Usually I sit down to journal with nothing more than some washi tape and maybe a good thin sharpie pen. Today I am adding some props and a little soul work. I didn’t realize I was feeling so anxious, but today found myself officially on anxiety meds. So working some woo with my art journal today using a pendulum for a little energy clearing, some Idaho Blue Spruce to raise my vibration, and some Kambala jasper for peace.
I am all about using my every day ephemera. No combing the antique stores for vintage photo to add butterfly wings and dunce caps to. No weird vintage medical or botanical illos. That is not a record or influence of observing my day. And for fuck sake it has all been done already. I want to use my own junk mail and photos and receipts.
Or Easter candy wrappers as the case may be…
So, today, Fiberista, I have a new video for you.
I was looking through some old posts trying to think of what we would talk about today and I found this post where I shared a video of my art journal. Can you believe that was 6 weeks ago? I have to say, my journal has evolved so much since then. Not just as a work art in and of itself, but in relationship to how much work I have done in the last 6 weeks.
Ever since art school, art journaling has been hands down the best way for me to stay creative, process ideas for my work, and keep details as I work. Here is an updated video of my journal today, and some of the work it has inspired in the last 6 weeks.
I can kind of feel my momentum taking a tiny dip and I really want to keep it going. So I am challenging myself during the month of April to work my art journal daily for 30 days. I am going to post the work daily to Instagram, and will be using the hashtag #30daysartjournaling. Feel free to join in!
Sign Up for the UrbanGypZ Fiber Arts Collective
Confession time….I have fallen hard off the art journaling.
While I would like to be able to say I am one of those people who can not live without her paper brain, lately that just has not been the case. I have always admired the sketchbooks of artists who are constantly working in them, Those books are a work of art in and of them selves. And I have seen first hand in the Graphic design industry, how those journals have helped some of the most successful creatives in the industry grow their work. Those journals are how they process ALL their ideas into form. It is how they keep their creative brains limber. It is where they let their creative ideas play and grow without judgment or outside influence.
I find artists are pretty polarized when it comes to working their ideas out on paper. I once taught a college level design class and required the students to keep sketchbooks as well as provide thumbnails and roughs of their work. Half the students hated going through the documentation process, thinking it was wasting creative time. The interesting thing was it took those students more time to do the work, and they did not have a reference to refer back to for future projects.
Since the beginning of the year, I have been in a much needed creative flow. Finally settled into a routine in my new town, with an amazing new studio resource available to me, I am awash with so many ideas right now. I am so grateful and it i like a breath of fresh air after 2 years of stagnation while we sold our house and moved. But alas, my ideas are scattered among so many tiny little notebooks. It is time to wrangle those into one place. Here are some of the things I need to document
- I am on the edge of a new body of work with my weaving integrating my new love of clay
- I have been in the thick of a LONG website overhaul and with each page I start to rework, I find 3 more pages that need to be redesigned or created altogether.
- I am developing a series of dyeing tutorials and will have copious notes
- I am making clay stuff and have so many new ideas I just can not keep up with them all.
I have an art journal that I started last fall that has been shaping up very nicely. I am loving all the pages so far. Liking them enough to be afraid to actually write on them! I have added quite a few pockets, not just because I have written my notes in other notebooks, but because I am kind of afraid to mess up my book.
BUT…If I were working in my journals on a much more regular basis than I would be less afraid of messing up.
So if I understand why journals are so important , than why the hell do I fall of the habit? A few years ago I created the 30 day art journal challenge as an exercise for myself to get back into the art journal groove. And Ironically as I am finding I want to get back into the journaling groove again, I am also in dire need of updating the 30 day art journal challenge.
So here is my accountability, For the next week I am posting my daily journal work to my Instagram. In the mean time here is a journal flip of my current book.
Want to join me in the 7 day journaling challenge on Instagram? Leave me comment below with your Instagram link and use the hashtag #7dayartjournalchallenge on your posts this week.
I have more than just fiber in the studio, I have all kinds of other art supplies that help me make art. And they too are a hot mess!!!
Part of what keeps me creatively productive has to do with other mediums I use to make art. What I mean is, sometimes I get creatively blocked when It comes to fiber art, and I need to be able to step back get a new perspective on the visual language I am trying to communicate.
