We made a lot of trips to the local library when I was a kid. Some of my favorite finds were anything by Bill Peet. Looking back at the stories and art I see playfulness, lively lines, a quirky sense of humor, and fun use of color.
Sometimes I just need to do something different. I like to play around with wire wrapping jewelery. It gets my brain thinking differently - 3D instead of flat. Plus I don't know any "rules" to follow when I do this kind of project so I can relax and just see what happens. Or my mind wanders and I start making up stories to go with the object I'm creating. I can take this mindset and the ideas back with me when I work on my drawing and paintings.
Monday night I tried something new. I went to a Visual Journal Collective meetup at MCBA (Minnesota Center for Book Arts). FYI, the next meetup is March 17. I went hoping to glean some insight on visual journaling. I got a LOT more. I was inspired.
Mary Jo Hoffman (http://stillblog.net/) was the guest speaker. She shared quite a lot about her artistic journey thus far following the idea of
Some insights in navigating the social media options. Plus books and resources that helped her on her way.
Most inspiring and my biggest takeaways are the following:
Making choices of making things that lend to simplification not complication of life.
I can use a visual journal as a place of INCUBATION.
I don't have to show it to anyone. There don't have to be perfect, finished pieces on every page. Heck, they could just be little doodles and scribbles.
Setting some restrictions on what goes in it could drive creativity instead of leaving it open-ended and getting stuck with the blank page. So I've thought up some themes based on things I like and aspects of my process I want to work on...
Abstraction as foundation for image making
Rocks and other Natural objects
Maybe I'll have multiple journals going at once. Maybe I'll just focus on one aspect at a time. The best thing about it is that I think this can be a place to ignore all but one rule/theme. I feel like that will take a lot of pressure of having to make something "good" and doing it "the right way". I'll get to make my own way and hopefully that will spill over into my more polished works.
Big thanks to Roz Stendal for telling me about this event. You might enjoy her blog http://rozwoundup.typepad.com/ . Lots of great information and insights! Plus she has written up a thorough review of the meetup. Check it out.