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 over seventeen years now. 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!

-Kelly

Friday, March 01, 2013

Getting Over the Fear of Not Having The Perfect Image


Another tendency that a few folks have is to save their focal images or their supplies until they can find the "perfect page, perfect project, etc...."

My question for you to think about is how do you not know that the page you are working on at this very moment isn't the perfect page, the one that calls for you to use the favorite image or special pen or last piece of tape RIGHT NOW? 

I find that when I am working with my materials, I tend to sort through my collage ephemera quickly. I pull the first focal image and the first pieces of background paper that appeals to me at that moment. It helps me avoid spending hours looking for something that's "just right" and keeps me from falling into the trap of saving my focal images for the "perfect page" (whatever that may be.) 

I used to make color copies of my images before I used them. That expense adds up quickly. Now I only make color copies if I am absolutely in love with the images that are on both sides of the page AND if I feel like dragging my rear to the copy shop. Instead, I decided a long time ago that I can make copies of my pages AFTER I use the images IF I want to reuse the images again. 

I also got over the fear of using up my most precious supplies awhile back when I quickly realized that there is almost always something else available to take its place.

Again, all of this is what works best for me.

What? Did I just hear someone say, "What if I can't find the perfect focal images?" Yes, you can. I have listed my sources here. In 2013, there's no excuse for folks not to be able to find things that they want to use in their own private journals. A quick google image search will come up with virtually any subject matter that you are looking for. I encourage folks to go through books and magazines, take your own photos if you want and paste what you are most drawn to in your books. 

Finding your favorite images won't come over night. It takes work and effort. Also, keep in mind that your tastes WILL change.

I've been keeping visual journals for over sixteen years now and my tastes have changed greatly. I have built up what I call my visual vocabulary, images that I am drawn towards (right now) that I can use to represent me (more on that here.) Open up your journals and make note of what things you are drawn towards. What colors and imagery do you use repeatedly? When you see the work of others what is it about their work that draws you in that you can take and glean for yourself?

Try not to beat yourself up when you look at others pages. "My work doesn't look like so and so." You don't want you work to look like anyone else made it but YOU. 

What's the point in making artwork then if you could buy prints or pieces from the artist you are comparing your work to? 

Crack open your journal, take that favorite piece of paper that you've been hoarding, I mean saving, for years now and use it. Find your most precious focal image and glue it down. MAKE IT WORK. Don't be afraid to use it up. Don't be like Mom with the China cabinet full of the most precious dishes that are only used for special occasions and never end up being used at all. Use it. You can't take it with you.

Added 2 March 2013: You may find this post helpful where I talk about my process as I collage (picking papers, etc...)

8 comments:

KayG5010 said...

Thank you for this post!! Another question - do you approach your images without a thought of the direction you want to go and let the images that grab your attention take you some place? I tend to have an idea of what I want to journal about THEN I can't find the image to match or speak to me. Maybe I'm making this too hard. Should I just sit, grab and glue? Thank you for teaching. Marlene

Desert Mermaid said...

I love you, Kelly Kilmer. True story!

focal images. I am one who struggled, enormously, for a very long time -- part of that was because I was raised by a photographer father who nourished me on his slide shows and conversations, long ones, about composition, lighting, etc., and all that loveliness truly inhibited me when I looked through any magazines but photography magazines (I was such an Image Elitist -- ack!).

And then someone introduced me to Pinterest, and all my troubles vanished. Since I don't publish my pages in any form, blog or otherwise, I have no fear of violating copyrights. I can find EXACTLY what I need, every time, with one or two simple searches. And somehow, because I know that, I've suddenly eased off the snobbery and begun finding beautiful, satisfying images in all my old magazines! My pages have come alive in a truly relaxed way, which they sorely needed!

The other thing that's happened is that my older two grandsons are cartoonists, and they give me the pages they do that they don't like ... oh my god! Crazy cool 8 and 12 year olds making all sorts of monsters, critters, warriors, Ninjas, beasties! With total unselfconsciousness! Now I'm doing pages with THOSE as my focal point and finally, finally, at the age of 51, discovering true PLAY on my pages. Think Teesha Moore, her cool, fun, unexpected creations on her pages, odd heads, balloon feet, big roll-y eyeballs, skyscraper-high helmets!!! I went out and bought the biggest set of crayons I could find and now I doodle cartoons all the time!

sorry, got off track -- wanted to share that burst of delight though! MAKE ART WITH CHILDREN -- I used to do journals with my niece all the time, and forgot how immediate is a child's ability to find what she or he needs/wants for a page -- not all that anguish and torture I can add to it!

Mary Meyer said...

You mentioned doing this for 16 years. What made you start?

Kelly Kilmer said...

Thanks, Ladies!!!

@Desert Mermaid-YES YES YES Make art with children!! I am a BIG believer in this! MOST kids have NO inner critic when it comes to art making. They do what they want however they want with art. They are wonderful teachers.

@Mary-I was crazy. ;) No seriously. I'll do a blog post about it soon! :) I've kept a journal in some form since 4th grade.

Kelly Kilmer said...

@Marlene (KayG5010)I have a whole post on it here:
http://kellykilmer.blogspot.com/2012/09/thoughts-on-collage-work.html

Kelly Kilmer said...

@Mary I forgot about this interview:
http://gingersnapcreations.blogspot.com/2009/12/talking-to-kelly-kilmer-mixed-media.html
I talk about what got me started. I may do a blog post on it eventually. I've kept a journal in some form or another since 4th grade. It wasn't until I moved here unexpectedly, was lonely (except for my husband) and found my way to making my own books and working in them that started me on my path. :)

KayG5010 said...

Kelly, Thank you. I do remember reading that post. Now to break the block! Marlene

bubblemunch said...

Many a raw nerve was hit when reading this post and the previous!! Not only do I hoard every tiny thing that I think might come in "useful" but I am a horror for holding back things that I think need to be for something special ... as if the world would end if I used them for anything less. Consequently, my small home is over-run with, at the end of the day, is stuff! I recently challenged myself to take some monoprints (Oh no, they can never be repeated ... why would I even consider "using" them!!!) and cut them up for collage. Result = liberating! I have even resolved not to do any more monoprints (I have over a hundred from this month alone!) until I have done something with a good third of my stash! (eek!)

I love your journal pages and am impressed that you blog so often! I've only blogged daily for February and there's no way I can keep that up!