Most of the time that means art journaling. If you have been following me for any length of time, You know art journaling is my jam. I would like to say it is my daily jam, but truth be told the daily part comes and goes in waves.
I also have picked up painting in the last couple of years and am in love love love. It is such a great way to take some of the pages from my journals and flesh them out into a more direct representation of that idea.
When we moved, I have been able to finally set up one of my favorite pieces of furniture, my big ass industrial old stool drafting table. It was a gift from my late great graphic design business mentor. I have schlepped that thing almost 1000 miles. It sat in my scary basement for 10 years. Surviving a home remodel, basement floods, and passing thoughts of letting it go. I am so freaking glad I never gave it away. I love working over it. It reminds me of my design roots, College days before the industry moved to computers. My first job at a paper company making labels and logos for bags. My second job at a major magazine, specing type, waxing galleys and making perfect mechanicals ready for the printer. Skills of precision measuring, cutting, inking. Building mock ups. Assembling gigantic board presentations for the advertising sales team. All things I still love to do despite the fact they are obsolete skills for the industry. They are still awesome ways to make art. Hand made books, pages and pockets in my journal that provide a 3D experience even if just for myself.
So yeah…I have a bunch of other art shit in my studio that is very dear to me. These days much of the old stool graphic skills fall under the term mixed media. So I suppose you can say I am a mixed media artist as well.
I am not gonna lie, the ephemera part of the art supplies can get a little out of hand. So I have decided that I am only going to allow myself a tall cabinet, one wirecart and the drawer of my drafting table for my art journal/painting/mixed media stuffs. If it doesn’t fit here, its gotta go…wish me luck.
Joining me in the 31 Day Studio Awesome Challenge?
I am posting progress and info on setting up my studio over the next 31 days. I will not be blitzing my main email list daily…but if you DO want an email notice when daily posts go live, sign up here:
If you have been reading my blog long enough you will know I am a big advocate for art journalling. It is my paper brain filled with all the ramblings in my head be it my grocery list of my art ideas. It is the way I aggregate my thoughts overall.
But I tell you, journaling was not always something I was driven to do. Hell, I find I even resist it to this day. But honestly most of the time as thoughts and ideas bubble up, I jones for that quiet time with just me, my favorite pen and my book.
Now granted many people have little note books for notes. I began moving my note to my an art journal because it was easier to keep everything in one place. As I began to slowly add little bits of art and ephemera to that book, the magic of art journaling began to evolve.
So today I thought I would share with you the top 4 most awesome things I have experience because of art journaling.
Through art journaling, my signature art style started to emerge.
How could it not when everyday I was adding just a little bit here and there. It is the repetition that made that style second nature. I have no doubt that style will evolve over time. But by journaling I became more comfortable with all areas of creating and expressing through color snap and texture.
I became brave enough to just use my supplies with out fear of “messing up”.
It is not that I became more skilled, I became more fearless. Anyone who has any kind of stash of creative supplies, knows what I am talking about
I increased my productivity.
Because I can hammer out my work in my journal, I am able to think through so many stages of my work before I began. In 2001, I taught a computer design class at my alma mater. Much to the chagrin of half my students, I required them to keep a sketchbook. On the day of finals, they had to execute a design and turn in the thumbnails and rough sketches along with the final. Half the class did thumbnails after the design thinking they could save time skipping this step, the other half did sketches before the design (I can tell but the amount of ideas that did not make the cut). The half that took the time to do the sketch work first, finished way faster than the half that did not.
I will alway have ideas to unhinge creative blocks.
I would like to think I have a grasp on all my awesome creative ideas. But with only so many hours in a day/week/year, some of those awesome ideas get back burnered and eventually forgotten. I do not know how many times I have gone back through my books to discover a long forgotten idea whose time has come to be set into motion. It is almost uncanny how looking through is almost as if I am reading someone else art journal. Seeing all the old information with fresh eyes, changed by the perspective of time can yield insane new creative sparks. It is almost like a little gift from my past self.
I am sharing with you my journal video from a year ago. I go through my books and share how simple, messy and forgiving my books can be.
So my question for you is…of course…do you journal your ideas? If so do you do any kind of art journaling, or is it mostly notes? Leave me a comment below. and if you like this post please share!
Want to get started art journaling?
Learn the basics of how I like to art journal. What tools I use, how I like to work, and 23 of my favorite art techniques for you to try.