Visual Art Journaling
November 9, 2011 § 4 Comments
What is visual journaling, or art journaling? (The terms are used interchangeably). Many people ask me this question when I tell them that I teach workshops in it. I truly enjoy keeping a visual journal, and it is as much a part of my studio practice as my sketchbook, and of my personal daily practice as my regular journal. So really it is a combination of the two. Yet, it is more.
Artmaking gets us to the essence of who we are. Expressing how we see the world is to touch the divine within. The art journal is a vessel to record our perceptions and to stretch our creative muscles. There is inherent power in the journal as a tool to transform our personal inner vision into reality, to “put it on the page”. But it is also is a vehicle to learn how to look closely and to listen for what it has to say back to us.
Art Journaling utilizes collage, printmaking/stamping, painting, drawing, writing, sketching and, most importantly, is NOT about finished pieces of art. It is really about a process, a dialogue that goes on between you, the materials and the page. Some pages are never finished. For me, it is a spiritual practice. It is not for sharing, necessarily, as the content can be highly personal, but, ironically, is often most rewarding done in groups or with others. There is a creative energy that is generated by the practice that is palpable, and very inspiring. This is really why I love teaching this process, each person gets something out of it, and some are actually surprised by it. There is an “aha” moment. We tap into our deeper creative voice.
Our journals can go very deep or stay on the surface. I prefer depth. Motifs and symbols appear, messages are written to be heeded, ideas are excavated and explored. It is internal archaeology, with a record of the process and the discoveries. I have always taught with the purpose of helping people find their own creative voices. Some are just blocked temporarily, others never knew they had one at all. We are all creative in our own unique way. Visual Journaling is a tool to quell the inner critic and to find that voice.