Dawn DeVries Sokol


Getting Lost

I’ve been working/playing lately in a journal that I will be teaching at CREATE next May. I’m really excited about it since it’s a journal that sort of reclaims materials. But I felt like journaling BIG again a couple of days ago, so I returned to my ledger journal.


This is the journal that I’ve layered a lot of paint and collage in. I feel as if I can just jump in and do some exploratory journaling.

So I turned on John Mayer’s “Where the Light Is” album and started to journal. And I realized that I was really getting lost. Lost in my journal. Which I hadn’t felt for a while. It felt good. I tweeted that I was getting lost in my journal and got a couple responses like “It’s a great place to get lost” and “If you’re going to get lost, that’s a good place to do it” and I thought: YES. That’s a topic to tackle.

If we get lost in our journals, are we more likely to find ourselves? I say yes. Our journals are for doodling, mark-making, writing, collage, paint...we partake in these activities to create, to explore, to play. And through these actions we discover what we want, who we want to be, where we want to go in our lives. Journaling REALLY didn’t click for me until I started VISUAL journaling. I tried writing in journals while growing up, but I would just get bored with it. I felt like my life was dull and not worth journaling unless there was some teenage drama going on.

Fast-forward to 2006: I had experimented with all kinds of art. I tried jewelry making, soldering, collage, painting, drawing, anything and everything, whatever interested me at the time. I would sign up for workshops that I was intrigued with, but by the time the retreat would come around, I would end up changing classes because my interests had changed. I wasn’t necessarily flailing, just unsure of what track I wanted to take. Plus, at that time, I tended to go with trends, whatever was “hot” at the time. More often than not, I would get into classes that would be the e-ticket for whatever retreat it was.

Art journaling has been the only art form to stick. I started taking journaling workshops from some incredible teachers that are now the first ladies of this incredible movement. At first, I created pages I hated. I almost quit. But then something clicked, and I haven’t looked back.

So even though I “lose” myself in my journal, that is where I found myself. That is where everything makes sense. Or at least, begins to. I just turn on some great music and jump in to whatever unfinished spread or page speaks to me. And I go for an adventure. Just for a little while.