Sunday, September 30, 2012

Last Bits of my Dad's Journal

Unsent Christmas Cards from Last Year from Dad and Mom

"Search and Destroy" Dad took me to see this and he HATED it. I don't remember a damn thing about it other than Christopher Walken being in it and I wanted to see it. I just remember our discussion after the movie with Dad saying that it was one of the worst movies he'd ever seen. I was just grateful that he took me to see it! We often went to the movies together, sharing popcorn and laughs.

A business card with Dad's writing on it; a cassette cover of a mixed tape he made and an article about him

A postcard from the 80's when we were living in Weymouth
A glimpse back
Thanks for sharing in the journey with me. I hope to have a slide show up of all of the pages sometime soon. I'll be posting my new journal soon!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

29 August 2012 Journal Page

This is the last page with art on it in the journal that I started after my Dad died. I have a few other things that were in this book to share with you and I'll do that tomorrow. It got to the point in this book where it was too heavy and too much (towards the end) and I was happy to move onto another journal. I'll still be doing journal pages about my Dad (in whatever book I'm working on at the time.) I may also incorporate some of the paper treasures that I've saved.

The only journal that I've had a hard time going back to was my daily journal which I had started at the end of January. The last entry was June 8th. I had been writing daily and adding little bits like ticket stubs, postcards, collages, etc... Ever since then I've had a hard time picking it up to work in it. I'm trying to be very gentle with myself and at this point, I'm not sure if I'll go back to it. There are some things that I would like to add but I'm trying to figure out a way to look back on the past few months without pages of sadness and writing out things I've written elsewhere. I'll figure something out eventually. I may just end up creating several small collages and use my art to speak for me.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

26 August 2012 Journal Page

I used a copy of a mix tape cover with my Dad's writing on it down the bottom of the page. I didn't incorporate as much of his stuff as I had planned into this journal. For now, I think I'm just taking comfort in the fact that I have it and know it's there when I need it to be.

A quick, last minute reminder that I'm teaching several classes this weekend and next weekend is Northern California. More info here. I'm really looking forward to it! 

I've scheduled my blog posts through Sunday (meaning I'm not live blogging daily like I usually do.) It's a crazy busy weekend but I'll still be moderating comments and checking email when I can. As always, thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

26 August 2012 Journal Page

Less than a handful of pages left in this journal to share. My hopes in posting and sharing these pages with you are to encourage others to journal even when it hurts.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

26 August 2012 Journal Page

 Busy! Busy! Prepping like a loon for this weekend and next weekend's classes. 

I made a few quick changes to my blog. I hope that it makes it easier navigate the blog. I removed formspring so folks can email me directly if they have a question or leave a question in the comments section and I'll respond there (remember to check back if I don't have your email or a way to contact you.) One day I would like to work my way through my posts and add labels to some of them to make them easier to find. There's always something to do!

Hope your week is going well!

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Books

I'm on the fence about keeping the top two books but I LOVE Homespun Style. I picked it up at Zinnia yesterday. It's a keeper! I'll have to flip through the other two books, Daring Greatly and Modern Vintage Illustration a couple more times to decide if they stay or go.

Have you discovered any new books lately?

Quick Class Update:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

25 August 2012 Journal Page

I've raved about Alena Hennessey's Cultivating Your Creative Life book before. It's inspiring, fresh and honest. Alena is teaching a new online workshop, Abundant Wild Life, which I am hoping to be able to take. I rarely get a chance to take classes since I am often so busy teaching them. Squam Art Workshops is giving away a seat in the workshop here. I don't know Alena but I find her work invigorating and inviting. Her blog is here.

Who has inspired you lately?

Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm Not the Only One Happy...

that Fall is almost here!

(My sister, Erin, took this photo.)

Happy Friday! Happy Almost Autumn!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Clown Story

I'm all prepped and ready for both of my classes this weekend. I hope that my students are as eager and excited as I am! I've been working on my handouts for my Northern California classes in a couple of weeks. I'm changing my teaching style a bit, moving in a new direction. I have lots of new ideas up my sleeves. I love developing new classes and seeing how folks react to them. I've always said that my students push me and are the ones who encourage me to stay on my toes (thank you, guys!)

