Kick-Start Your Art Journal (Part 3)


"Photography is not about cameras,
gadgets and gismos. Photography is about photographers. A camera didn't make a great picture any more than a typewriter wrote a great novel."
Peter Adams

<puppy love> Create a page about a pet's life as a human. Imagine the elaborate details of their home, job, friends, vacations, wardrobe.

<wise one> Write a note from a very wise older person to you, praising you lovingly and lavishly for something kind that you have done in the past year. Write from their perspective, allowing yourself to enjoy the words.

<comical> Using the form of a comic strip, document yourself playing a sport at which you are, quite frankly, clumsy as hell. Any sport counts, from ping pong to frisbee to tennis to miniature golf.

<data junkie> Use the tactics of a data junkie to quantify numbers related to your life. # flowers in your garden, # completed journals, # magic markers, # scarves, # movies in your Netflix queue, # Flickr tags, # Tweets, # photographs taken in 2009, # unmatched socks. Look at the ways Library Thing has sliced and diced its data. That must have been a fun brainstorming session!

<fashion> Create, in words or art, a description of a favorite casual outfit from past or present. An outfit that meant pure comfort.

<dear diary> Use pages from an old diary/journal that doesn't represent who you are any more as fodder for art. Shred, tear, slice, burn, soak in liquid, crumble, fold &/or staple. You could weave strips of paper from the old diary, create new paper, do origami, make an envelope for a journal page, etc.

<toys> Create a page about toys you played with as a child. I loved playing with my little tiny dolls and a cardboard dollhouse I decorated. Sketch images, use images from a magazine, use colors that recreate the feeling you had when playing with your toys. Create a happy page.

<texturized> Start a new loose art journal page with texture rubbings. Simply place your paper on something with an interesting texture - a weathered wooden table, leaves, an embossed book cover, pottery, jewelry, another journal page.

<celebrity> Pick a decision that's been bugging you and analyze it from the perspective of a movie character. How about "The Dude" from the Big Lebowski, The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Sally in When Harry Met Sally, Glinda in The Wizard of Oz... Use colors that give the page the feel of the movie or character or problem.

<white-wash> Find an art journal page you don't want any more and paint a thin layer of gesso over the page using a wide brush or a rubber brayer. Let some bits show through. This white-washed page is now the base for another page.

<lotions + potions> Go to a store that sells lotions or other wonderfully scented things. My favorite for delightful scents, vivid colors and innovative products is Lush. Buy something and put it on your page. I know that soap & lotion aren't archival. It doesn't matter.

<location> Go to a place where it would not be out of the ordinary for someone to sit down and write, such as a museum, a bus stop, train station, conservatory or garden. Write down whatever comes to mind.

<game love> Thinking of the games you used to play as a child (indoors or out) and sketch the outline of the board or playing field. Look at the page from a distance, and describe a memory related to the game. The morning dew on the soccer fields. The backgammon doubling cube. Being responsible for organizing the property cards in Monopoly.

See all of the Kick-Start Prompts.