Friday, April 30, 2010

Art journaling and making what you most need to find!

A pile of art journals by Lani

I love coincidences! Little synchronicities that seem to confirm your journey is going as it should.   This morning I received a few questions from a blog reader about Art Journaling.  She had been a devoted writer of "morning pages" but now feels as though this practice no longer providing her with what she needs and is thinking she'd like to start working on art pages.  She wants to start right away and she wants a good, strong paper that will take a lot of messing around on; with collage, pastels, paints, etc.

I think, perhaps, a ringed journal might be better for scanning? I would appreciate so much your advice as it might help to focus me in this way as it is time.  ...First thing is to figure out how big. You've helped me to both accept and escape from the confines of the book.  Bought art books somehow do make me feel a little claustrophobic but the material has to be gathered together otherwise it scatters everywhere and that doesn't work. I have a 350 square foot beautiful place with no storage for everything! Can i ask you what size most people find comfortable? I like to work in all sorts of sizes but having a size limitation does not bother me. Too small all the time would bother me. Maybe I will start with the simplest binding as you did, just to get the work moving. I like working in all sorts of media on all sorts of background/supports.

So here's my answer:  I've posted a lot of videos  on the 14 secrets blog which might inspire some ideas, since there is quite a lot of variety there.  Personally I went from words with an occasional drawing to about half text and half art, to only art work and I find right now that a collage a day is just fine for me.  I'm becoming less enthralled with "the story" and I'm using "750 words" just to keep the ability to write from withering up entirely.  Throughout all of this morphing, one of the things I most enjoyed and continue to enjoy is making my own journals.  When I did the 3 hole thing even with my morning pages, I wanted it to be personal, made by me, so I got a piece of leather with six holes near the spine and leather laces knotted on the outside so that I could un-knot and empty the full pages and add new empty pages.  I liked that a lot until I discovered actual book binding.  As for favorite sizes, I don't have any.  I may find old book covers I want to recycle into my newest art journal and will adapt my pages to fit.  (See photo above)  I've worked both big and small and love the variety that's possible if you bind your own.   And my favorite paper right now is file folders.  They are already folded, all I have to do is cut them to size and bind them.  They are great, take a lot of abuse and my favorite is the old, beat up ones that are being repurposed.  I also like my own binding because I can easily scan my work and play with photoshop (one of my most favorite things to do)!

The really cool thing was just as I was answering these questions, I got a link this morning to a wonderful posting by Gretchen Miller of Creativity in Motion  with SUCH inspiring photos and links.  Gretchen created an art journal with paper bags from the tutorial on Yoli's Sacred Journey, definitely a wonderful blog as well!  Gretchen also shared another great resource, the blog of art therapist Erin Kenepp.  She also blogged about creating paper bag art journals!   She mentions Samantha Kira and Sabrina Ward Harrison both of whom I think the world of!  Great places to start this art journaling adventure!

Do take a look at these links when you get a chance and remember to "make what you most need to find*"! (*from Sabrina's website)

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