I was thinking about another funny Dad story last night. I posted a photo of a Mom dressed in a clown suit hiding under her daughter's bed. Years ago when my Mom, Dad, sister and I moved into 352 Beale St in Quincy, MA, my Dad said that both Erin and I each had a present waiting for us in our rooms. We ran up the stairs (of our very empty new home) and into our rooms. At the same time we both screamed LOUD. Sitting in the middle of our empty bedrooms was a clown in a rocking chair. My Dad didn't know that we were terrified of clowns (I think we've seen one too many stupid, scary, clown movies.) He was always buying us stuffed animals and he thought we'd like these. I swore when we were all moved in that Erin and I both slept with one eye on our clowns for awhile. My clown traveled West with me. He was a permanent fixture in Tristan's room until Tristan developed the same fear of clowns, put the clown in the closet and barricaded the door. I told Tristan that the clown is probably really pissed now and we all have to watch out. Thinking about Dad's kind gesture making both my sister and I scream like maniacs really cracks me up.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Zine Sources

I got a bee in my bonnet the other day and decided that I wanted to group all of my zines that I've collected over the years together. I took my baskets that I bought from maya made and placed the zines inside of them. They fit perfectly! The baskets now sit on a shelf next to my bed so I can flip through and grab some inspiration at a moment's notice. 

I'm not going to go through and list my favorite zines as a lot of them aren't available any more (and who wants that kind of torture?) I thought that I'd list some of my favorite sources for zines instead!

In Los Angeles:
below you'll find a list of my favorite zine shops in L.A. They also all happen to be damn good book stores

Other Sources:

Zine World (a must read)

Parcell Press (lots of eye candy to choose from)

Want to Make A Zine?

Do you make zines? Do you have any favorite zines, zine authors or sources? I'd LOVE to hear! Please share in the comments section. Thanks!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dad and Music

I was saying on facebook last night one of the many, many things I miss about my Dad was not being able to call him and ask him the name of a song. Now I'm stuck googling it. If Dad was around he'd have told me not only the name of the song, the band, the lead singer but, more than likely, he'd have a story to go along with it.
When Otis Redding died, Dad was in the Army. He threw an Otis party spinning records and drinking beer all night long. He loved Otis.
Dad didn't get in the car without putting the radio (or cd, tape or 8-track) on. I've said it before, his music was always on and doo wop, Dean Martin, oldies, 40's, 50's all were the soundtrack of most of my life. I have a vast appreciation for a variety of music thanks to him. (It's funny, though, as he didn't like jazz, which I love. He also liked new country, which I don't. I prefer Johnny Cash and old country. I was often surprised to hear about the new albums he'd buy after heading a new song on the radio. He was always buying music in some form.)
I miss him very much but you can still catch me playing his cds, whistling his favorites, singing them out loud and wondering what the story would be.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What are Your Favorite Books on Creativity?

Here's a sampling of mine. My favorite, hands down, is Learning By Heart by Corita Kent and Jan Steward.

What are your favorite books on creativity?

Friday, September 14, 2012

12 August 2012 Journal Page

I always try to be honest and open in my journal pages. My pages from the journal that I've been posting here the last couple of months are full of pain because I have been in a lot of pain since June 9th. I always try to be honest and open when it comes to art journaling. I post them here not looking for commentary but to encourage others to be open and honest in their journaling and so that some folks understand that journaling isn't always gumdrops and roses. My motto with art journaling is if I can do it, so can you.

Looking at this page, I remember exactly how I felt when I created it and what was running through my head. If anyone is wondering what the hearts are at the top of the page, they're from a Valentine's clear plastic goodie bag. I used micro permanent glue dots to attach them.


