If you're new to Art Journal Every Day, there is a short introduction here. All of the previous posts can be found archived here. There is a flickr group for sharing right here. Remember, it's just ten minutes of nourishing your creative self every day! No need to finish anything or even like it. If you've done some art journaling this week and you've blogged about it, or put it on flickr, please leave a link in the linky list at the end of this post. Thanks!
Today we have a guest post from Michelle Remy. I found her blog through the linky list and stumbled onto a post she wrote about making an effort to generate her own imagery for her art journal. I was fascinated and wanted to know more and I thought that you might too!
Making My Mark
I remember the surgeon saying “I can’t guarantee you’ll ever do art again.” After nearly two decades of severe hand problems and six surgeries, it had come down to this and I had a decision to make: get my right wrist completely fused and take the chance my soul’s work would be impossible to pursue or face a lifetime of deteriorating bones and constant pain.
In 2007, I chose the fusion surgery and began the long, arduous rehabilitation journey in which I ultimately surpassed everyone’s expectations. However, as I documented this battle in my journaling, I began to wonder how best to represent myself in my journals. I found myself struggling with magazine images, frustrated at the amount of time it seemed to take to find something that spoke to me. I had never amassed a large image stash in the first place and I was constantly haunted by copyright worries. More importantly, I felt that by using others’ images, I wasn’t representing the “true me.”
Here I had traveled this scary and terrible road and I was using my gift of hand function to wield a glue stick. It didn’t feel authentic. So I decided to move away from using others’ images and try and make journal pages using things I had created on my own or tools that could be easily altered to represent my personal style.
There are so many things you can do to generate personal, unique imagery for your journals. For collage material, I create my own collage sheets as well as make color copies of previous journal pages. I spend a lot of time at Staples’ copy center!
In addition, I try and use commercial tools that are not heavily pre-determined. In other words, I focus my stash-building around generic supplies that support the expression of my personal voice rather than feature a specific copyrighted image drawn by another artist. Pattern stencils are among my very favorite tools! (Thank you Julie for some of the best on the market!) I also adore found object stamps. I have several boxes around the studio devoted to my collection of mark-making tools!
I still use found images from time to time. I tend to use images I can heavily embellish and alter, especially classic paintings or copyright-free images from Dover. Nowadays, a commercial image really has to call to me to find its way into my journals. For me, it is important that I make my mark, that my hand be visible in all I do. I fought long and hard for the ability to do so and I feel I am at my most authentic when I honor that journey.
Here is this week's linky list:
I am best described as a multi-media artist who lives and works amongst the beautiful redwoods of the extreme Northern California coast. I have one grown son, one bird, two cats, and at last count, 14 fish. My most current art passions are illustration and sculpture. I love creating characters in every medium imaginable! My biggest dream is to write and illustrate children’s books. Please come visit my little corner of world at http://lostcoastpost.blogspot.com.