Giveaway WINNER!!!!

Sorry this has been so long in coming. I’ve been down with sciatica this week (not that that’s any excuse). But we have a giveaway winner!

Kate Martin, please email me your snail mail address so I can get the book and goodies out to you by the end of May!

By the way, Gina Rossi Armfield, author of the upcoming No Excuses Watercolor and contributor to A World of Artist Journal Pages, is running a giveaway of a signed copy of WAJP on her blog. Get on over there before Tuesday and comment to enter!

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Today we hear from Ingrid Dijkers of Plymouth, Michigan.

What mediums did you use on the pages you submitted or what mediums do you primarily use?

I generally start with boxboard as the substratum for my pages. The pages are primed with a thin coat of white house hold primer or gesso. Layers of papers and thin washes of acrylic paint are slowly built up over the surface at this point.  I like working with markers and various pens once I have a background built up. The pages will then be built up with other embellishments that can range from anything from found objects to sewn on sequins, buttons or beads.

What do you do when you're blocked?

Just the act of gluing some random pieces of paper to a page can spark an idea. I just keep adding bits of paper, add some color here and there and somewhat intuitively a theme starts to develop. It works most every time. 

What artists do you look to for inspiration?

There isn't really one person in particular that I look to for inspiration.  There are just so many people ... actually most every person has work has something unique and special about it and tends to inspire me in one way or another.

What would you tell someone who's trying to get into art journaling or creating but doesn't know where to start?

I actually get a lot of emails asking me this. Often people want a list of the supplies they should go out and buy in order to begin journaling. My answer is always the same: start simple with what you have on hand. The kitchen junk drawer or your child's school back pack are a very good place to start. In the beginning it's hard to know what kind of supplies you'll love working with. First experiment a bit with inexpensive supplies and expand on your supply inventory as you develop. Too many times people will spend $75 on a set of watercolor pencils only to find they don't produce the effects they had hoped for and they are very disappointed. With a little experience and experimentation they could have realized that their money may have been better spent on other supplies such as markers and a few pens instead.

What do you do to get over the blank page syndrome?

Just add a thin wash of color is usually all it takes. Just the act of working on a page is usually enough to get over it rather quickly.

How did you first start art journaling or using a sketchbook?

I began making altered books several years ago and that slowly developed into binding my own books and using them as journals.

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Today we get a visit with Camilla Lekebjer of Sweden!

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What mediums did you use on the pages you submitted or what mediums do you primarily use?

I'll usually use watercolor or acrylic for the background (or coffee, that works well too). Scrap paper for collage is another favorite, as well as wax oil crayons. Crayons are great because they're not precision- tools and I find that mistake-making is an important part of any memorable journal page.

What do you do when you're blocked?

I like following instructions. Preferably quirky ones that spark my imagination. Oblique strategies by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt are a good example. When I get suggestions like "Turn it upside down" or "Ask your body", my mind goes off trying to figure out what it could mean to me and my visual journal on that particular day. Before I know it, I've started drawing, gluing or finger-painting with great enthusiasm. Part of why it works is probably that I stop focusing on what I'd like to express, and leave the dreary parts of responsibility behind. My mind gets to investigate, solve problems and invent workarounds, which it really likes.

What artists do you look to for inspiration?

I used to be really inspired by what showed up on my Flickr contact page, I love seeing all the different ways in which you can make journal pages. And I love messy reckless stuff, like Frida Kahlo, David Shrigley and Sabrina Ward Harrison for example. Lately though, I'm actually most inspired by just the experiences I've had making journal pages in the past. By now I know that journaling is a great stress-reliever for me, and that any time I spend with my pens, glue and crayons is time well spent. I need my journal as much as I need exercise and sleep and good food.

A sampling of Camilla’s journal pages from A World of Artist Journal Pages.

A sampling of Camilla’s journal pages from A World of Artist Journal Pages.

What would you tell someone who's trying to get into art journaling or creating but doesn't know where to start?

“Do nor fear mistakes, there are none.” —Miles Davis

What do you do to get over the blank page syndrome?

The first thing that comes to mind is this: Get off the stage. For me, the blank page syndrome appears when I feel I have to perform. Remove the stage, which for some people is probably the internet, and you're much freer to create. Do your best to focus on the process rather than the result. See what it feels like to look for nice colors or concentrating on making a pattern out of hole puncher paper. This is a hard one, but a great lesson to learn. While working on that, you can also free your creativity by using restrictions. Challenge yourself to only use different shades of the same color or make every mark with your fingertips. Have someone else tell you what to do, or use prompts on the internet. When you stop identifying with what goes on that page, and get rid of those "is it good or bad?" questions, you're more likely to start focusing on what you're experiencing when you're creating. And sometimes the finished page turns out really great. And then that's a bonus.

How did you first start art journaling or using a sketchbook?

I stumbled upon Keri Smith's blog in 2005, which at that point was filled with love for the act of journaling and making collages and just getting started, with anything. And it was exactly what I needed to hear at that time. I started binding my own books because it's fun, cheaper and I can choose my own size and paper quality, and set out to make my journal an everyday life-companion. In the beginning I was imitating other people's journal work a lot, and it took a while before I found my own voice, but everything has to start somewhere. Forming that relationship, figuring out what kind of journaler I could be, was a pretty big part of my life those first few years.