David, Tristan and I went to The Academy last night to see Jerry Lewis. It was fabulous. He was dead on, quick witted and very informative. I enjoyed hearing his stories about his behind the scenes work as a filmmaker. The evening didn't disappoint in any way! I'm very thankful that we had the opportunity. I'm also grateful that The Academy keeps ticket prices affordable. For $13, the three of us can go to see filmmakers talk, see clips, films, etc... We try to take advantage of living in L.A. as much as we can! Now if only Tristan would appreciate it. Hopefully, someday...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Books!

Last night, I picked up a few goodies! One of my favorite bookstores is Vroman's in Pasadena. They're pretty good about getting new titles in fairly quickly so I was happy to find that they had four copies of Rookie Yearbook in stock. I've been waiting for this title since Drawn and QuarterlyD & Q said they were publishing it. I'm not a huge fan of online magazines or books as I'm one who prefers to read something that I can hold in my hands so I was thrilled to find it in the store yesterday. I haven't read it yet but I've flipped through it several times. The pages are luscious and lively. It's definitely something to peruse over time instead of devouring it in one sitting. It's visually inspiring for artists of all ages. You can see more here and here. Before you ask, no, I won't be cutting this one up.

After Vroman's, we trekked to our favorite used bookshop, Iliad in North Hollywood. It's the only store that we go to on a weekly basis and it's the kind of shop where at least one of us manages to find a treasure or two every trip. I found two last night:

I broke my rule of not paying more than $10 for a book to collage and cut up when I saw the Lingerie book (I paid $15.) The pictures are classy and in the style of what I use for my journal pages. I also really like the size and shape of the book (so I can use it as a journal later on.)

The roses in this book are smaller than the ones that I usually collage with but I loved the luscious colors and imagery. For $5, it jumped off the shelf and into my hands. There's a ton of roses in here so what I don't use will find its way into my class pile.

What new books have found their way into your home lately? Either that you're reading or using to collage with?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

12 August 2012 Journal Page

I love using portions of rubber stamps (like I did along the top part of the page here. I think it's an old Anima Designs stamp.) I'm a sucker for text especially if it's unique. I tend to use a black Staz-on pad most of the time as it's permanent and stamps not only on paper but also tape and transparencies.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Christmas in September!

At least that's what it felt like to me when my Printstagram order of my Instagram (kellytmkilmer) photos arrived! I ordered a set of 4" prints, a mini photo book and stickers. Yay! Everything is so cute and perfect. I can't wait to start using the goodies in my journal!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

What I'm Reading Now

The past three months have been difficult. The moments seem to balance each other out: happy, sad, quiet, confused, thoughtful, lost, etc... I'm trying to find my way as there seems to be a "Before June 9th" and an "After June 9th" Kelly now. I can't explain it. There just is. I accept that. So, I focus on the daily moments that make me smile and open myself up and try to be gentle to the ones that weigh me down. It's all a balancing act. 

I'm always asking questions. I don't necessarily need to hear or know the answers but it's nice when I find out that I'm not alone in the asking. This book is a good companion in my life at the moment and I'm thankful that it was sitting in the right spot at the right time.

I hope that you're having a lovely Sunday and that wherever you are, whatever is going on with your life that you're being gentle with yourself. Hugs.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

A Trip to Ruby Dog's Art House (a.ka. Another Dad Story)

In 2005, Tristan, my parents and I trekked up North to Artwerx in Canada where I taught a series of classes. My friend, Angela, was in every class of mine that weekend. Every time she walked into the room she would utter the same sentence, "Who wants to go to Ruby Dog's?" It was hysterical! She was determined!

