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. The Groovy Grunge workshop is open for registration!