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I Took The Handmade Pledge

art journaling

Express Yourself through Art Journaling

A number of people have asked me to explain what happens at Art Journaling (starting up next week and happening monthly this fall). I realize I should take a stab at describing why it's such a delightful way to spend an evening.

Anna Redish teaches this class; one thing you should know about Anna is that she gets more excited about craft supplies and techniques than anybody I know - and I know some very crafty people. Another thing you should know is that Anna is never without an art journal on her person. She started making them out of tissue paper so she could always have one in her bag or pocket. Anna believes in the power of self-expression, and in striking while the muse is with you. She also believes in being prepared for creativity. She told me to read Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit, which I did, and I immediately identified some ways Anna has applied Twyla's advice. Advice about how to overcome your fear of the blank page (or studio), how to build your skills so you'll be ready to implement ideas when they strike, and how to challenge your assumptions about the way things work, so you'll be willing to try something else when they don't work.

So what do we do in art journaling? Well, it's a lot like regular journaling, in that it is uncensored and all about the process. Making marks on the page, not judging the finished product. Sometimes we do write. My favourite activity was when Anna fired us up to write a rant, as full of expletives as we liked. We wrote in 4 directions, rendering the finished page illegible. We put a finish coat of colour over top too, just to be sure our secrets were safe. Sometimes Anna gives us a starting phrase and we write from there. Here's an example:

Art Journaling

One night we wrote ourselves letters on a particular theme and learned how to fold them up like this:

Art Journaling

Another time we learned photo transfer, and I had fun making pictures of 40s stage actors from an old theatre magazine appear in my journal. And one night we played with paint and bubble wrap, entertaining our inner children no end.

This fall, Anna will be sharing all kinds of techniques for applying marks to a page - all of which are great to use in other projects - but the best part will be in the doing. Focusing on artistic expression as a way of silencing the chatter in your head and being in the moment.

This workshop series is offered on a sliding scale to help make it accessible to everyone. Whether you're an artist looking to unblock your creativity, or somebody who wants to explore your artistic side without any pressure to be able to draw or paint a certain way, I really encourage you to give this time to yourself.