Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Always Thought We Had Forever

Days come, and days go. As time marches on, our days are decorated with splashes of color- sometimes vibrant, and sometimes... well, not so much. Whatever kind of days you have, or whatever colors you get "splashed" with... all combine to make art, as long as you let it :)

I decided to create this blog post as a sort of visual record of my latest completed art journal spread. From start to finish, I documented every step. When I began, I had nothing in mind but the title: "I Always Thought We Had Forever", and the emotions behind it... art is theraputic, they say.

Please enjoy my post and the artistic journey from concept to completion.

Here is my journal, eagerly awaiting to be created upon :) Hello, journal!

I glued a piece of ephemera down. It's just a piece of decorative paper from the many I have. I thought it would look good. Sometimes that's how you journal... you just, well, you just DO. If you think too much, you can "clog" up the creative process.

Note: Glue sticks RULE when you're journaling!

I then haphazardly apply some white gesso. Artists who journal LOVE gesso!

On a piece of white sticker paper, I sketch this girl.

Then I ink the sketch with a thin black Sharpie pen.

After erasing the pencil marks, I write (in pencil) over the girl with "spill words"... words written quickly with or without meaning. Some use words that have personal meaning to them, others use the words more for aesthetic purposes.

I color her in with water color crayons and pencils. See?

Then, I do the same with her hair, only I add some marker, too.

Hrm... her hair looks too dark... so, I gesso the hair a little. Then I enhance the black outline around her a little, and cut her out.

Sticker paper is great! I peel off her back, and down she goes!

Looking good so far? I think so. I choose a vellum frame, rub some water color crayon red on the underside, and glue it down over her.

A band-aid is pasted, and then I rub ink along the edges of both pages, and around the outline of a pink square of paper. I glue it down.

Time for stamps! Here are some butterflies in squares.

Sakura Gel Pens (Souffle) are used to decorate. Pretty! (I love these pens!!!)

Under our girl, I pasted a piece of Scotch tape and blog over and around with pink stamp ink, then I pull the tape off again.

A piece of the journal rips with the tape! I'll have to fix that later.

I stamp the title with letter stamps and black pigment ink.

Then, with larger letters, I finish the title and stamp "FOREVER". I spill words on one page to fill in the background. With a black Sharpie, I draw three tear drop shapes along the left hand of the spread.

Then, I spill words and fill up the other page.

More stamps, this time hot air balloons!

I use water soluble wax pastels and color in the drops, then the balloon stamps. I blend the colors in the balloons.

Add strips of paper randomly here and there, as long as it looks pleasing to you. I also used my white paint pen (Pentel Sunburst MED Gel) to outline the word "FOREVER".

I add gesso around the edges of the spread, blending with the ink slightly, creating a dull gray border.

I draw a line with my Sharpie to indicate a frame around the spread, then color outside of it with the pastels. I blend, blend, blend.

I section in different areas with water color crayons, and blend with water and a brush.

To decorate the border, I use my white paint pen and alternating shades of blue acrylic paint, and make bubbles.

I end up not liking the way the bubbles look in comparison to the whole piece, so I paint over the border with a shade of bluish-lavender, then I re-thicken the Sharpie black border line.

I accent the line with the white paint pen and spill write around the border. I like this MUCH better!

I glue down a piece of map tag to cover the spot where the tape had ripped the journal earlier, then color it a little with the same blue-lavender used on the border. I also drew an "I" and clipped it out, colored it, and pasted it over the spot on the title where I'd stamped a hot air balloon.

And here we have the finished product! It took a lot of time (this was not all completed in one shot), and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. The entire piece seems to blend well together. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Aesthetic versus Meaning

Hello again :)

So, I'm a gal who (if you've been reading) has recently gotten into art journaling. In fact, I believe I bought my journal and began working on it on Feb 14th, so it's been more than a month now. I try and do at least something in it every day, and so far, I've been doing great :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What to Write

Is there such a thing as "Blogger's Block"? There should be.

Don't you know, there is a lot of preparation that goes into the standard blog post. First, the title is the most important. Once someone sees the title of your post, they decide whether or not to keep reading. Thus, title is pivotal to drawing in your audience, and sticking to the topic (without meandering off on random thought patterns...) is imperative.

Second, like any design aesthetic, all those words need to be decorated (even if only a little) by some kind of photo. It makes it significantly less boring! Everyone loves to look at pictures, just like when we were children with our story books... all that text and no pictures made us pick a different book! We are subconsciouly the same with the blog posts that we decide to read.

(Recently completed ACEO inserted to break up the monotony)

See? A little eye candy does wonders! That brings up number three, which is background. There are a million and one blogger backgrounds out there (for free or custom made). All you have to do is find one you like, copy and paste the code from the site into your blog, and walah! You have a visually stunning and appealing blog background that is just waiting to receive all your written thoughts, dreams, rants, grocery lists... whatever.

(Another completely random picture of a Sculpey dinosaur I made about 2 years ago)

So there you have it. I just created an entire blog post (complete with pictures!) about absolutely nothing at all... sigh, I just needed to write. But stay tuned! Next week (I hope!) to have an awesome interview with a wonderful creative artist from Etsy!

Thanks for reading! :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Creative Expression

I have been going through a rough time lately. Thankfully, I have God to help me through, and the love and support of a strong family and great friends.

There are times, however, when one needs a... creative outlet. You know, when sitting down to a cup of coffee or watching tv with Mom just doesn't cut it... you need to "get it all out". Ever been there?

Thankfully, I've learned all about art journals. What is one? Basically, it is a journal created for your self-expression. Not specifically for writing, per se, but more of an empty palette in book form... where you can use any medium to express yourself. Collage, illustration, paint, words, stencils, stamps... the sky is the limit. You can create layers of different colors of acrylic paint. You can write the words to your favorite song, then illustrate a face. You can incorporate ticket stubs or photographs. It is FANTASTIC.

It is also very personal. There is no right or wrong way to create your journal. I did a little research, then about 2 weeks ago, I ran to Michaels and grabbed a few basic supplies that I didn't have on hand, and began. This is what the journal looked like when I bought it:

This is what it looks like now:

Here is a close-up of one of the embellishments I used on the cover, along with stamp effects, archival inks, etc.

It is a very cathartic experience. I work in my journal somewhat every day. It helps, I can honestly say that it helps. Here, I will share with you two spreads that I've done... there are more, but I'm still experimenting.

As time goes on, I'm incorporating more and more into my journal, from stickers and candy wrappers to pieces of other art I've done... like I said above, the sky really is the limit. The only goal is to get out what's held inside... so put on some good music, sit back, and create. You'll be amazed how freeing it is :)