Dawn DeVries Sokol
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WAJP Extras 5

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.