Monday, 25 May 2009

What do You write in your Art Journal?

I am enjoying writing in my art journal. 

Writing in my art journal. Writing!

That is what a journal is: a daily record of news and events of a personal nature; a diary.

Not a sketchbook, not a mixed media book, an art journal.

What is my point? To tell you the truth, I'm not sure. It's something about feeling free to write personal stuff in my art journal. And that is kinda weird because I teach art journaling and so I think I should show my students my art journal. 
I want to share my art journaling. And I blog it - so there is my journal out for everyone to see. My personal writing.

But hell, isn't that what an artist is? Don't we share our soul's journey and maybe say stuff that other people are scared to? Hell, I am scared to as well. I am scared to be judged.

Last week, journal girl wrote a neat post on my post about what people write in their art journals. Maybe a few more people would like to get in on the conversation?

How much should we try and control how other people see us? Can we control it? If we let others see us 'warts and all' will we suffer for it? These are the questions on my mind.


Red Shoe Artist said...

I write in my art journal. I used to keep one for writing and one for art, but it's too much to carry, so I fused them together. I'm ok with people reading bits here and there. Most of the time they're too busy looking at the art, they don't really read much. My life is an open book anyway. At first I wanted to hide everything I wrote, but one day I realised that my fears are no different to anyone else's and I think people take comfort in that. It's helped me be more comfortable just being myself around said people too..they can judge me, it's ok. If they judge me there leaving some other poor bugger alone - that's gotta account for something

Jennifer Williams "Blueskysunburn" said...

I used to write in my art journals but don't so much anymore. I started having trouble with pain in my wrist when I did that so I save writing for work now.

I think how much a person shares is completely a personal thing. Most people don't read your writing word for word but I can certainly understand not posting all your intimate details out to the public.

I like how you put a bunch of random thoughts on your page instead of just rambling on to fill a page about one subject. So many people do that and you can tell most of what they write is filler.

Renee said...

Your journal is still like art. It is still you and I love it.

I think you do everything with style.

Love Renee xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

I think I am like Red Shoe Artist and more - my journals have loads of stuff: I write personal thoughts and comments, I write wild, outrageous dreams, I draw, I collage, I collect art work of other artists, I make lists, keep ticket stubs, photos, dried flowers .. you get the picture. I stoped wondering what to call it a long time ago :-) no pigeon-holing for it - or me - or you.

~Barb~ said...

Some days I find myself full of things I NEED to get off my mind/chest so my art journal pages from those days are chock full of writing...then there are days that the images seem to be enough to speak for what I'm feeling at that moment. So it's really a 50-50 for me, I think. One thing that does bother me is when I share those pages that have a quantity of writing on them...well, it is my JOURNAL and sometimes the thoughts I put down aren't really meant for human consumption so I just blur the wording a bit to keep my words private but still share the art part of it.
Peace & Love,

Karin said...

My journals have evolved from purely word, to a combo of image and writing, to rarely using words. For me, words stopped being able to reach what I was trying to express - I didn't feel like I had as broad a vocabulary verbally as I do with color, symbol, and my visuals.. Words sometimes arrive hours after I've finished my pages, and since I feel complete having absorbed the lesson/knowledge within me I don't feel the need to go back and write it down. Also, like Jennifer above, I find writing strains my hands in a way that painting does not.

As far as seeing other artist's journals, especially on blogs, I take in the over all page, and if there are elements within it I will zoom in, but I rarely read the nitty gritty of the artist's words. It's their process and I feel a bit of glee in the fact that they have risked it all, and are sharing it, but don't feel the necessity to read it all. Besides, having my own words misinterpreted often enough, I realize that no matter what I read, they are the writers words, thoughts feelings and I cannot presume to truly understand them the same way they are presented.

In answer to your questions, I think it's a waste of my energy trying to control how other people see me, so I try not to get caught up in that struggle! I don't think we can control it at all! Any suffering I experience by 'warts and all' exposure is probably brought on by letting my ego take over, so I don't think there truly is any suffering - what might seem like suffering is probably an illusion...

nollyposh said...

i figure that to be honest in an art journal is a gift to ourselves because in the process we learn more about our inner/other/higher selves... the bonus of then posting our art is that then we go on to meet others who also become a part of the rich tapestry too... It's all ~a reflection~ to me and helps me to understand how much we are all a part of each others lives in reality and that art is simply our songs to each other... This on a spiritual level gives me hope for the future X:-)

Anonymous said...

I also use my art journal as a regular hodgepodge of daily bantering completely unrelated to my art and uncensored. I am my art and my art is me so I guess it all is just mushed into one thing. I don't mind though because I want people to see and hear the real me. Not some facade attempting to save readers from any unwanted shock value.

Zom said...

Gee, I am really enjoying you guys' comments. I reckon they are the best part of the post.
It all feels very affirming somehow.

Debrina said...

These comments are amazing to read - so many uses for the art journal. I'm a bit strange in this instance because I have my blah blah moan groan journal where I defuse and offload then problem solve. I wouldn't dare do anything negativce in my art journal, where instead I do exactly the opposite: celebrate, dream, write down inspiring ideas, collect and paste ephemera, sketch, doodle, come up with project plans, etc. I have bipolar journals I guess! Works for me.

Anonymous said...

I was going blog-to-blog and was very interested/pleased to see this/your previous entry on this subject - it's something I've thought about too. I get annoyed when I see the dream!/create!/imagine! things; it seems so patronizing (those people are obviously not following their own advice if that's the best they can do!)

on the other hand, it's important to give people time to find their voice and self-confidence. If they need to hide behind safe cliches and words for a while that's OK, but I think it's unfortunate that people get stuck there.

journals are a strange format because they SHOULD be as honest as possible, but do we really want everybody to see that? I think there is a new dynamic when you start approaching art journaling as something to be shared in various online communities/workshops, etc. I guess in that case I can't blame people for hiding, although I agree in principle that art should be brave and honest (I say "in principle" because I'm still hiding too!)

I feel like my comment is rambling on without point - I just wanted to stop by and say I think this is a very important topic and I'm glad you brought it up! I do my best to journal however I like (words, pictures, both, neither) and I hope that others do as well (and that includes making pages that just say "create!" if that truly helps you out )

Ginger said...

We try to write a blog post every day but always ended up skipping a few days in a row. Wish we could draw too.

Taluula said...

An absolute feast for the eyes. Wonderful.