Because I'm all about Art Journal Every Day being a community activity, I've asked some ladies who are participating in the project to do guest posts along the way. Today is the first of those posts! I've got two more great guests lined up -- one for January and one for February and I'm looking through all the links and postings every day and will invite more guests as the year rolls along! You never know who will be next!
The Spark of an Idea
As 2009 was drawing to a close, I was looking for a project for 2010, similar to the 52Q that Emily Falconbridge had started. 52Q was a weekly challenge to make a mini art journal tag or ATC based on a new question each week.
It was my first real foray into art journaling, I loved everything about it! Trying out new products, mediums and techniques on manila tags, coming up with my interpretations of the question and having a written record of my answers was only part of the fun. Sharing on flickr, seeing what others came up, and leaving and enjoying feedback was equally fulfilling. Here is a peek at my tags from that project:
During 2009 I had acquired a Listography book. I also discovered the Listography website. ("Listography is a book and personal web application which allows users to create and share lists. Through list-making, users can shape an autobiography and create references for themselves and others. Some common types of lists are: favorites, wishlists, to do lists, catalogues, memories, and photo lists. Users are sometimes called listographers and their collection of lists are referred to as listographies." - wikipedia)
I decided that weekly lists would be the perfect way to continue my mini art journaling. My 2010 project: 52 Lists for 2010, More Mini Art Journaling, was born. I challenged myself and anyone who wanted to participate to create a list in their art journal each week.
List keeping appeals to the memory keeper in me. Being somewhat of a novice in art journaling, I had something to write about and an excuse to create. Most of the lists I used were from that Listography book. (Lisa Nola, the creator of Listography, gave her blessing for me to use many of her list ideas.) A few I made up myself. See the full list of lists here.
The Supplies are FREE!
Most of my lists are built on scraps of cardboard and all of those scraps came from packing or packaging. Amazon loves to stabilize their shipments with corrugated pieces, and anytime I order paper, it usually is encased in cardboard for protection. I’ll never throw that away, and with the start of this project, I even found myself flattening and saving the cardboard boxes from things like tissues and teabags. One tea brand in particular, Yogi, has a lovely design printed on the inside – just had to use it for one of my lists!
Besides my cardboard stash, I’ve accumulated a basket of "stuff" that became my first stop when creating a new list. Smaller pieces from packaging, labels, tape, discarded blueprints from my husband, tags, you name it. I also have an even larger basket of predominantly clothing tags from our whole family, saved over the last 5 years or so. My intention for that was a mini book which still hasn’t happened. In the meantime, I dig in there now and then for something to add to my art journaling.
And just in case you're wondering, this is where I create. I figured it might be a good idea to share a picture of the small space in which I create. It’s a desk I’ve situated in an area between our living and dining rooms, with a small shelf beside it. I know many people have the luxury of a room to call their studio or scraproom, but just as many utilize a more multipurpose area, like me!
Trying New Things
My art journal is the perfect place to try new things.
Embossing folders can be used to make great backgrounds, and I’ve tried them on cardboard, cardstock, tags, and metal. The metal’s especially fun and can be coloured with alcohol inks or copics, but I liked sharpies the best.
For someone like me, whose paint experience is limited, it’s been fun to play with acrylics and water colours, painting on a variety of surfaces – paper, cardboard, canvas, and adding texture and depth with my favourite: bubble wrap.
Even just adding a favourite image from a magazine, tissue box, extra photos or saved gift wrap makes what I create unique and more meaningful to me. I did my List 34: Places I Have Lived, on a scrap of plastic wrap printed cardstock that I had saved for years.
I paper pieced everything from cardboard pieces I had saved: a Target tag, Kleenex box and of course some bits of a Yogi tea box. Bits of ribbon and tape can add balance or just fill up space. Even things like candy wrappers are fun to add if its your favourite candy! All of these bits have personal meaning for me when I look at the page.
52 Lists Completed
My 52 lists from last year ended up being a big fat chunk of art journaling goodness:
You can find a few more pictures of my 52 lists, all tied up here.
Heading Into 2011
After 2 years of weekly art journaling, I have to say I’m hooked! I’m so glad Julie came up with her brilliant Art Journal Every Day, and I’m thrilled that so many are on board. With last year’s 52 lists all wrapped up, I’m ready to jump into Art Journaling Every Day!
My art journal for 2011 is a moleskine. The pages are 5X8, so it’s easily portable. While it says 104 pages, they count front and back, so the book holds enough pages to do a 2 page spread each week, for the year.
Though I’ve done much more in my head than on paper so far this year, I’m keeping a list of ideas for future pages. I keep that list in the back pocket of my moleskine.
I haven’t gotten much farther than the inside front cover with my all important contact info, but on those pages, I tried out the different colours of the watercolours I recently purchased.
For those of you doubting whether or not you can do this, or can keep up with this, remember that this is YOUR art journal and you can do or not do it however and whenever you like. Posting a weekly list made me create something every week. I thought about it when I wasn’t creating. Left myself open to inspiration and found it in some of the most unlikely places.
Finally on a very personal note, I continued to work every week on my art journal during treatment for breast cancer, starting with surgery in May 2010, chemo during the summer and radiation that was completed right before Thanksgiving. My prognosis is excellent, I’m feeling great and catching up on many things that I let slide last year, like the windows. But hey, they’re still clean enough to see through if you squint! And I’m thankful that I have my 52 lists that I created during what I can only describe as a very enlightening year.
I am a SAHM and love life in PA with my husband and two kids. And big dog and small bird. We moved here from Canada 14 years ago, so travel and guaranteed White Christmases (most years!) are part of our life. My love of scrapbooking and memory keeping evolved and expanded to card making and art journaling. My favourite snack right now, creating or not, is Blue Diamond Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds, and a tall cup of my version of swamp water: equal parts of OJ and Coke Zero. On the rocks, of course!
My blog: Just Past Midday