As my followers know, I own and cherish a small moleskine notebook that I've been diligently filling with drawings since the beginning of the year. I have mixed feelings about the brand, though, and I think it's kind of a double edged sword in the art world.
I was reluctant to buy one at first, not only because of the significant price, but also because of the crowd. Previously, I only noticed and learned the moleskine name when I started seeing pictures of them on the internet. I found it strange that the artists that uploaded the pictures placed such an importance on the brand of their sketchbooks. Many artists got the attention they did, not because of the quality of their work (Which was often mediocre at best), but because of what it was drawn in. This kind of irks me. I've always been a staunch believer, as an artist of little means, that your tools are not what makes your art great. I thought the very existence of this brand spat in the face of that idea of mine. I noticed that "moleskine artists" formed a sort of clique, displaying their brand proudly. This reminded me of the masses of individuality-lacking children in high-school who wore their nikes, and aeropostale and hollister shirts like it was what made them a person. I didn't want to be the kind of artist who writes something vaguely meaningful in a funny font, accompanied by an ironically bad drawing, and calls it a day, as many moleskine artists seem to be doing.
Now that I have one, I will be the first to tell you that Moleskine lives up to its name in quality. I love the product, it is functionally amazing. There are many artists out there who make INCREDIBLE use of them too, and I hold them in high esteem. However, I feel that there are a myriad of potential artists out there who are hindering themselves, stopping at a certain quality level of drawing, waiting for the name "Moleskine" to make up the rest. It works! Their audiences dig it up! If they drew the same stuff on a piece of printer paper, I guarantee no one would give a damn.
I suppose I'm a hypocrite in a way, since I always tag my moleskine art accordingly, to gather in that audience as well. I do believe, though, that I legitimately offer my art as a standalone product. It doesn't need the name of the paper it was drawn on to make it what it is.
My point, I guess, is to let your art redeem itself. Don't EVER think that you can't be a good artist without a certain tool. And never, EVER, let your tool be more important than what it made.