Author and artist José Naranja ensures he won’t forget any detail of his year-round travels across the globe through a meticulous and unique documentation process. Formerly an aeronautic engineer, Naranja now archives his thoughts while visiting foreign countries by hand-crafting journals replete with items like collected stamps, an illustration of the periodic table, and a study of fountain pens. Each mixed-media page centers on a theme, such as the culture surrounding eating a bowl of ramen or the flamingos found in a zoo.
Since he last spoke with Colossal, the artist published a second work titled The Nautilus Manuscript, a 208-page handbound leather journal chronicling his life from 2015 to 2019. Similar to how he constructs each page, Naranja is committed to maintaining the integrity of his work during the production process. “The project is about offering the people the same feeling as having the originals in their hands: same paper, size, leather cover and mainly the same ‘touch.’ It’s bound by hand, slow but the only way to take care of details,” he says. The Nautilus Project, which is written mostly in Spanish, is available for purchase. Keep up with the artist’s most recent spreads brimming with insights and elaborate sketches on Instagram.