).

How do the two merge together? I am the type of person who cant finish a drawing at once, so I hop to another drawing and finish them together.

 A quote for inspiration you would like to share with everyone?

Do the thing you love, love the thing you do. A simple quote.

Stay tuned for a downloadable template sleeve and bookmark template of “Double Exposure Suburb”. While we thank atmosfrozen for his work, keep in mind that the next Author A Month could be you. So keep up the good work, and keep sharing your art with us on myMoleskine.

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Digital – Analog, made seamless: Moleskine Evernote Business Notebook

If you are a professional, you’re probably used to balancing digital and analog everyday on the workplace. Which means, you’re probably going to love the news just reported on the Moleskine website: the brand new Moleskine Evernote Business Notebook is here.

the Moleskine Evernote business notebook

This latest addition to the Moleskine Evernote Collection is especially designed for professionals, but is probably going to excite everybody from productivity enthusiasts and paper-lovers alike.

Let’s take a look at what it does, shall we?

The first new feature of the Evernote Business Notebook is that each page is divided in 2 sections – private and public. Once you save the page on your device, the app will allow you to save and share public and private notes separately… Enabling you to share the highlights of a meeting with your team, while keeping personal notes for yourself. Just like this:

the Moleskine Evernote business notebook

Another new feature is the tick box at the top of the page. Check it, snap a picture of your notes, and a reminder will automatically be set on your Evernote app. Simple as that.

The analog – digital gap gets smaller than ever after you’ve tried the new business card sharing feature. Place a business card against the cover of the Evernote Business Notebook for contrast, snap a picture and Evernote automatically saves the contacts with information from LinkedIn. If you just made a new connection, you can also share your details in return.

If you are juggling various meetings and tasks at once, no need to use three pages at once. Just reach into the back pocket of the Business Notebook – you will find Smart Stickers to let you tag specific page elements to designated notebooks on your app.

The Moleskine Evernote Nusiness notebook comes with 3 months of Evernote Premium.

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Not-Books templates, for unique Moleskine page layouts

How many people do you know, whose handwriting matches yours perfectly? Probably none. Handwriting is among the most personal traits in each of us, as unique as finger prints. So why only choose between a few kinds of different page layouts when there are so many kinds of handwriting out there?

This is what inspired the good folks at A/R Studio in designing Not-Books, a series of specially-ruled notebooks conceived to respect the different connotations of individual’s handwriting: “A notebook of one’s own”, “Stream of consciousness”, “Convergent vs Divergent Thinking”, “Carta Millimetrata”.

“Stream of Consciousness”

Convergent vs Divergent Thinking

Pure Reason

Moleskine reached out to A/R to have their special layouts available in myMoleskine Template format, which you can download here and make your notebook truly one-of-a-kind. Just like your handwriting.

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