Thursday, March 1, 2012

How to Get Started on Your Art Journal without Freaking Out

You are starting a new art journal. 


Don't be. 

You may have never tackled something like this before. I have, and I still feel a little overwhelmed. But, just like any project, it comes down to having things broken down into steps, and being somewhat organized. 

If you know me, you may have just busted out in laughter. The reason being that if you have ever seen my studio or any areas where I have worked, you know that my true life theory is "Organized Chaos".( another story for another time) But having said that, i have to have a certain amount of organization in order to handle the chaos around me or that i think i am about to face. Hopefully, the next couple of posts on art journaling will help. This is how i do this.
my art journal

1. Choose your journal:  i have a stack of journals that i tend to collect....spirals, composition books, drawing and sketchbooks...i even have old books that may have seen the end of their public library use and will take on new life in the form of an art journal (also, another story for later). And if, i am feeling REALLY industrious...i MIGHT make a new journal...(third story for another time...stay tuned) But, the point is to find SOMETHING to work on. You don't have to spend a lot of money on something fancy. That is nice...but not necessary...Your artwork is going to make your journal fancy enough...that's the truth.
Write down your ideas
2. Write down the theme on each page. In my previous post, there is a list of simple themes to use for each day of the month of March. I find that if i have a theme, it simply helps me get focused and start the project, there are no set guidelines for using the themes. It simply helps me save time and focus my energy on the actual act of creativity and get me started.
3. Bag-o-Stuff: What is a Bag-O-Stuff? I used to tell my students to gather a plastic disposable bag (or your choice of green, sustainable, container that fulfills the same purpose, and please send me a message on that, because i would seriously like some information on good ideas for this, i know you have great ideas to share) and fill it with stuff, that could be used on future altered books or collages...I like to do this, because it means that i have everything i need in one spot. It limits me to the point that it keeps me within the guidelines of creativity...I'm not wasting time thinking about what supplies i have or could possibly use...i have everything in one spot...i use that, and only that. It has to fit in the bag, and i use it up.
Comfy chair

4. Have a place to create: I'm not telling you to clean out the garage and turn it into your new art studio...which would be amazing...but, that isn't what this is just need a place to it the kitchen table? Is this your favorite comfy chair? Is it a folding table you set up in the corner of your bedroom?  All i know is that you need a place to work....i tend to move around while working, so my work has to be portable and easy to handle...(my 4th story to touch on in another post)
5. Make time for creativity:  Ok, this part, may or may be tricky....i for one, am dictated by the napping habits of my, if i'm lucky, i can do a little bit during that time, sometimes, i have to get up early and work on it before anyone else is away in the house, sometimes, it is while everyone else is busy getting ready for the next day...sometimes it may be while we are driving to visit family...but, the point is, i have to make time. We are creative beings. We have ideas that need to be expressed. We have to make time for that and honor that within us.

6. CHOOSE TO NOT FREAK OUT! that's pretty much get to decide if a little ol' book is going to overwhelm you or's just an art one is judging is yours and it is about creating and feeling joyful...that's it...NO FREAKING OUT ALLOWED....get to it...sheesh...

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