Check out Camilla’s website for more of her work and info.

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Today’s Q&A is with Liz Steel of New South Wales, Australia:

One of Liz Steel’s spreads appearing in A World of Artist Journal Pages.

One of Liz Steel’s spreads appearing in A World of Artist Journal Pages.

What mediums did you use on the pages you submitted or what mediums do you primarily use?

I use nearly exclusively ink (Noodlers Bullet-proof Black ink inside a Lamy safari pen) and wash (Daniel Smith watercolors). I sometimes use different colored inks (such as blue) and watercolor pencils for some more textured effects. I carry my pen and small watercolor kit with me everywhere!

What do you do when you're blocked?

A block for me is “I can't find anything to draw”. That is really silly as there are always LOTS to draw… but if I ever think that I just draw my cup of tea. Drawing a nice cup and saucer while drinking an exceptional tea always does the trick. I use my tea cup sketches to explore new ideas and techniques.

What artists do you look to for inspiration?

I look to the online community of Urban Sketchers—there is always so much variety of work to inspire.

What would you tell someone who's trying to get into art journaling or creating but doesn't know where to start?

Get a book and try to do something in it at least five days a week. I try to find one object/ scene/ moment from my day to sketch to remind myself of what happened (or didn't). The act of trying to record your life becomes addictive. I would also say that you have to make it YOU— draw things that you personally have a connection with—if that means a tea cup every day, go for it. A series of the same object is also a great way to be into the habit.

What do you do to get over the blank page syndrome?

I rarely worry about the blank page because the focus of my attention is the object/scene in front of me—how to understand what I am looking at and record it on the page. However, I do try to do a very quick rough of the sketch first to make sure that it fits on the page with lots of space around it. This space is for text and headings and more sketches; these elements can be added if needed to make the spread beautiful even if I am not 100% happy with the original sketch. Knowledge that there is more to a page than a single sketch takes a lot of pressure off starting!

How did you first start art journaling or using a sketchbook?

I discovered watercolor in a field kit in 2007 and fell in love. I wanted to keep a travel sketchbook so I started training—doing a sketch every night in preparation for a trip later that year. I then became hooked and started sketching my life as if I was traveling all the time.

Visit Liz Steel at www.lizsteel.com.

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Today we have another Q&A that didn’t make it into A World of Artist Journal Pages. Let’s welcome Tammy Garcia of Daisy Yellow:

What mediums did you use on the pages you submitted or what mediums do you primarily use?

In my art journals, I work primarily in acrylics with hand-painted papers, found ephemera and photographs. I also enjoy drawing detailed patterns and intricate mandalas in ink as well as sewing paper to create mixed media collages.

What do you do when you're blocked?

The key to keeping my creative ideas flowing is to hop back and forth between projects and journals, making progress on each work a bit at a time. This ensures that there is always something to do, some space to make a step forward. Interesting juxtapositions between the elements of my projects materialize. The surprising interactions turn into fresh project ideas. Ideas are always swirling in my mind and I document them for future use.

What artists do you look to for inspiration?

My favorite artists are Paul Klee and Edgar Degas. I've been incredibly inspired by "Spilling Open: The Art of Becoming Yourself" by Sabrina Ward Harrison and "Creative License" by Danny Gregory.

What would you tell someone who's trying to get into art journaling or creating but doesn't know where to start?

A sampling of Tammy’s work in A World of Artist Journal Pages.

A sampling of Tammy’s work in A World of Artist Journal Pages.

Art journaling is about the process of creating and working in our journals. It is not about the end result and has no rules. I art journal because I love playing with paint, words and imagery. And this act of working in my journal makes a difference in my life. I would recommend starting with the simplest of materials, a pad of decent quality drawing paper, and a large set of magic markers. Carry a camera around for a few weeks and actively look for interesting patterns, color palettes and shapes in nature. Use those photographs as a resource for drawing one pattern each day. Experiment with the materials and get comfortable with the movement and marks of the writing tools. Start gathering utilitarian ephemera such as metro tickets and maps. Get a small set of fluid or heavy body acrylic paints and start incorporating paint and other mediums in the journal pages. Join an online art journaling community and interact with others learning the same art form. Participate in challenges and do journal prompts to spark creative ideas. And most importantly, focus on the process of building your pages rather than the result. 

What do you do to get over the blank page syndrome?

The blank page is a playground, a space where anything can happen. I love that there is no right way to start a page; the faster I dig in and get started, the more time I have to play. The blank page is a launching point for experiments involving ideas, color palettes, documentation, composition and texture.

How did you first start art journaling or using a sketchbook?

I started doing art in 2007 prompted by the inflow of mandalas, doodles, artist trading cards and mixed media art journal pages at Flickr and on creative blogs. I was intrigued by the way the materials were used, the imperfect nature of the pages, the format, the potential chaos of art journaling.

Visit Tammy at daisyyellowart.com for more!