It’s hard to believe, but we have already completed TWO WEEKS of our 365 challenge! The time is speeding by! I don’t know about you, but there have been a couple of days where it was a real challenge to make myself sit down and create something. I just felt so uninspired. One day, I was so busy I couldn’t find any time. But I wound up staying up a little later and I just slapped whatever came to mind onto the page and I called it done (that was “My Clothes”, in case you are wondering).
One other challenge I have faced on week 2 is that I came to the realization that I lack a lot of the supplies a traditional artist might use in an art journal. I tell people I’m not really an artist. I’m a crafter. Yes, I think I’m artistic (at least to some extent), but I don’t really consider myself an artist in the strictest sense of the word. I have a few bottles of acrylic paint bought for this purpose or that. I have some markers. I own about 20 Copic markers I bought for coloring in stamps (I’m building that collection slowly). I had to actually go buy Gesso for the first time ever. I don’t own any drawing pencils and my colored pencils are more like what you’d buy to use in your high school geography class. I don’t even have stacks of magazines to cut out of!
To say that it's difficult being creative under these circumstances is an understatement. Some days I have a clear picture in my head what I would like my work to look like, but no idea whatsoever how to make it happen. A lot of my art journaling looks more like scrapbooking or smash-booking than an art journal. What I really want is a little of all three.
To that end, I’ve pestered Christen (a lot) about techniques and she’s shared with me some of her favorite art journaling blogs. A friend, Heather, also invited us to an art journaling group on Facebook that has been a wealth of information and inspiration. I have found them so helpful, I thought I’d share them with you, too:
Balzer Designs: Check out the Archives on this blog for instructions in how to do lots of different techniques. Of particular interest is the “Art Journal Every Day” archives, which includes topics ranging from “Must have supplies” to “Top 10 tips for artful lettering” and much, much more.
Art Journalers on Facebook: This is an open group on Facebook for art journalers of all skill levels. Members post everything from finished work to tips and questions on products and supplies. Great source of inspiration and information!
Speaking of posting artwork to a public forum, have you been sharing yours to our Flickr group? Don’t forget to make sure to set the privacy settings on your posts to PUBLIC or the rest of the group will not be able to see them unless they are your friends. Right now there are about 32 public posts in the group, but I do hope the rest of you will start sharing your work to the group as well!
If you have been following the group, you may have already seen these posts, but I wanted to share them here on the blog anyway and explain a few of them. So here are some of the journal entries that Christen and I made this week.
Day 8 – Good
This was my first attempt at drawing in a very long time. I decided to try out a technique I learned in my high school art class for drawing a subject from a photograph. The technique helped, but the drawing looks less like the subject of the photo (me) and more like my niece! Even when I showed it to Christen and asked her who it looked like, she said the same. This was also one of my first clues that I need to buy a few supplies; I didn’t have a drawing pencil and had to rely on the mechanical one I use for bookkeeping which is much too hard for drawing.
Day 9 -- Define Happy
This was one of those projects where I knew exactly what I wanted, but didn’t know how to get it. I wound up tossing a few ideas onto paper and am mostly happy with it, but I think it still needs work. I’m thinking I will add a word to the floor of the tunnel, diminishing in size as it approached the light at the end. I just haven’t decided what word it needs yet.
Day 10 – I would like to ____ again
Boy was this one hard! There are so many things I wanted to answer, but none of them worked for my word. I settled on “start a bible study”, which is certainly true, but also hard to turn into art when I was already frustrated and ready for bed. This entry looks more scrapbook than I would have liked.
Christen answered, “I would like to create again.” She used watercolor, black ink stamps and Sharpie.
Day 11 -- My clothes
I loved Christen’s piece for this day! She says, “One of the challenges I have is putting the same boring clothes on everyday. So I am going to try to switch it up more often.”
Day 12 – Something Worth Dying For
This one is pretty scrapbookish, too, but it didn’t start out that way – I wound up having to cover up the mess I made with the background. One thing I have learned is that working in an altered book presents its own challenge that a sketchpad or watercolor paper wouldn’t – you almost never start out with a blank slate.
I also loved Christen’s piece for this day. In it she demonstrates another way you can use a prompt for inspiration. “There really isn't anything I would die for except love that that is already known. For me, I just want to enjoy this life. I am not going to worry about things like that. So, in that case, nothing is worth freaking out about. Just enjoy life!”
Day 13 – What character from your favorite tv show can you most relate to?
I owe you a do-over on this one. Silly me, I read the prompt earlier in the day and thought about it all day long. By the end of the day, I had a different prompt in my head (simply “what character can you most relate to”), so although I most certainly can relate to one Wile E. Coyote, Looney Tunes is not my favorite tv show. So watch for a future post where I explore this topic again!
Day 14 – What do I wish for this year to bring?
I kept this one simple and cut out words from the few magazines I have.
Thanks to Christen for sharing her work. If you want to see more, please go to our Flickr group. So now that I’ve given you some more places to get your art fired up, how about some prompts for week 3?
15. What keeps me awake at night…
17. A piece of cake
18. What 3 words would someone use to describe me?
19. What was the last thing that made me cry?
20. Someone I look up to…
Hey, go create something!