Saturday, 16 May 2009

Give Me Your Ordinary Thoughts any day

What is it about Journal Pages that make us so lecturing? I love looking at art journal pages online, but sometimes I get a little annoyed at being told to: Inspire, Create, LOVE, Dream, Follow your Dreams, Discover and so on. And then there are the quotes, the preachy one liners that sound like greeting cards. Did we get this stuff from the scrapbookers, or are we afraid to write our own stuff? Afraid that we won't be profound enough? Or maybe we feel like complaining, but think that isn't done in an art journal.

Maybe I am being unfair. Maybe people are making these pages to remind, or encourage themselves. Maybe the pages are like little cheerleaders, urging them on to a new life.

What do I write in my pages? I have certainly done plenty of quotes. It can be a way of remembering stuff that I wrote down. Maybe my quotes are corny too. Sometimes I get nervous to just write down whatever. It can seem like the visual image should be with something interesting rather than my usual neurotic drivel. But the truth is, I am happiest when I write my whatever in my pages. When I write quotes and stuff form other people I get kinda bored. I guess it's that thing of expressing yourself. And many times I am just not that impressive. Even so it still feels good to express myself, neurotic drivel or other stuff.

And if you care, I would rather read your normal daily drivel in your art journal than someone else's profound realisation.

28 comments:

Artiste Nouveau said...

Great post Zom!

gypsy said...

Zom, I too find every day bits and normal stuff fascinating, like random notes and to do lists. Art journaling is something I do for the fun of playing with color and words and images... and the quotes I use are those I find inspiring. Good post!

trish said...

I use the words that will encourage me, like inspire and hope-hope is my favorite, it's the one word that I hold onto when times get hard-as long as I'm breathing there is hope....but I also write my thoughts and goals-I don't write complaints in my art journal, I try to keep it positive. My life is anything but positive most of the time, but that's what I'm trying to change:) I have a regular journal where I can write the other stuff-
great post, it made me think!
take care
Trish

Zom said...

Thanks for sharing another take on this Trish.
Perhaps I am just arguing with my own gremlins. The voice inside me that says I shouldn't write my to-do list when that is what I want to write in my art journal.
Our journal is there for us, whatever we want to do with it.

Karin said...

I had to smile with this one Zom. I can get annoyed, too - sometimes it can seem like over simplification or just for show, since the artist knows it's going out into the world via the blog, or what ever show case - look at me, I'm so positive... but then in the next moment I look at myself and say - woah - who the heck are you to judge what this person needs or wants to express?!? Just because it doesn't resonate with me doesn't mean it isn't authentic for them. Probably because it isn't my journal! I've had to 'fake it till I make it' at times in my life, to inspire myself out of a funk, so I've learned when I'm not moved, I simply move - on to another blog/image/magazine article, etc. I get so bared with my own drivel, I rarely write words at all anymore!
Thanks for a thought provoking, honest post!!

Zom said...

Because of your comment Karin, I just noticed that above my post was one of my few journal pages where I had written nothing on it!
*snap*

Kelley said...

great post Zom! I've recently been thinking myself that I want my art journal to be more personal and real. even if sometimes I do write hope, dream, create, etc. I also want to add more real life stuff to it. make it more of a record of my journey thru this life, PLUS keep the encouraging and uplifting messages too..anyho just my two cents on the topic..great post..K

Renee said...

You are brilliant and hillarious.

I love it.

It reminds me of when someone is trying to make their life sound great and is lying while they talk and you know it is a lie. So fucking boring. I would rather go read a really good book thank you very much.

But if they are keeping it real and telling the truth, I couldn't be more interested.

Love the picture.

Love Renee xoxo

Mixed Media Martyr said...

I understand what you are saying, I have heard so many irate people lately complaining about the use of symbols too for the same reasons (you know, crowns, wings, etc). But I think that it is a very personal thing journaling, and it is the significance that each individual sees in what they have done that is the important thing.

Sometimes you cannot verbalise, for many, many reasons, and someone else's quote, or a single word, or even no words just images, are enough to express what you are feeling at the time.

I have realised from going to different kinds of art groups that different people have very different reactions to the same art. I admire it all, but I just journal what feels right at the time.

jsolo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zom said...

Of course you are right Mixed Media, I was just having a little rant. I love that people journal and I agree that they should put in their journals whatever is right for them.

Mixed Media Martyr said...

Phew, Zom! Glad it was just a rant! Sometimes people get so upset about things and I can't undestand why?! Great to get us all thinking about these issues. I love your artwork!!

Eveline said...

I completely agree. For a while I was focussing more on the 'art' side of things rather than the 'journal' side, which was a lot of fun, but it felt like something was missing. Now I'm adding more journaling to my pages and it seems more complete that way. I will still take pictures and put them up on Flickr and my blog, obviously when I write about stuff that might cause trouble I won't, but at least it's out on the page which is what my goal is.

