Some personal thoughts about Art Journaling…

Although you will probably expect another furniture makeover or crochet project today, the last few weeks have been all about some artsy stuff for me. No pictures today! Just some personal thoughts, though you may not be used to that on this blog… Since I am right in the middle of some inspirational period (there’s no other way I can describe it) I am working on like ten projects at a time at the moment, without finishing any of them. Inside my head it’s a lovely messy twirl of inspiration and ideas and I am trying to figure out how to use this inspiration on new projects… I have been mostly drawing, painting and trying out a few new materials the last few weeks… Because, put simply, what I’ve done up till now was not creative enough to me. Call me a perfectionist or ‘too hard on myself’ but being creative means, to me, creating something NEW (and not copying others). Every time I actually create something my very own, gives me this great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, and that feeling is very addictive for me ;).

Up till now, I have been mostly using or combining other people’s ideas or techniques in a way that was not completely new. For every one of my projects I can totally see where I got my inspiration and ideas from. Of course that’s a good thing in a way, because we all need inspiration to get started with new things. Also, you don’t need to come up with new techniques that have already been used before, although occasionally you will by accident… Although I really enjoy working on all of my projects and learn new techniques every time, I still have this feeling that nothing I made is really, really mine, that I had not really used my creativity and make something completely ‘me’, using my emotions and letting go of my fears. The last few months I’ve been drawing a lot and it was driving me mad that I couldn’t come up with something that actually looked good enough to me. Trying to be creative while having high expectations and your head telling you it has to be perfect the first time, well, it kills creativity. With every ten to twenty sketches you will probably find only one good idea, but patience and ‘keep on trying’ wasn’t enough. I felt the need of something to keep my ideas and thoughts together and keep track of my (creative) journey in a book. Try to express my feelings creatively and trying to let go of expectations of what ‘art’ or designs should look like. Call it a journal, diary or portfolio if you will, but it should be something where I can draw and try things that are mine, that I actually can enjoy making, without feeling bad about myself because it doesn’t look perfect enough. Apparently it has a name: it is called Art Journaling and I totally love it!!! Look it up, it’s great!!!

To me, an art journal is a creative diary, which is all about expressing my feelings in a creative way, letting go of perfectionism and most importantly: to have fun making it. I had completely forgotten about how good I feel when I get to draw or paint (without expectations, that’s to say). To give the creativity and inspiration a boost, I have started an art journal a few weeks ago. To make a fresh start in 2014 😉 I don’t know if I will show you just yet, but as most things I do end up here on my blog, I probably will 🙂 ….

By the way, if you go looking for art journaling examples on pinterest, google, youtube, whichever you use, try not to be overwhelmed by some of the ‘perfect’ and beautiful pages that you see. Tell yourself that most people tend to just show whatever art journal look good, and feel ashamed of what doesn’t and you will never see those (ten times as many) pages. So, keep in mind that you will probably find very little not-so-perfect pages (I specifically don’t use the word ‘ugly’, because 1. it is a matter of taste, and 2. there’s no such thing as ugly art journals: art should personal and as long as it has it’s purpose it’s just art. Although some pieces could be perfected in a way that it shows the ideas behind it in a better way (or techniques, of course), and the art will either speak to you or it won’t.). Don’t let what you see hold you back from starting your own art journal. Feel inspired, try out some techniques and media and decide which ones yóu like, yóu want to use and find your own style in a playful way. Go with the creative flow and see what comes out of it!

Once you’ve looked it up and want to give it a try, read this:

You don’t have to buy all the expensive materials you see others using right now, to start your art journal. Use whatever you have and buy something you really want one or two pieces at a time. Start by using a pen, a pencil, some acrylic paint, watercolours, pastels, whatever you already have and you like working with. Use plain paper to start with, or some scrap papers or packaging materials to draw on. However, you will find that there are some essential materials, depending on your materials of choice. For example, if you want to work with wet media, like watercolour or acrylics with a lot of paint, it will require thicker paper, whereas when you are drawing, you could use almost any paper you have, to start with that’s to say…

As you probably know, art supplies can be very expensive, depending on the technique you are using and, needless to say, the quality. However, some things can be done in a cheap way! I think I will  show you how I’ve made my own stamps and how you don’t need stamping ink per se but use acrylic paint instead, later this week. So, come back later this week if you want to see those.

Some random ideas I’m working on at the moment (just a teaser ;), so let me know whichever you want to know more about so I know which projects to blog about): I am crocheting a swirl ribbed hat for a friend (trying to figure out a pattern of my own), at the same time working on a recipe for all-natural PERFECT home-made deodorant, art journaling, making DIY stamps, trying out linocuts, cutting my own stencils and I am doing a makeover for one of our wooden crates, for storing all of my ‘TOYS’ (my electric tools 😉 lol) using stencils and text.

Hope you can feel my inspiration over there while reading this!!

See you soon,

Veerle ondertekening








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