Last weekend was really fun and relaxing, which was just what I needed. As I mentioned in my last (substantial) post, on Friday I had the day off and a date afternoon planned with Mike to the Hammer Museum. A couple of weeks ago I was looking up fun places we could go that were relatively close to us and cheap, and I saw that the Hammer Museum had a few upcoming exhibitions of interest. The first thing that caught my attention was an exhibition called Object Matter by Robert Heinecken. Admittedly and surprisingly I had never heard of him before, but his art is right up my alley…
I would like to share something that has been on my mind for a while regarding art journaling…
Keeping an art journal is like keeping a diary where you express yourself in an art form, it can be collage, doodles, painting, drawing, whaterver makes you happy.
There is no recipe, no right and wrong. You don’t need special papers/journals, fancy supplies, expensive stecils and inks to art journal.
You don’t have to pay for classes to teach you how to art journal.
It’s not about making pretty pages. It’s not about techniques, focal points and layers.
Sure you can take classes and learn techniques and buy all the expensive supplies if you can and desire, but don’t forget its true purpose.
I have been art journaling since I was a little girl, only I called it my journal/diary. I come from a creative family and have always been encouraged to art and create in one way or another, but never been “taught”. My grandma would give me pencils and paper, beads and thread, glue and magazines, clay… and just watch me create. And I think this is the best way to become an artist, to have your own style, to know what makes you happy, to create for yourself.
There are days when you want to write, days when you want to make a mess with glue and paper, or paint, days when you feel like drawing and doodling, and days when you don’t feel like opening your journal at all.
And that’s ok.
It’s your little place, you don’t have to share it and worry about what others think. In fact it’s better when you don’t because you feel free to write and express your feelings with no filters.
Grab a regular notebook, a book you didn’t like or create your own book with random papers you can find around the house (check my post on how I made my current junk journal here).
All you need is a pen that you like, glue, anything to add colour (watercolour, pencils, crayons, acrylic paint, whatever you have at hand. Doesn’t have to be any special brand, doesn’t have to be archival, not like you are going to sell your journal).
Look around you with “open eyes”, you’ll find that there are lots of things that will inspire you to create, like tree leaves, flowers, shopping tickets, paper bags, packaging, images on magazines, envelopes, old books, fabric, yarn..
There are tons of free tutorials to make your own stamps, stencils, inks, etc.
You won’t only be saving lots of money and having fun while creating your own supplies but also your art will be unique!
My favourite is Jenniebellie, she recycles and uses things around the house to create beautiful art. She’s also super generous and shares everything for free!
You can’t learn how to express your emotions by taking a class, there is no “being stuck” and “uninspired” when art journaling. If your heart is not open to create, it’s ok!
Most of us kept a diary while growing up, I’m sure you didn’t take classes to learn how to keep a diary, nor did you worry if you didn’t write for a day or two, or even a week or a month.
Art journaling has became a business to sell us stuff that we “need” and classes we “must take” to be good at it, but you don’t need any of that.
This is my humble opinion, and has been on my mind ever since I’ve spent the month of July with one a cheap set of watercolours (the one from IKEA), 1 glue, 1 black pen, 1 pencil and 1 medium size brush, because I moved country and had everything else packed. With only these supplies and some papers from magazines and “junk” from my daily life I created a lovely journal.
I was glad to only be working four days this week after a busy weekend of community service, curry with Mike’s friends, spending time with his family, and illustrating a flyer for his upcoming show (photos soon!). My week also consisted of a lot of really fun tours organised by The Getty…
The whole blogging regularly malarkey hasn’t exactly worked out, has it? I guess this is what people mean when they say “life got in the way”. I’m hoping that soon I’ll be used to my schedule and I’ll have more time to blog about what’s been going on.
One of the major changes to my life since moving to LA has been my sleeping habits. I’m now into a settled routine (and actually sleeping!) which involves early mornings. Mike wakes up at 5:30am for work so, since my work schedule is flexible, I decided I would get up around the same time and also head to work. I would be lying if I said it hasn’t been a shock to the system! I work much better in the mornings though, and it means I’m leaving when the public transport is still reliable (yes, I’m regularly and happily using public transport in LA – shocking, I know)…