The Noticing Journal Wrap-Up & Flip-Thru

“Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating, by them. Yet if I were asked to name the most important items in a writer's make-up, the things that shape his material and rush him along the road he wants to go. I would only warn him to look to his zest, see to his gusto.”
Ray Bradbury

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Thought you might like to see a flip-through of The Noticing Journal, an altered book art journal project that took over 2 years and holds some of my favorite pages. The journal was finished this past spring, and I photographed the pages but then got caught up in other projects. Working on a journal for a few years means that your style changes from the earlier pages to the later pages that you create. I do not work chronologically, so you can't "see" the evolution as I page through the journal in the video.

An altered book was an intensive project with a heck of a back-story.

  1. This journal taught me not treat the pages as sacred. I believe that if I did, I would not take risks. So I try to treat them as toys, games, spaces for play.
  2. It was the basis for one of my early mixed media workshops called The Museum of Simple Things. The workshop, taught in 2012, was named after one of the pages.
  3. Several pages from this journal were published in A World of Artist Journal Pages: 1000+ Artworks | 230 Artists | 30 Countries by Dawn DeVries Sokol.
  4. The journal was part of a double-dare ephemera swap w/Natasha {see Double Take #1 and Double Take #2}.
  5. I wrote an article about this project in Zine #10.
  6. The journal completely fell apart after two years of work inside. 

"A thing is complete
when you can let it be."
Gita Bellin

A flip-thru of The Noticing Journal,
an altered book project

There is something luxurious about working in one journal {or one art project} for a long, long time. Taking time in your days for slow, detailed projects is a way to balance the flurry of activity in the world. And there is no better way to get to know your art materials than to experience them over the course of a long project."

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A journal changes when you finish it.

No matter where you are on a journal page, it can always be altered further. You can add, subtract, sand, tear, paint, doodle, stencil, collage, whatever. So you have to draw a line in the sand, just decide to let a page be.

I feel like I need let this one stand, as is, complete. What happens now? I've placed this book in a box for safekeeping because it has fallen apart. Some day I might be in the mood to stitch this book together. That's not my area of expertise, and one day I'll need to learn how to do that.

It's interesting to note that a journal changes when you finish it. Or to be more specific, your relationship with the journal changes. I still own the journal, but no longer actively work in it so it is no longer a work in process but a finished work.

Tell me about an art project that took longer than a year to complete. What drove you to keep at it, to keep working, to see it through? What did you learn along the way? Do you switch back and forth between short-term and long-term projects? Do they inform each other somehow?