Our Peek Inside… series takes a look inside peoples’ personal journals to celebrate their creativity and inspire others.

This month we asked to take a look inside the journals of multi-talented singer/writer/artist Sally Hurst. Read on for photos and explanations about what she at one point calls her “beautifully bound ideas banks”:

I love Paperblanks books. To me they are beautiful precious things. But I can’t afford to be precious about the way I use them. They are a great utility. Working notebooks. I fill them with sketches, ideas, lyrics, research, reminders, any and everything. I like to have (at least) one in my bag. They always come into use on trains, or waiting for people. There’s always something that I can work on, or some new project to start. 


Some of my work is paint on canvas. There are collections of big, bold paintings of silver-screen actresses, musicians, botanics and childhood things. My notebooks are a place to do little pencil studies of people and things that interest me, that may inspire a new painting.


I enjoy graphic design and am lucky to get some really nice jobs. I’ve started to put them online, and it’s been nice to be able to link to other creators who realise my designs in other materials. My notebooks are a neat little place for me to keep ideas, alternative designs and studies for future use for all sorts of projects.


On other days I am a singer, in a few bands. The main ones being ‘Digital Daughter’ and ‘Lucky Vamp Jazz’. With Digital Daughter we write our own songs, so I scribble all the lyrics that I write in my notebooks. And yes, I do have to write them out again, neatly, so I can read them back. Last year I got to work with a friend of mine, Peter Cox… well, not singing with him, but as his designer. I created his new monogram, jewellery, t-shirt images, prints, web-backgrounds/banners, album artwork and promotional material to go with his latest solo album, ‘Riding The Blinds’. Lots of ideas and designs were started in my notebooks.

Working in comics means that I am asked to pose for photo reference on occasion. So I created a collection of canvasses based on these poses. I redrew the comics panels onto large canvasses, then ‘coloured’ them. Instead of block colour I wrote a poem for each image, one that described the situation. Then I took 5 keys words from the verse and repeatedly wrote them over the canvas as background colour. They are Portraits-By-Proxy.

I have many notebooks filled with research about The Brighton Zodiac. I created it back in 2004, it is a terrestrial zodiac found in the roads and paths of Brighton & Hove and the surrounding area. It weaves together many myths, legends and strange objects that are strewn across Sussex. The story is told by Lady Stone, a trobairitz, who composed, wrote verses, and performed songs of the Signs, tales of what was going on within this forgotten society. This will become a graphic novel, with songs performed by Lady Stone and Moraine.

So, my notebooks, they are my little sketch stores. Beautifully bound ideas banks. They mean a lot to me. Not so much to anyone else. And the more notebooks I get, the more I’ll fill!

Sally Jane Hurst – Bo:K Designs (www.bo-k.co.uk)
Sussex, England
Singer & Artist, Comics (Colour) Artist
Motto: ‘Adjust Your Sails’



  1. This lady is insanely talented…. I first came across her work for the PJC project, and I had NO idea of her back catalogue!
    Hats off Ma’am x


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