Wednesday 23 May 2018

This man journeyed around the world and his travel notebooks are works of art

Jose Naranja quit his job as an engineer to travel and create notebooks.

Jose Naranja's notebooks
Jose Naranja's notebooks

By Emily Chudy, Press Association

If you’ve ever tried to make a scrapbook or document your travels, this artist will be a source of major inspiration.

Jose Naranja, 39, from Madrid, creates travel notebooks documenting his journeys around the world, filled with hand-drawn illustrations and notes.

The self-taught artist’s notebooks are made with watercolours, fountain pen, stamps and writing. Recently, he even began binding them himself.

The artist was previously an engineer, but he decided to devote his life to artwork and travelling. His passion for creating notebooks began in 2005 when he discovered Moleskine pocket journals.

Mr Naranja started travelling in 2002, using InterRail around Europe. He then completed a nine-month global trip.

He said: “During my years as an engineer I had limited time for travelling, but once I quit office work two years ago I have plenty of time for travelling, freedom and life in general.

“I create notebooks in parallel with life as a vault of ideas, experiences, dreams, useful notes, irrelevant ones (many), inventions and travels. Maybe writing is a kind of meditation.

“I love travelling in general and for me travelling itself is more important than the places.

“If I have to highlight a place I will say Asia, mainly south-east Asia region, where I feel like at home.”

He is giving fans an opportunity to buy copies of his notebooks on his website.

Mr Naranja said: “The Orange Manuscript is a facsimile which contains copies of selected pages from my last notebooks.

“It’s a chance for people interested in my artwork can have a high-quality copy… in their hands, same paper, same touch.

“Each of them is also bound by hand by me, with pleasure.

“I never had imagined such a huge welcome from the people. It still surprises me every day and I can’t give thanks enough.

“My pages were never created to satisfy other people eyes or tastes, they are just personal notes I did for myself and now I see people enjoy looking at them and, this is the powerful point, they feel inspiration in my notebooks.”

Press Association

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