What You'll Find Here

I post daily (photos of my journal pages, things that inspire me and personal bits and pieces) to inspire and encourage others. I have always believed that if I can do it, so can you.

You'll find resources (my favorite supplies, books, slideshows of my art journal pages, favorite bloggers, etc...) listed along the right hand side of my blog.

I've been teaching both in person and online workshops for more than twenty years. You can find out more about my classes by scrolling down along the right hand side of my blog. I strive to make classes accessible to everyone (both beginner to advanced).

I love teaching and truly believe that deep down inside everyone is an artist, capable of creating something. There is power and knowledge in the act of creating something with your own hands, made from your own heart and head.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at EGorey99@sbcglobal.net

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, December 01, 2012

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly in Art Journaling: Using Your Own Hand in Your Work

"The diary is the only form of writing that encourages total freedom of expression. Because of its very private nature, it has remained immune to any formal rules of content, structure, or style. As a result, the diary can come closest to reproducing how consciousness evolves. ~ Tristine Rainer
One of the many things that I love and appreciate about art journaling is that it's a way to get the voice in my head out and onto the page. It's a unique way to combine different pieces (paper, tape, pen, stencils, stickers, paint, etc...) together on a page and make them ME, to turn them into MY VOICE.

Journaling allows me not only to document my life and my experiences but also to process my thoughts, emotions and mental accumulations. It allows me to express myself in a secure location, away from the thoughts of others. When I create a page it's the one time when I don't have to worry about what someone else thinks. My pages are for ME. (I share my pages here on my blog not for feedback but to encourage you that if I can keep an art journal, so can you.)

There's something both cathartic and extremely gratifying about the simple act of putting pen to paper that gets me every time. It's not the same experience when you cut out letters or use other people's words. 

It's a totally different ballgame when it comes from YOUR head, YOUR heart and YOUR hand. 

That said, I'm not knocking those who prefer to cut out words or letters (in lieu of their own handwriting) or use someone else's words or quotes instead of their own. 

Today instead of only using cut out stickers, why not combine them with your own handwriting? Play with how you put your pen to the page. If the stickers or cut words that you are using are all in uppercase, capital letters, try writing in lowercase, loopy, cursive letters on the page. Instead of only using someone else's words (a quote, song lyrics, etc...) try having a dialogue on the page about why those words resonate with you. Try playing with your pens and how you approach your page. Kick the inner critic out and don't worry about what Other Artist X is doing. Focus on YOU. It's a rare opportunity to focus on your self and to just be you.

Your journal should be about play, push and pull, and trying new things. It's not about pretty, perfect pages. It's raw, real and it's you, which means it's about the good, the bad and the outright ugly. It's about what it means to be human and how you see and experience the world through your own eyes. It's life at its most fullest and that means ALL experiences and ALL emotions. It means crappy handwriting and misspelled words. It means a dropped ink pad where you didn't want it. It means a half assed cut out focal image because you were in a hurry to collage and get it out. The simple act of being able to unfold upon the page is the most important thing to focus upon, not the end result of a so called perfect page. It's art from and for the heart, not art for the wall.


Kathy, PaperPumpkin said...

I couldn't agree more. I wrote a personal article about this just a couple of months ago, about my pages being for me and about how cathartic it is to write. I love when you said, to try writing about HOW the lyrics or the quote make you feel. Now THAT's inspirational to everyone! Enjoy your day, Kelly. Hugs, kath

Seth said...

Life at its most fullest. That says it all!

Anne with an e said...

agreed! lol I said something a few posts back on my blog about wanting more "me" on the page..

I like to have quotes & then like to argue with them or agree with them..

Also, since I minored in English- I get a nerdy kick out of purposely ignoring grammar rules I don't like :)

Brian Kasstle said...

I am a "get it down and all out there" type art journaler yet I am not sure why I don't use my writing in my art journals. I actually love the pages I've done with my writing on them.

Thank you for your encouragement and prodding Kelly!

Susie said...

Loved what you shared here Kelly. A few years ago the thing I struggled most with was using my own hand writing, I'd print out everything and then grunge it up to make it my own (sort of) and then one day I just took a leap and found if I didn't try so hard and just relaxed that my own handwriting wasn't so bad, now it's hard for me to use anything else. I always reach for a pen first, if I am feeling very attached to a page and not sure how I want to place my words, I will write on tracing paper and then see how all the words fit and then go back and write on the page or canvas, takes away the fear of messing up a page, but most times I just go for it. Your words were a delight to read.

Sandy said...

I totally agree. I would give a lot of money to have anything with my grandparents writing on it. I made a small scrapbook for my Mom with some baby photos of her that I got from my Aunts and Uncles after our house burned when I was 19. I added lined pages and put questions at the top. She wrote the answers in her own handwriting and I did it for that reason. So I will have her handwriting to read when she's gone. And so I can pass that book to my son and he will have it.

When I feel like making an actual journal page I write a lot on it, as you know. When I want to journal and don't feel like sitting at my desk or don't have the energy to put into making a page I draw my own title and just write what I'm thinking under it. I have a lot of those that I've made while laying in bed. That gets my thoughts out of my head even when my body won't let me get out of bed.

I think everyone should write things down and keep them, good and bad. Your children will thank you later even if you don't think they will.

Deb said...

love it! Thank you for the reminder..
and I'm getting used to my handwriting, which bothered me a few months ago.My daughter says make sure she can understand what I'm writing so she can read my pages one day.I told her I wasn't worried about it. Hugs Deb

crimsoncat05 said...

yup, kicking that inner critic to the curb is so important!! I don't like my handwriting all the time, but I'm getting over it (slowly). Doing some of the exercises you use, like using different pens and different ways of writing, helps to figure out what I like and what I don't.

Rita Juse-Cirkse said...

Thanks for the great reminder!