Journal Personality

"All of my work is an attempt to decipher the chatter in my head, to put forward a less awkward side of myself, to navigate through my everyday chaos towards calm."
Claire Desjardins



A pair of art journal pages in The Turquoise Book, the third of three altered books I started last autumn. The first two are finished and I have many pages to share but I just haven't been able to write the umpteen blog posts that it would take to share them. 

Lots going on - in the world - sad things - bad things - and at home - trying to focus on art. It's my coping mechanism. 

I've been facilitating the index-card-a-day challenge, creating index card art, art journaling in this altered book, building 61 posts of content & tutorials for The Circle and doing summer things like organizing the pantry. The kids and I are working on writing our novels for Camp NaNoWriMo. I am continuing the novella that I started during NaNoWriMo in November. Unfortunately, I did not look at my book for 6 months, so it took a week to even get back up to speed and remember what on earth I had been writing. After working on it for a few weeks, it still feels foreign. So once again, I learn that continuing a project {even a tiny bit each week} is better than stopping altogether and starting again. It's a lesson I learn constantly, but I never really take to heart! For July alone, my older daughter is approaching 30K words, my younger daughter is at 19K words and me? Almost 6K which is just fine!

I'm teaching my daughters a few new recipes this summer and they volunteered to help at a summer school for three weeks So I had some days to myself. We went to see the new Ghostbusters last weekend and it was laugh-out-loud funny. I usually fall asleep in movie theaters, so this was a nice change of pace.



mixed media aj page, tammy garcia

mixed media aj page, tammy garcia

Acrylics, found papers, Neocolors, old date stamp.

Each journal tends to take on a persona, a personality, a character. Not right away, but over a span of time that varies from journal to journal and year to year. I do my mixed media art journaling mostly in altered hardback books, and I work non-chronologically. OK, I don't time travel, but I do jump around the book haphazardly. The first several pages, that I work on - these pages act as launching points or hooks. I might go on a minty green kick or a grid kick or a negative space kick.

Sometimes my journals are playful, some journals wind up being about exploring patterns or doodle designs. One current journal is only in black, white and gray and so it is about subtle shading, contrasts etc. Some journals explore the world with words.

The last three altered books have been less about words and more about playing with paint and collage. Techniques. Working out how to express my feelings through the paint. Although they contain a lot of found poetry, it is not symbolic or story-telling to me. Perhaps when I look back in a few years I will see a story of some sort. 

Almost anything can impact the personality of the journal. For example, I work differently based on the physical size  of the substrate. The ratio of length to width - the dimensions - landscape vs. portrait. Other things come into play - the texture of the paper, the mediums that the paper takes, the work space, the magazines that I use for journal fodder that day, etc. Even the name I give the journal can impact the results! Like I named one of my journals "The Play Journal" to remind myself that it had an important purpose. 

The comments section has been fairly quiet these days - and I want to be better about responding to all of the lovely words that you leave. So do you find your journals developing a personality or character? Do you set it intentionally or does it evolve? And does the work you do on the early pages influence the later pages? 

All of these factors guide what happens when I open the book and work. 

If you'd like to learn more about mixed media art journaling, please take a workshop! I teach a bunch of different workshops; Novel Approach is about mixed media journaling with acrylics and collage.