So on the last day of classes, I phoned Ruby Dog's and explained the situation. Would she be willing to stay open for a car full of crazy American artists who desperately wanted to visit her shop while they were in Vancouver? She said, "Yes!!" I explained the situation to my Dad who graciously agreed to drive a carload of crazy women to Ruby Dog's! It was just the way he was. He dropped us off and told us to take our time. He found a spot in the shade and took a nap (Dad had a knack for short naps anywhere and everywhere and the front seat of a car was one of his favorite places to snooze. He could be asleep in seconds and if you woke him up fifteen minutes later, he'd be roaring to go again for hours. Whoever coined the term "power naps", must've been thinking about my Dad.) We must've been in the shop for well over an hour before Dad started calling to ask if we'd disappeared. On the way back, we even dropped one of the ladies (hi Bev!) at the airport. Dad always went the extra mile for his family and friends. (Ask Tristan how many Lego shops his Bapa took him to whenever and wherever I taught! They'd drive out of their way to find one!)

Every time I ran into Angela after that, she'd mention my Dad and Ruby Dog's. Both of them are gone now and I miss them but every time I think of that weekend, I laugh. "So, who wants to go to Ruby Dog's?"

Friday, September 07, 2012

Thoughts on Collage Work

I've often said that I don't just randomly glue stuff down solely for the sake of covering a page. I've been doing this long enough to have amassed a decent size collection of ephemera and stuff that's relevant to the way that I work. In other words, I know what colors, images, symbols, patterns, etc... that I am drawn to.

Usually I tell my students to start by collecting a small pile of background papers and a few focal images that appeal to them and to place in their pile whatever catches their eye. From that selection, you can start to create a page.

When I go to create a page, I don't worry that every piece of paper has a meaning. I've already established the importance of the paper (to me) by placing it in my stash and sorting it aside for using NOW. It's something that happens without me even being conscious of it.

As I start to select my papers to use to create a page, I tend not to worry about anything other than choosing what I like to reflect my current mood and what I might want the page to say. In other words, I start by picking what I like from my now stash.

I picked the papers on the page above: the one that says Boston (where I'm from), the astrological chart (my friend, Krista made it for me and it's my birth chart) and the image of the girl who looks upset, wandering and wondering (perfect for my mood the moment I created the page.) The other papers and ephemera I chose because I liked them and they fit the mood of the page. I tend to sort through my stash quickly pulling aside anything that catches my eye, makes me stop and think, "A-ha!" and is relevant to the page that I'm creating. I start by picking what I like. I use certain colors and repeated patterns and symbols because they mean something to me (yes, folks, I use a lot of pink for a reason...) I only know this because I've been repeatedly working and creating in journal form for quite some time now. I can look back on my pages and see these repeated images, symbols, colors, etc... It's like I've developed my own visual vocabulary that's specific to ME.

All that said, don't stress and strain that every thing you do has to have meaning. Start by picking what you like and go from there. You can create your own meaning as you work on your pages. Play. Experiment. Explore. See what evolves and develops on your own pages.  You'll soon realize that you have created your own visual vocabulary!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

11 August 2012 Journal Page

Wondering and wandering.
Always telling my truth.
Or at least trying my damndest to!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

AZ Samples are in the Mail, a Journal Page and Instagram

I'm headed out to the post office to mail my samples to Frenzy Stamper (the three books shown in the photo) for my November classes as well as Banana Rose (my Expressions class is later on this month.) I haven't taught since Art Unraveled and I'm itching to start teaching again. I have some new classes and lots of new ideas up my sleeves.

I've already started a new journal but I'll be sharing all of the pages (like the one you see here) in my "Telling Your Truth" journal. I started it after my Dad died and finished it about a week ago. I'll never be ready to "move on" (I hate that expression) but I was ready to start working in a new book.

For those of you on Instagram, I try to post there daily. I tend to post a lot of my pages "in progress" (saving the finished pages for my blog.) I always enjoy seeing others works in progress as much as finished pages so I hope you enjoy seeing my work as much as I enjoy sharing it. I'm on there under kellytmkilmer.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

7 August 2012 Journal Page

Just in case you didn't know, a Rapidosketch pen (my favorite is the .35) filled with permanent, waterproof ink (remember to only fill it 1/3 of the way) can write on transparencies as well as stickers. It dries pretty fast, too.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

3 August 2012 Journal Page

Hoping that you are having a lovely weekend wherever you are...

Make some art.