It's been a few months since I first posted about my recent adventures in art journaling. I still don't like the phrase "art journaling", and I'm trying to come up with a term I'm more comfortable with.
I am liking this more and more all the time.
The first game changer was the day I added washi tape.
The next game changer was the day I added handmade stamps. When I carved these tiny houses, I could barely keep from stamping them on every page.
I'm still working on the entire book all at once. About half of the pages have backgrounds so far. I usually take one tool or pen or type of paint, and add that to several pages at a time. I just keep updating everything. There are spaces to add words later, if I choose.
This process has led me to be more self aware about my own style and creative habits. Right now my goal is to be freer with color schemes. It started out that when I would paint a background, I would tend to choose keep the color scheme of the background as I added patterns and designs. Lately, I'm more intentional about mixing warm and cool elements.
I'm also aware now that my canvas creations are more fairly rigid and calculated than I realized. Here, I have no expectations, and nothing is a mistake. There is not a picture in my head about what the final product might look like. I mix inks and paints and paint markers and delight in whatever the result turns out to be. Words are from my stream of consciousness.
Today I made some stamps out of bottle caps, and I like how the white pigment ink was just a little bit smeary, and how the edge of the bottle cap made an unintentional speckled semi-border.
And I wrote something for myself because I had a bit of a worry that looking at so many journals would make mine feel derivative. And then I realized that the important part of it is to get into the mental space where I'm just creating - and within that space, "where I am not planning anything at all", there is no room for anything but authenticity. It's probably similar to meditiation. It definitely calms me, and that could be why I seek opportunities to keep at it - to keep adding new colors and shapes and layers - to keep tinkering with different media - to keep creating.