Inspiration from Experimentation: Journals

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You remember this journal I started in October (the blue spine)? I find myself sketching in it more than writing in it.

Don’t get me wrong . . . I am definitely enjoying and benefiting from writing actual words in my awesome little once-unloved-hardback-turned-journal.

Exhibit A

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But when it comes time to writing my handful of words almost every day, I find myself just as much wanting to experiment with a drawing idea I have in my head.

Exhibit B

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At first I told myself I ought to get a small sketchbook to carry around with me, too. But then realized how much I love drawing on the text! So this will do for now.

(It’s also easier to carry around one book instead of two. But regardless, drawing on text rocks).

And that led me to a realization — a possible dilemma solved.

The Dilemma

I’ve been wanting to experiment with collage and mixed media art. And I’ve also been wanting to do artistic stuff with Copic markers. But I only have so much time. I mean, seriously, I also scrapbook, alter hardback books, write fiction, and I would really love to learn to crochet so I can make myself a retro 1960’s style mini-dress out of rust-orange and sky-blue yarn.

But, to get back on topic…

While drawing in my journal-turned-sketchbook, and realizing how much I enjoy drawing on the text, it occurred to me that I can do mixed media art collage in part with my Copic markers on text pages from old novels — meaning I’ll combine two of the interests I’ve been separating in my mind.

Funny how an obvious idea like that doesn’t always occur to you right away. Just goes to show that inspiration flows while doing, experimenting, and practicing.

  • S

    You mean artistic stuff besides cards instead of “not cards”, right, because the copic colored cards I have seen are definitely artistic. I too just got a basic set of copics so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do.

  • Thanks for sharing your pages, they are full of cool stuff! I use a text book all the time as my art journal, I paint, write and draw etc etc. Its a great idea because it is cheaper than buying sketchbooks + you don’t have to worry about ruining an expensive journal. :-)

    Just found your podcast and I’m a new fan! :-)

  • I love the idea of mixing the ideas (heh-heh). Welcome to the world of mixed media! =) Also, when I was little, I wanted to learn to crochet. But, I wanted to crochet myself a Wonder Woman suit (LOL)! I think your idea is way more practical. =)

  • karen

    hey noell, these are beautiful :) just so you know copics need nonporous paper so if you use actual book text, i think they won’t blend the same and seep into the paper a lot or something. they’re very similar to alcohol inks. others would know much better but that’s what i read. u generally buy copic-friendly paper and ink to make sure it does its best from what i understand :)

  • Thank you for clarifying — yes, that was bad word choice on my part. I’ll
    go change it…

  • Yes, I’ve heard this, too, Karen! I’ve thought about it and decided that as
    long as it works for what I’m trying to do I’m cool with it. So far the
    little bits that I’ve tried on my text has worked well for me. I like the
    way it’s blending. Not sure if I will in the long term as I use them more,
    and I don’t know if I’d want to use them for major projects, but so far I
    like the way they’re blending and laying on the pages. I’ll share later! :)

  • Hee hee, I think you would lose that shine on the outfit if it was

    What a crack up!

  • Awesome! You’ve the first I’ve known to do something like this, too! I
    really am enjoying it more than any other journal I’ve used before!

  • Stephgiles

    love this idea, I just turned my 2010 calender (purse sized about 6X9) into my first art journal. I was so excited i have done 5 or 6 entries already, but I had been covering the pages with gesso, now i am going to try without and embrace the dates! Thanks for the inspriation

  • I love it when an “obvious” idea breaks through. I think our minds just have to be in a certain gear sometimes to let the ideas flow.

    For example, I’m not a big minibook person (or haven’t been), but I can tell that you and the projects you share are influencing my thought process. :)

    I like to keep letters and postcards from a select group of family members and friends. Right now I’ve got them stored in hanging file folders, one for each person. I’m feeling like this is taking up a lot of space and pondering whether I’m really going to keep them long term. But I’m really attached to the postcards people have sent me from around the world — the pictures, the stamps, the information about the landmarks. I don’t travel internationally, so it’s like getting to do so vicariously. It occurred to me that I could make a minibook with the postcards. And now I’m so excited about that project. (Still no idea what to do with the letters and greeting cards . . . baby steps!)

    ~ Laura
    (a/k/a Bookworm)

    P.S. So excited about Paperclipping Live coming up soon!

  • Toni

    Your crochet goal is BIG. ;-) ;-)
    It’s an art in itself to master tension and guage (which is a must to get good results crocheting clothing). After 35 years of crochet, I’m STILL not happy with my guage (so only crochet socks and slippers, afghans, hats and scarves). I also enjoy lace crochet (for flowers, etc.) using very fine thread. Lace crochet IS a meditation of sorts, because it takes great focus to use such fine thread and hook successfully.

    My art journal is a traditional multi-purposed paper journal. I couldn’t do it in a book as you do. My brain would experience the underlying print as clutter and it would stress me. But I do like the mixed media approach of it. Along those lines, hubby got me a platinum band from Tiffanys for our anniversary this past year. The catalog that came to the house is GORGEOUS and I want to alter it in an artistic way. What to do?????

  • It’ll be so much easier to enjoy these when displayed in a book instead of
    file folders!

    An idea for those letters and greeting cards — pockets on your minibook

  • Oh, believe me, I know that’s a big crochet goal! I’m actually making fun of
    myself here in this post because I do want to make a dress like that, but I
    realize it’s a super advanced project! The only thing I’ve ever completed
    was a baby blanket — which turned out great. I really doubt I’d ever make
    that short little dress, but if I did, I’d probably not be in a condition to
    wear it by then!

  • Toni

    I love this woman’s projects (she does knitting too, which I’ve tried and have not enjoyed). But her crocheted hats for little girls are gorgeous. I’m making the garden party hat now.

  • Super cute stuff!