Tuesday, February 19, 2013

More Art Journal Fun!

I wanted to share with you my latest art journal spreads :) Upon looking at these, I see the progression that has come from my first foray into art journaling (Feb 2012) until now. I have grown, I have developed, and mostly, I have been able to portray my feelings/emotions onto the white page... and that is very freeing.

A few years ago, I was going through a particularly rough time (my husband had left us), and my pastor suggested I keep a journal. He said that many people find it's easier to sort out your feelings and it helps many feel better to keep a journal. Upon his advice, I did get a journal, but in all that time, I only wrote in it... maybe 3 or 4 times. But then, I discovered art journaling, and my life has never been the same :)

There is just something unexplainable about the wonder of image and text. Whether it's a sketch and a poem, a torn picture from a magazine and a song lyric, a doodle and a meaningful quote, or a painted design and random text from ripped and pasted book pages... it is wonderful.

Some pages are not finished yet. Others are complete with only a few elements... when it feels right, it feels right. I often go back in my journal, sometimes even months later, and am able to finish a piece that earlier just felt... unresolved. It's all about feeling. When it feels right, it's right, and YOU are the only one who can tell when it's right! :)

The spread above I did in only about an hour. I happened to be listening to the song "Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri, and I ended up being moved to create this piece. The jar illustration is far from perfect. The hearts are not cut out with correctly-rounded edges. But that's ok... for this particular piece, it works. That's the beauty of mixed media in art journals... it is YOURS. And it is beautiful :)

Have you started your journal yet???

One vital tip!!! I've found that glue sticks are fantastic for gluing in various ephemera, but if you do use glue sticks, I highly recommend the Extra Strength ones. Otherwise, the edges of the pieces tend to curl up when the glue isn't as strong. :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ideas to Get Going on YOUR Art Journal!

So, there are many people who WANT to try art journaling... there are even some of you who have BOUGHT journals, but haven't begun yet... and my question to you this day is, why not? Perhaps it's because you may not have any ideas... and maybe I can help with that! Here I've compiled just a few ideas that work for me :) Try them out!

Watch some youtube videos. No, really. Just do a google search for something like "art journal techniques youtube". It will give you lots of fun and interesting videos. I can never sit and watch them without immediately wanting to try some of the tricks and products they use! And don't feel that you can't watch the videos without first HAVING the materials... many feature stuff you've just got lying around your house to begin with :)

Flip through a magazine. ANY magazine. You will inevitably see something that will spark an idea in you. And go with it! Let that idea blossom into your own creativity. For example, if you flip through the magazine and see a city skyline at sunset, you may think it would make a very pretty journal page, but you can't draw a city. So? You can cut out different patterns to make various sized rectangles to represent the city buildings. See? One of the best things of creating in your journal is you can be inspired by something, but that is just a spring board... when you create, you totally make it your own! Let it grow :)

Listen to music. Pay attention to the words. You'll likely be brought back to a certain time, or the lyrics may cause you to think of a person. Let's say you hear a verse that reminds you of your ex-friend. Or your Grandmother. So concentrate on the thoughts of your Grandmother. Maybe you'll remember games she'd play with you, or that brooch she wore on her sweater ever day. Sketch that brooch. Doodle around it, or add magazine clippings, of cupcakes, or cookies, like those she'd used to bake for you. The possibilities are endless!

Another thing you can do is just start sketching shapes. Circles... squares... triangles... whatever your heart desires. Try different colors. Make some bold lines, and some thin. Maybe make one line of dots or dashes. Add some words, if you prefer. "Hope". "Grow". "Fly". Go with it! Have hope, now grow, and get flying!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What IS an Art Journal, Anyway??

Today is February 5, and it was almost a year ago (Feb 14, Valentine's Day) that I bought my very first art journal. You can read the post about how it began HERE. Ever since then, I've been working on spreads within the journal, using all kinds of interesting mixed media techniques to enhance my art.

I have also spent time reading books about art journals, blogs, and watching youtube videos on the subject. A lot of work is phenomenal. You can tell the artist spent a lot of time and effort on the pages. Then there are others, who simply drop papers here and there, collage them together, add random text, etc. You get the picture. And neither is way is wrong! One thing I've been told lately is that, no matter what the common consensus on what an art journal "is", it is what YOU make it. And that definition works just fine for me :) A journal is, like art, self-expression, and there is no right/wrong way to do that, as long as you are true to yourself!

This spread below has been worked on here and there for months. I added clips of magazines for the buildings, stamped the background sky, added pen work, and the words Repent, plus the sign that says "Time is Short..." I started this a while back, and it was not what it turned out to be :) Art journals are funny that way... you can begin with one thing in your mind, and, over time, the more you add to it, it grows into something else entirely. I love the process!

Here is my latest spread that I just created. I was inspired by the story of Nick Vujicic, a man who was born without limbs but who has a plan for his life from God. It is really beautiful and inspirational. This man has such a joy flowing out from him, and it is so wonderful to see it. You can learn more about him HERE.