Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Journal Page

Recently, my friend Lindsay invited me to participate in a local artists group known as the Blind Faith Book Club. Members meet monthly to socialize and display their art. This month's prompt was "What I did on my Summer vacation". We were to create a project of our choice using only things we already had in our craft supplies. The project could be a scrapbook page, journal page, fiber art piece, paper sculpture, or whatever. Since circumstances have prevented me from doing anything fun this summer, I chose to create a journal page so I could write about how much I miss traveling and camping.

As you may notice, some of my words and letters in the journaling are a little darker in spots. This is the result of the gel pen I was using. The pen kept skipping so I had to go back over some letters, and I also had spots where the ink was smearing. I left things as they were; quite a change for me, since before doing Wreck This Journal I would have been really upset about how imperfect the journaling turned out. Surprise of surprises, I actually like the way the lettering looks.

Wreck This Journal Update

Well, so far I've managed to rip, chew, cut, tear, poke holes, scratch, pour coffee, drip paint, draw, burn, and generally be destructive to the pages of my journal. I've collected fruit stickers and grocery receipts to glue into the journal. I'm working on collecting things that I find on the street, in my couch, in my pocket, my purse, and anywhere else to add to the pages. While some of the instructions on the pages of the journal may seem simplistic and innocuous, I believe there is a deeper purpose in these exercises. This project is extremely therapeutic and is giving me the ability to free myself from my "things always have to be perfect" syndrome. It's quite liberating to take a sharp object in hand and poke and scratch pages, rip pages out, and generally be messy. Since beginning this project, I believe my artwork is reflecting this new attitude that imperfection is part of the work and has value. Mostly though, it's fun! More destruction updates in the future.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wreck This Journal??????

The BIG question is...Will I really be able to wreck this journal? When it comes to my artwork, I get hung up on the "fear" that I might wreck my work by doing something that I might not like, and regret having done. I lack the courage to be free when creating. I want to be able to create, experiment, and not worry about the outcome.

When I learned about this journal by Keri Smith, I figured it might be the answer to my fear of letting go and encourage creative experimentation. I especially love Keri's statement on the title page, "to create is to destroy". She also issues a warning, "You may be asked to do things you question. You may grieve for the perfect state that you found the book in. You may begin to see creative destruction everywhere. You may begin to live more recklessly." I think this is exactly what I need. The idea of always trying to achieve perfection is a creativity killer.

Will I be able to rip, poke holes, chew, crumple and deface pages? Will I be hesitant about using a page as a napkin, taking the journal for a walk by dragging it down the road, or taking it in the shower? Let's just say that I'm working up to it by doing the "safer" pages first. My first page involved going to the grocery store and collecting fruit stickers to glue onto the page. Now, that's pretty easy and safe. It's a good thing that the pages can be done in any order.

Incidentally, my 19-year-old daughter, Shelby, wanted to play along, so she bought herself a copy. She's ahead of me on the amount of pages she's done, and she is being very fearless about wrecking her journal. She's really having fun with the process and takes her journal everywhere. Her courage is an inspiration to me. At least I will have her for creative support when we take our journals for a walk down the gravel road.