Hi everyone, today the Get Messy Creative Team are celebrating diversity in art and giving away one annual membership in the process. To enter, follow along through the blog hop posts and just leave a comment on the blogs as you go along. The more blogs you comment on, the higher your chance of winning! Winner will be announced on Saturday.
So let’s get started … I thought I’d talk about my art journaling history – how I started with Get Messy and lead you right through to today. I thought it might be interesting to do a bit of a throw back post of sorts so you can see how I first started out and how my journaling has developed over the past two years. Please beware, this is a very long post with lots of photos, but stay with me, I think it is fascinating how much my journal pages have changed and I’m hoping you might be inspired to keep going to see how much your pages change over time too.
These first two photos are my very first art journal pages. The first one was my first experimentation. I had noticed a few scrapbookers that I followed posting art journal pages. I had no idea what it was, but I had just finished two drawing classes as part of my Diploma of Graphic Design and thought ‘I could do that’ so pulled out my water colours and pens and made a page. I posted it on Instagram and tagged it with the #getmessyartjournal hashtag that I had seen people using. Soon after, Lauren commented asking if I was interested in joining the group. And so I did. The second page here was the first monthly prompt I received – something about a tea party. When I look at this page I can really see my scrapbooking roots coming through.
When I first started I was just using materials I already had at home – mostly scrapbooking supplies like white cardstock and ephemera and magazines. I had no journal as such so decided to put the pages into a We Are Memory Keepers album I had. While it suited me at the time, I am glad I have moved to a book style journal now. I love being able to make double page spreads that aren’t broken by the rings or a spiral binding coil.
This next page was another prompt, I can’t remember what it was though. I do know it was about my red hair, and how I am really uncomfortable with people calling me all the nicknames that redheads get. I’m a bit precious about that.
My second album was again a We Are Memory Keeps album – but a tiny 4×4 inch one and I have to say this was the best way to get myself settled into the art journaling ways. A small page helped me overcome the stage fright of a huge blank page (or sheet of paper). I filled this little album over about six months and this is one of my favourite pages from that time.
This next photo is my first book style album. I still love these journals and have a couple sitting in my drawer waiting to be broken out. They are by Signature Sensations and the pages are made of recycled cotton. This makes them very absorbent so I quickly learnt that gesso was going to be my best art journaling friend ever.
At about the same time, I discovered Frankie Magazine and its amazing imagery. It is my favourite art journaling fodder still to this day.
And then came water colour – I fell hook, line and sinker and have never looked back.
Next up, some pages I made for the Season of Brave – including a zine which I glued in to my regular journal because I’m funny and need to keep all of the season’s pages together. Still using magazine pages, and that minimalist style is developing nicely don’t you think.
Mid way through 2015 I decided I wanted to branch out of my journals and start making other art – so worked on this mini-book – it was actually to celebrate Spring arriving in Australia after a very long, cold, dark winter. I was ready for some sunshine and flowers to brighten the days and what better way to celebrate than with an art journal. I spy a calico bunting piece from one of those early pages making a reappearance.
And then came the Season of Words and my first altered book journal. Oh the turmoil of destroying an old Enid Blyton book and turning it into art. I really struggled with this, but went with it. And loved it. I now have a pile of old books ready and waiting to be made into something pretty.
I think it was the Season of Magic where things really started changing in my spreads. They got darker and sometimes a little less minimalist in style. I found myself flitting between a dark and paint-heavy page and page with little colour and few words.
The next two spread I made for some fundraising books that the Get Messy group made. The first was for UNICEF and the second was for WWF. I loved making pages and seeing them published in a magazine and then following along and finding out how much money we managed to donate to two very worthy causes.
For a long time I have struggled with the actual journaling part of my art journal spreads. Mostly I would seek out a quote that related to a prompt or to the season I was working on and either made a background to go with it, or used trusty magazine pages.
I think this page was for the Season of Happy and predictably it is all about the water colour. Abstract water colour no less. I love experimenting with how it reacts with the pages and gesso.
I think the Season of Lists was a turning point for me with the actual journaling. I was forced to think about the words more and I also made a tonne of pages. The most I have ever made in a season. I think it was during the Season of Lists that Vanessa’s Messy Conversation went live and it really got me thinking about my approach to journaling, and how I could use art journaling as therapy tool.
The latest season – Season of Introspection – was a game changer for me. So much more journaling, exploring my thoughts and feelings and making art to suit. I really loved this season and I think not only for the journaling, I experimented with new techniques, tried lots of tutorials, bought new materials, fell in love with acrylic inks and discovered heaps of new artists to be inspired by. If you are a Get Messy member already, make sure you work your way through the tutorial library. There are a tonne of resources here that will really change the way you create art. There is a new tutorial every Wednesday and an inspiration post that is often a bonus tutorial. Jump on and check them out.
Well that’s it – I warned you – it was going to be a long post, but I hope you stuck with me and enjoyed my art journaling journey in pictures. Can you see how far I have come? And how much my pages have changed? I’m still trying to work out what my ‘style’ is – if I even have one. I used to think I was a minimalist water colour artist – but that has clearly changed so now I don’t know what to call myself. How did you start art journaling? Or are you still thinking about it? Feel free to ask me any questions if I can help persuade you.