Grow Together Notebooks

Case Study

Here at Scout Books there are two things that are always at the top of our gratitude list— our community and our environment. We wanted to make a limited edition Scout Book to celebrate both, so we created the Grow Together notebook for our friends and clients, illustrated by Marisol Ortega. For each Grow Together notebook produced, we planted a tree with the National Forest Foundation— and for a run of 1000 notebooks, that’s 1000 trees planted! We’re excited to share more about the project, and Marisol’s work.

Marisol Ortega is a designer, illustrator, and maker originally from the West Coast currently living in the Midwest with her husband, daughter, and 2 cats. She is a multi-faceted designer, illustrator, pattern maker, and letterer. Her fearless use of bright color ways, interesting texture, and range of mediums make her work stand out from the rest!

We asked Marisol to answer a few questions about her illustration practice and the Grow Together notebooks:

What was your process for illustrating our Grow Together notebooks, and where did you draw inspiration?
When I received creative direction for the project, I immediately knew what I wanted to draw. I grew up in Woodburn, Oregon and remember our first home had a massive backyard with some of the biggest trees. There were always pine cones, pine needles and hazelnuts in the yard. I tapped into this memory of my childhood backyard to come up with an all over pattern consisting of these elements. I have an affinity for bright colors so I was really excited when I saw the color palette for the notebooks. I sketched a couple of different leaves and landed with the pattern you see on the printed notebook.

What are your favorite things to draw, doodle, or write in a notebook?
You know, I tried really hard there for a while to stay away from flora and fauna but I just couldn’t do it. It’s my go-to. I also love to experiment with textures and color palettes so my notebooks are mostly comprised of these. Sometimes inky blotches are what I end up doing if I’m feeling a bit stuck.

What are you creating for your own Scout Books, and how will you be sharing them?
I while ago I started doing some digital illustrations of fruits. I wanted to focus on composition, shapes/lines, and color. The result was really surprising and I feel like they were really well received. I’ve already done a few collaborations with printers like a risograph calendar with Risolve Studio based out of PA. I’m working on a design that focuses on the same technique but perhaps something other fruits, maybe bugs. I’ll be selling them on my shop soon.

Do you have any plans or projects in the works for the coming year that you can share?
Yes! I’m working on a few collaborations with other illustrators/designers, artwork for Starbucks, Portland Cinco De Mayo Fiesta branding and some illustration work for a type foundry based out of Canada. One of my resolutions for this year is to focus on my personal projects that I’ve had on the back burner for a while. I really enjoy doing linocut illustration and lettering so they are primarily based around that. All exciting work and I can’t wait to share more!

Big thanks to Marisol for working with us on the Grow Together notebooks and sharing more about her practice!