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!


Thursday, June 07, 2012

Where I Find My Images

I know that I've answered this question several times but it's one that I get asked repeatedly and I thought it was time for an update!

Where do I get my images?

I don't have one specific source. 

I've always recommended that folks scope out their local newsstand, used bookstore, bargain bookstore, etc... I like to scope out new magazines every few weeks. I'll look through different sections looking for things that catch my eye. I'll go through fashion, photography, new age, etc... I recommend if you're browsing in a bookstore to make a pile of things that catch your eye and then either go find a spot to sit in, hit the cafe for a drink and flip through each magazine making piles of "yes", "no" and "maybe". See what catches YOUR eye the most. I don't have any one favorite source. I also buy magazines for inspiration. Scope out thrift stores and library sales as well for good deals on magazines (and books.)

My favorite magazines (in no particular order) are:

I tend to read the magazines, dog ear what I find interesting, rip out what I want and recycle the rest. 

I do NOT like fashion magazines (except for the ones mentioned above.) I don't like magazines with imagery that is super sexed up, super skinny, dressed (or undressed) to the 9, etc... I like images that represent ME and how I feel. I tend to avoid glossy fashion magazines and anything that looks like it would strut down a runway. I like plain, simple, every day images. I also prefer to use images of women instead of men. It's not that I don't like imagery of men (does that sound right?!) but I want to use imagery that represents ME so if I use an image of a man and woman together, it's usually to represent my husband and I. 

I find a lot of imagery in books as well. My family and I scour our favorite bookstores (I have a whole list here) for new treasures. I like to look in various sections: cheap ($1-10), new, Buddhism, Floral/Gardens, Art, Photography, Fashion, Various Countries, Design and Comics are my favorite sections to check out. I don't find something every week. I usually find something new that is a "must have" maybe once a month if I'm lucky. I scored two shorthand books last night for $2 (background papers!) 

I rarely pay a lot for a book (or magazine) unless I find that it's chock full of stuff that I want. I'm not going to pay $15 for a book with one or two images in it. On average I spend anywhere from $1 to $15 for a book or magazine that I'm going to rip up. The more expensive it is, the more FULL of stuff it has to be (for either me or for my classes to use.)

I recommend that folks keep their eyes open for new imagery and to make time once a month (more or less is up to you) and to search out new magazines and inexpensive books. Tell friends and family what kind of images you are looking for to use and ask if maybe they'll set aside images or magazines for you as they read them (better yet show them the images you like and explain about keeping an art journal and working in collage.) 

Another trick of mine is that I rotate my collage stash (both imagery and background papers) when I get bored. I have two large containers of collage stuff as well as a couple of smaller boxes and ziploc bags. When I get bored, I rotate out the old stuff for "new" stuff. It's like shopping in your living room and it works perfectly for me. 

I also tend to work exclusively from my "now" journal bag (pictured and described here.) I like limiting my choices of materials to what's in my on the go bag (even though I primarily work in my living room!) It keeps me from spending hours sorting through trying to find "the right thing." I generally tend to flip through my stuff very quickly and pull out the first few things that catch my eye. I've found that it works best for me and that I can generally complete a page in 15 minutes to an hour (depending upon the size of the page and how many materials and tools I'm using.)

I've been keeping a journal for some time now. I know what I like and what works for me. I've developed and built up what I call a visual vocabulary (more on that here.) I know what I'm drawn to and what works for me. The more you work in a journal, it'll start to click what works for you, too! I promise!


Samantha Kira said...

I am totally with you on working from a go bag. I have my tote (yes, the one that may break one day!) that I carry around, and work from that. When I get bored, I wander into the studio, grab one of the boxes full of papers and chipboard things, and put back the one I'm working out of. Works great, doesn't it? Limiting supplies means more creative thinking, I say!

And I love Half Price for magazines. I cut those up all the time!

Paula said...

Need to replenish my go bag! Been trying to use my own images more, not because I don't like mags but as a challenge to me and a way to use up some photos! Thanks, Kelly for being so generous in so many ways. Miss you and your classes.

Connie Lutz said...

I need to rotate more frequently. But, I also like to look thru a variety of magazines before I buy. I need to find a good used book store - the one I used to go to closed...

Anonymous said...

I just wondered if you have ever had any problems with using images with regard to copyright?

PS I have come across some lovely images in travel brochures Karenxx

Coral Lee said...

I love the idea of a visual vocabulary - images, style, colours. Things that are "YOU". I am tuning in to this more as I try to recognise my own style and grow with it.

So generous of you to share your sources, ideas and the way you work. Love the peak behind the artwork.

crimsoncat05 said...

this is a timely post, because I've been meaning to search your blog to find the answer to this very question! I have been looking (mostly) at fashion mags, and with all the ads, etc. there aren't really a whole lot of images that 'speak' to me. I will definitely have to search out some of the other ones you mention.

Anne with an e said...

i agree with you about fashion magazines (at least the regular, mainstream ones).. they're not a good source & there's rarely anything unique, pretty or interesting in their images...

Your pages are beautiful :)