Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Art Journal

What is an art journal?

Art journalling is all about fun, play, getting your creative funk on (yes you do have one, even if you don't know where it is yet) and art therapy. There are no rules. But here are some ideas to help get you started.

What to use your art journal for:

  • TRY OUT art materials and techniques
  • RECORD your feelings, your life, your thoughts and ideas, or your favourite quotes
  • LIST your To Dos, your shopping, your achievements, your favourite animals, reasons your exes are your exes
  • PLAN a trip, a project, a business, the future, what's for dinner, world domination
  • EXPLORE your feelings, hopes, fears, dreams, regrets, aspirations
  • ENCOURAGE creativity, imagination, self-worth, closure, use of the right hand side of the brain, moving forward in life, artistic ability, a safe outlet for negative emotions or destructive urges

What you need:

Any or all of the following:

  • A BOOK - sketchbook, notebook, novel, picture book
  • SHEETS OF PAPER - plain, lined, patterned, wallpaper, envelopes, wrapping paper, junk mail
  • CARD - cereal or food packets, bought cardstock, old cardboard boxes (don't knock it - that's how Lowry started)
  • FABRIC - fat quarters, curtains, clothes, bedsheets

And any or all of the following:

  • ART MATERIALS - crayons, paints, pencils, pens, ink, pastels, gesso
  • STICKING STUFF - glue, paper ephemera, sequins, glitter, pom-poms, cotton wool, yarn, thread, cellophane, tape, plastic bags
  • RANDOM THINGS - sewing machine, stuff from nature, food colouring, crushed eggshells, dried orange peel, pasta 

Where to start:

Get out your book/paper/card/fabric and your art materials/sticking stuff/random things and start to play with them. Make a mess. Stick things together. Mix things. Scribble. Doodle. Make lines, splodges, dots, circles. 

If you don't like what it looks like after a while, try something new on top of it. Keep going. It doesn't even matter if you don't like the end product. Carry on. Notice how the doing of it makes you feel. 

Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art. Andy Warhol

Leave your work alone for a bit (let it dry if it's wet) and come back to it later. Notice how you feel about it now. Do a bit more if you like. Add things, scratch things out, cover things up with something else, tear bits off, punch holes in it, pour something on it. Notice how the doing makes you feel.

Leave it alone for a bit more (again, let it dry if it's wet) and come back to it later. Notice how you feel about it now. Start writing on it if you like (see 'What to use your art journal for' above). Cover it all up with writing if you feel inclined. Write in wiggly lines, in a specific or contained area of your journal piece, around the edge, in a ring or at random. Write with different media, in different types of handwriting, with some small and some big letters, or some big and some small words, or with your non-dominant hand, or your mouth, or your toes, or cut letters or words out of other things and use them instead of or as well as your own writing.

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