Art journaling is a no-expiration date coupon to ignore the rules

Art journaling is like a no-expiration date coupon to ignore the rules & graphic design principles that you are not in the mood to follow. 

When I am working in my journals, I have no illusion or goal of making anything beautiful. And I wind up where I wind up. I am making something that speaks to ME. I use colors that I like. I use images that are quirky or somehow resonate with my mind. I create the pages that I want to look at in the future. So on each page there are usually little pockets {not literally pockets but rather regions} of compositions rather than one larger composition. I do try to have some sort of visual balance - not symmetry - just balance to my eyes.

This is a page spread from the Turquoise book; I'd drawn a bunch of black mandalas on these pages and later decided to paint around them and let the mandalas peek through. But that plan disintegrated and only one single solitary center of one mandala peeks through! So I've included collaged papers, successful and unsuccessful soft gel transfers, torn papers, scrapes & scratches, washi tape, etc. Just a step at a time, every time.

As we move into the crazy busy month of December, a reminder that although the holidays have all sorts of sparkly moments they can also bring intense emotions, anxiety & sadness. I do not presume to know where each of you are in your life, but my perspective is that real life is not all magical reindeer and picture-perfect instagram illusions. 

Real life is freaking hard.
※⒜🙈🌍🕸🎏♴☎️⒇🍃🎱⚠️📺⏰🕊☮️🍉🦁🍋🅠❊

No worries, there's no secret code to de-code in those emojis...  just an array of symbols. You get to fill in the blanks. Write your own story. Take care of yourself, your friends, your family.  Skip some of those invitations {you do not have to do everything} and order Chinese take-out instead. And just as importantly, keep doing creative stuff - even 15 minutes - every day. This small action can serve to remind you that there is beauty in the world. Give it a chance and see what happens!

There is something about letting your mind play, to focus beyond that never-ending to-do list and your appointments and your bullet journal and perfectly composed planner pages. To act like a kid and play with paint & paper!!! Woo hoo! Let all of that structure GO! Your art journal and your sketchbook and your stack-of-index cards? Those are places to PLAY. 

PS. Groovy Grunge registration is OPEN with a super good early bird special through December 17th. The workshop opens officially at the very end of December. 

Art Journal: Equivalent of Almost

Art Journal: Equivalent of Almost

On these pages from the turquoise altered book, you'll find acrylics, Neocolors, machine stitching, washi tape, found papers, magazine images, an address label and even an index card {left side, stitched collage}. You might want to think of an art journal as a holding place for color & texture & words & exploration. That exploration might be with art materials {like, following your mood} or it might be with words or thoughts or analysis. Admittedly, I do not get all doom & gloom in my journal very often, so when I vent I often cover it up with paint or in this case, tearing some of it out altogether. I want to get it out, but I don't want to re-live it every time I open my journal, if that makes sense. We all use our journals differently, right?

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Floating mandala pie chart circle starbursts in india ink & acrylic

Floating mandala pie chart circle starbursts in india ink & acrylic

What do you see? Starbursts? Economics textbooks? Pinwheels? Not sure if I like the whirling pie charts on the white background - like they are floating - or jacketed | enveloped | surrounded - like they are planted firmly on the ground?  Or maybe they are they bouncing around the universe? I'll leave the interpretation up to you.

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Tekenfilm Altered Book Project

Tekenfilm Altered Book Project

I've been going back through some of my earlier art and I think you should too! You never know what gems you'll find. Things that you might not have thought twice about might have informed the work that you are doing now. Or you might totally hate it. But it is definitely worthwhile to see how you have grown and transformed as an artist.

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