Zom said...

You have made me curious Eveline. I want to see the stuff that might cause trouble, tee hee.

Mandy said...

Hi Zom,

I've been reading your blog for some time and reading today's post (26 May), I was suddenly sparked to reply.

I'm Dutch and pretty level-headed with a level-headed approach to art journaling. For me too irritation happened seeing the beautiful art journal pages with loaded words like "inspire", "create", "love", etc...important words that seemed to lose their meaning when used so often, so seemingly superficially. I too am of the personal approach. Level-headed as I am, my pages show pain, sorrow, love, joy...but not through some fashionable standard in journaling, but through my own voice in both language and image.

Because not only words become superficial...also the style of pages seem to be subject to fashion and subcultures. People that destroy their journals all make pages alike...people who love teesha moore, all use that same layered style. Pretty, but it becomes superficial and indeed, scrap-like. And scrapbooking is good if you like it, but it doesn't touch upon the depths that an art journal can touch upon. And the depth is exactly what makes an art journal fascinating and meaningful. No matter what level of skills you have. As long as it is your soul peeping through ever word, every particle of pigment on the page.

I sincerely wish that every art journaler gets to experience the personal approach...for it isn't just the end result that matters...the inner process is at least as important.

Sorry for taking up so much space. This is something I feel strongly about and I hope my thoughts can help people take a closer look at their work.

Zom said...

Mandy you should be blogging! I want to go to your blog and read more of what you have to say. ( I did have a good look at your flicker photos).

You take as much space on my blog as you want. Until you get your own blog, I want to read what you think!

lynne h said...

oh, lol! i am clapping here, zom!! xo

DellaLuna said...

I found your blog from Samantha Kira (here: http://www.journalgirl.com/?p=291), where she linked this post, and posted her own insightful comments about this phenomenon.

I just have to say "Amen". And add some thoughts.

I think that while for some, they are truly using inspirational words for their own personal needs, I think most of it is repetition of what is already being done. And that's based on fear...fear of not making something pretty or pleasing. It's why we see crowns and wings and birds all over the place. It's fear of taking that journey to finding your OWN way of making a mark, because that journey will involve mistakes, setbacks and lots of "ugly" art.

I speak from experience. I wanted to copy all those artists I admire, and make my art journal look like theirs, because I wanted the pretty. And I think we all start there, especially if we haven't been actively creating for some lengthy span of time, or don't own the word "artist". The problem then comes, though, if we stay there, if we never push through to find our own creative voice. Then, we're trying to take a shortcut, and people can't help but react to the disingenousness of that.

But that's me. I'm finding my own style now, but you won't see many of my pages online, because they're too raw, personal, and scary for me to share at the moment. They're infants, artistically. Maybe in time.

And I think that's the other part of the fear equation, as someone else already mentioned. In general, I think people are afraid of putting the really personal pages out there, and hell, I don't either. It would be like asking someone to post their diary. So I think that's the other reason we see the "Hope", "Dream", etc pages, because the rest are too raw for the general public. And if that's all we see, we may assume that's all the artist is actually doing.

It's kind of an odd thing in our world, if you think about it, where sharing your art journal is considered normal, and encouraged. It is a journal, after all. Maybe it's because for some, "Art Journal" means "Art-not-on-a-canvas, but in a convenient, portable paper book" and not "journal, place for me to express my most intimate thoughts", so it's just sharing another form of art. But for me, I will probably never share the rawest of my pages, because I can't fathom putting my journal-journal stuff online.

Just some thoughts on this. I appreciate your post, because I don't see a lot of other folks talking about this.

Zom said...

And if none of us post those raw pages, the internet and the world is the poorer for it.

DellaLuna said...

While I agree, because there is so much potential for connection when we share those pages, the question is, who's gonna do it? I admit it, I'm a big ole chicken, feathers and all, when it comes to that. I've shared rawer pages within tiny communities, but oy...I can't imagine doing it "publicly", like in a public blog. I greatly admire the people that do, the rare ones I've seen.

It's such a vulnerable thing already, doing things like making blog posts, because they're up for critique and raw criticism, from anyone and everyone. I think it's a brave and hard thing, to put up a page where you're caught in a raw moment of a life happening.

Perhaps there's a need for a community, that's for art journaling, from the "Art Journaling As Life Processor, Not Just Pretty Art" School o' Thought. Or maybe, it's just a natural evolution, that starts with people asking this kind of question, the "What's up with all the words and quotes?", :D, that gets people thinking about what they want their art journal to do for them.

DellaLuna said...

ETA: LOL, I just read your post on 5/25/09, that talks about exactly what I just said. Silly Della needs to go read some more Zom. :D

Dinesh gir said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dinesh gir said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dinesh gir said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
hasnain raza said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dinesh gir said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
hasnain raza said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dinesh gir said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.