Dawn DeVries Sokol
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WAJP Extras 4

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.