Sunday, April 15, 2012

art journaling: I'm 99% sure it's not for me.

I have been interested in art journaling for over a year.
I have watched videos, discussed it on Two Peas, looked at hundreds of pages online, saw different styles, etc.
I know there is no "wrong" or "right" way to art journal.

I didn't relate very well to most art journaling because, frankly, it's a little messy looking and my style is very simple and clean.
Then I found Karen Grunberg's pages and fell in love with her cleaner style of art journals.
So Friday, I got a pack of watercolor paper, broke out my supplies and started.

Since I knew I did not want to paint all over the background, but wanted to keep it white, I did a practice piece and drew pumpkins. That went okay so I started my first real page by drawing a girl.
Turns out - I can't draw people!!
She ended up looking like something a 2nd grader would do.
Here's my page...

After I drew her, I added some watercolors to the edge, some rub-ons and some stamping.
NONE of it turned out like I wanted it to!

So I thought, It's okay! It's fine to just PLAY.
I really was okay with it not being very great or like I expected and I thought I would try again today.

So this afternoon, I sat down at my desk with another piece of paper and a mask I've never used and I considered my options: paint or mist.
Neither appealed to me.
I just kept looking at that blank piece of paper and all of sudden, like a rocket ship in my brain, I realized.....I DON'T LIKE MESSY ART SUPPLIES!!!

It goes against my ruler-lovin', straight lines, clean fonts, perfectionist nature!
Why I didn't realize this before is puzzling to me but I guess it's because I had never TRIED to be a messy artist. This explains why I have mist, paint, ink pads, etc. all that have never been used!

I just don't like a mess.

A-ha moment #2 was that the longer I sat there, the more I realized that if I were going to carve out creative time, then it should be spent working on something that I truly feel is productive, like planning for my cards class in 10 days, finishing my 2009 Disney album, making products to sell at the craft fair I'm doing in 6 weeks, the list goes on and on.

I know art journaling is very significant and meaningful for many people so maybe my problem was that I wasn't planning to do any actual journaling. I think Julie Fei-Fan Balzar's method of doing a week's spread and writing every day as a journal might be something I would try but at this time, I feel like I have more important creative things to focus on.

So there ya have it. I might revisit it because I do change my mind and get inspired to try things. I SO LOVE so many people's art they produce in the form of an art journal. It is just super cool!

But I'm 99% sure it's not for me.


Carolyn said...

I keep rewriting this so maybe this time I will like my own response.
Please don't be too hard on yourself. I think it's a good page. Love your happy color choices and your lady is awesome.

Who said you had to be able to draw to do an art journal? She is who you are today. If you are unhappy with the results do it again but use an image from a magazine, a stamp, somewhere else, or keep practicing until you are haooy. In that case I would recommend "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards.

Every body has mediums that they prefer maybe watercolors aren't right for you. It sounds like you would be happier with less mess maybe markers or pastels? PLAY, see if you can find something you like.

If you like linear you can do that! (Try Googling geometric art) NO RULES it's your journal.

That having been said it's a hobby and supposed to be fun. If it's not then ... But please do give yourself permission to try again.

Great Job!!!

jawebbtn said...

I love your page! Your lady is very cute! I never try to draw people, I figured out a long time ago I just cant do them. But I think your first attempt is awesome.

I totally understand your thought process and agree that your creative time should be doing what you love. And it is okay if art journalling is not for you!

BTW, if you want to get rid of those 'messy' supplies, I would be glad to take them off your hands!


Karen said...

wow ok so you've decided to start with the hardest thing to do? Drawing people is super-heard!! I can't do it. in fact, i rarely ever even try. that's why i use templates or simple shapes!! I think you are brave and bold! And I love this page btw!

also, i am anti=spray, too. I actually use heavy bodied paint on my work and i add almost no water so it's thick and i put it on with my fingers. think like tooth paste. Then it's easy to control where it goes. I also use templates for my backgrounds a lot too! I like my stuff to go where i want it to go. :)

If you'd rather do something else with your precious time, that's totally ok but please know that just like everything else, it takes time to find your groove/way/path in art journaling. I tried a lot of things before I found something I like. It's only worth going through that if you have fun, experiment, and give yourself a lot of space to have fun along the way :)

Karen said...

ahem i meant super-hard. not heard :) it's 7am here, I'm still sleeping clearly.

Teresa said...

I know what you mean! I do lots of different kinds of needlework and am always wanting to try something new. About 10 years ago I joined a group of bobbin lace makers. Took classes, bought a "good" pillow, lots of bobbins and supplies, lots of books. Well, the size of bobbin lace hurts both my arthritic fingers and my old eyes, and the speed, or lack thereof, to create anything totally frustrated me. But still I would pull it out every so often, and just get frustrated again.

Last summer young friends of ours visited Belgium. She came home in raptures over visiting lace makers and how she would love to learn to do that. I literally ran upstairs, put everything into a huge shopping bag, and presented her with it all as well as the information on the local lace group.

It felt so good! The supplies, and the large amount I spent on them, are no longer going to waste, someone else is enjoying them, and it felt good to say, "yes, I love it, but doing it is not for me,"

I still read blogs and websites about lace, I can appreciate it more because I have done it, but I don't feel any sorrow over giving up my "stuff".

Heather Crawford said...

I agree..I have lots of those supplies that I have never used either..just not my thing...

Tracy said...

I think this turned out great for your one and only art journal page.
I did a whole journal, only because I was in a art journal challenge.
I don't think my journals are art. But I am glad I completed the challenge.
As for drawing people...I traced a photo of my daughter and then coloured her in, lol. I can't draw either.
But I did love to doodle and colour that in.
Maybe try that or not.
Most of my pages were covered with pattern paper, as that is my favourite medium :)

MaryRuth said...

I think it looks great... but I totally understand... I'm a clean and simple scrapper too... I've tried to break out of the mold... but in the end always come back to the clean style of scrapbooking... so now I just embrace it and love the fact that I'm a simple scrapper!