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Posts Tagged ‘projects’

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At the start of the year I finally gave into temptation and bought myself a Moleskine more out of curiosity and a want to see what they are really like. A lot of people say how wonderful they are but I have never dealt with one before and decided now was the time to give it a go. Typically since I got it it has been sitting around waiting to be used, a mixture of blank page syndrome and a fear of destroying something so lovely as an empty journal has been holding me back (weird I know but there’s something about notebooks and sketchbooks that are untouched that I like).

I have really wanted to try one however I specifically wanted something more structured to work on through it. I have my other journals, two that I’m playing with at the moment and both of which are far more loose in what I do in them, they have no general theme to them other than experimenting and how I feel. The play one comes with me when I go out with my travel kit and my big one stays home on one of my easels for slapping on all sorts of mixed media.

It’s time to get cracking and experimenting with the Moleskine. I’ve booked another trip in the spring for an arty centered holiday at Retreats For You in Devon again. Last year when I went I made a small sketchbook to take with me and while I could do so again I have been thinking about treating myself to a Moleskine specifically for the trip alone. The only problem with that plan is that I have no idea if I like them or if they work well as sketchbooks/journals for me. The last thing I would want is to take one and realise I hate it when I start working in it. So before I decide I’m going to play around with the one I bought earlier in the year.

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As I said I wanted to do something specific and semi-structured in it so it had a purpose that was different to my other sketchbooks and a structure for me to follow and keep me actually using it. Sometimes I let things fall by the wayside but I find that I am more disciplined if I have a specific path to follow such as a course or set out plan. I had been looking around trying to figure out what I wanted to do when Journal Fodder 365: Daily Doses For The Art Addict came onto my radar. I downloaded it for my Kindle and will be using the Moleskine to go through the chapters and play with the prompts and ideas in it.

There’ll be more to come on this journey as I go so I daresay this ‘series’ will be both a sharing of my art and a bit of a review of the Journal Fodder book itself, though I expect it will be slow progress as I am in no way going to rush the sections unless I am unable to connect with them and be inspired. I doubt this will be the case as already from reading through the first chapter I am eager to begin exploring the starting theme.

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As I mentioned in an earlier post this year, my word for the month is inspire. The above picture is the tag I made for my 2013 smash book, over the area for January on my double spread of words for the year, an exercise designed to help me to get back into the flow, find my motivation and really just start thinking and acting on my dreams.

So far this month I have been taking time to really think about what inspires me, what gets my muse wanting to create, what is really part of the blend for the base of all I create. It turns out that there is a lot, I had forgotten how much and the more I think about it and have it in my ind the more I discover inspires me. The generalized topics can be segmented, my inspirations can be pinpointed into specific things, jump off points with a whole realm of possibilities open to my creativity.

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I wanted to put this down into my art journal in an ‘inspire’ page. Originally I had planned on one page for the word and the second half of the spread for a kind of brainstorming thing, though it soon became evident that the whole double page would be the brainstorm. Under the paint, which you can’t see here, are pages from a Shakespeare compendium, the paper I have found to be very good for a base decoupage/papier mache and as it happens is a part of literature which also inspires me. I then layered blue, white and gold paints adding the inspire word across the double page in a kind of pop out design.

So what does inspire me? The items I added to the list are just a base, a starting point and already I have thought of more to add and cram into the available remaining space, literature being one of them! In no particular order the things listed are:

  • abstraction
  • organisation
  • crystals
  • curves
  • colour
  • the female form
  • patterns
  • mythology
  • drumming
  • mess
  • music
  • symbols
  • deities
  • energy
  • faeries
  • nature
  • elements

Just thinking about these things has given me ideas, a place to start, renewed that feeling of wanting to create, wanting to explore these themes in my own unique way to heal and let my soul say what it wants to say visually. It’s also given me a new idea, to create a prompt box or inspiration box using these themes, specifics from them and my responses to them in a way that’s random for days when I need and want a starting point but don’t know where to begin. It’s something that will come as part of my ‘inspire’ month and an exercise I will blog about separately when I set it up this week.

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So What’s New.

You may have been wondering what’s been going on, I know I certainly have. Despite a really busy few weeks with the kidlets being ill and having my wisdom teeth extracted in hospital all over and around the half term my muse has finally returned and I couldn’t be happier about it. Though the process is slow I am creating again and feeling so much better in myself because of it.

I’ve currently been working on two art journal pages, a single and a double, one of which I finished this evening though I will wait until day to photograph it. The other is a double page spread which is unfinished as of yet, it’s taken me a while mainly because there was an element I wanted to include that played on the first single page thus the two have had to be built up together. You will see what I mean when I get the picture up and write about it!

I’ve been tentatively making cards again and creating handmade journals out of recycled materials which has gone well so far, I’m hoping to make many more to sell in the future.

I also succumbed to the fad that is Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. I had been debating it for the longest time though anyone who knows me knows that I dislike things that are overly ‘popular’ and ‘trendy’ in some way. I see a whole lot of young ‘uns doing this book and showing it off online and it took me a good few months to move past that, but I finally got one and intend to have a lot of fun just playing around with it.

It is also NanoWriMo this month. I have done it for the last two years and really had to debate going there again. I had an idea at the beginning of the month though being out of action for such a while recovering from my op put a bit of a spanner in the works. I’m not one to give up however, at least not until it is really over so I began writing today. I have a long way to go to catch up and half the month to do it, whether or not I can depends entirely on my muse right now though and where she wants to go. I have been so long without creative input I’m not going to force myself to do anything that doesn’t resonate with me. We need some time to get our footing and just heal. I also discovered very recently that the easiest way for me to lose my artistic inspiration and motivation is to force myself to do things I don’t want to do.

So in a nutshell that is currently it. I’m so pleased to be back and creating, exercising that part of me again and just having fun playing with my creativity through different avenues and letting myself feel the excitement, wonder and childish joy that comes with such play.

~Michel

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