Affiliate Disclaimer: For full transparency, you should know that many of my links in my posts are affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small commission when readers purchase items using my affiliate links. This helps me fund the blog domain costs, and you will not be charged extra if you buy anything using my links.
NOTE: I have since changed my mind about some of the points in this intial illo review, so I posted a new, more detailed review to be fair.
So why do I have such a lackluster response and blog title? My main problem is that this is not really a sketchbook. My sketchbooks are filled with random crappy sketches interspersed with the occasional finished graphite piece, usually a portrait of a human or furry friend. In fact, I think if other people flipped through my sketchbooks they would think that I can't actually draw and some artist friend occasionally pops in to leave a surprise in my book. My point is that sketchbooks are not supposed to be dear. They are for practice, and sometimes practice looks like crap. You don't want to fill a nice expensive sketchbook with stuff like that, at least I don't!
This does not mean that the illo books are useless, of course. For one thing, the paper is perfect for pen and ink (Hello Inktober!) and can handle some marker if you are not using both sides of the paper. It isn't bad for graphite, either, but this paper has almost no tooth. If you are layering graphite or colored pencil, you will be mad.
While Illo books are not really sketchbooks in my opinion, they are great as small-scale portfolios. There is no way I would let a $16 sketchbook go to waste, so I decided to tape some of the hidden gems in my recently filled sketchbooks to a few pages, and this works very well. I am adding a short clip with a "tour" of my new "portfolio book". I also plan to use it for Inktober projects, so you will see it again.