THE TOPIC IS:
HOW TO APPROACH A PAGE
So, now that you have a few backgrounds ready to go, what next? How do you get some content on the page beyond color, texture, and pattern? How do you go deeper?
When I art journal, I typically approach my pages in one of three ways:
1. From an open and organic place letting my intuition guide me,
2. With an idea in me but no visual concept or plan, or
3. With a specific visual idea in mind.
Below I talk a bit about each way.
A. FROM A PLACE OF "I DON'T KNOW"
The blank slate. The white page. Let's start here.
When you are open to allowing anything to rise to the surface you are opening yourself up for real epiphanies.
This is really what it's all about for me with art journaling. PROCESS. When I stand in front of my art journal with no plan then I am allowing the process to guide me. The colors, textures and work become my guides and lead me into territory I may not have expected to enter. It requires LETTING GO and TRUST. It requires a belief in the PROCESS and my INTUITION. And the results are exciting and eye-opening.
B. WITH AN IDEA OF WHAT I WANT TO WORK ON
Often I will walk into my studio with something brewing in the back of my mind. In fact, this is really how I started art journaling in the first place. I was dealing with a lot of drama in my life and needed some creative relief. My art journal was the most incredible place to explore my feelings and thoughts, my angst and anger, about what was going on. Most days, something would happen out in my life and I would think, "I want to art journal about that!"
There's absolutely nothing wrong with starting with a nugget of an idea. I provide art journaling prompts exactly for that reason. I think of my art journaling prompts as little shovels. I love to give you something to start digging with...who knows what you'll unearth in the process!
When you have an idea that feels ripe for the process, my suggestion is to try to keep it in your body as you begin to work. Let it float around inside you. Let the words and feelings and images arise organically. Don't force anything. You'll know you're forcing it when the process starts to feel inauthentic and the words "should" and "would" and "could" show up. Thoughts like "I should put an image of _________ on the page" or "Most people would expect the word ________ here" come into your mind at those moments. Remember, there are no rules with art journaling. No shoulds. Try to allow and say yes to any words or images that come up during your process. Put them on the page and ask questions later!
It's amazing to see where our intuition wants to guide us. So much learning to be had there.
C. WITH A PLAN
Sometimes you will come to the page with a pretty specific plan. An image that's flashed into your mind to represent a thought. Or an inspiring quote that you want to remember and the perfect layout to go with it. That's totally fine. I say, go with it. Explore this kind of process.
BUT, be aware that when we have an idea in our heads it is often VERY difficult to reproduce it on the page. And the desire to do so can trap us. My suggestion is to be open to the evolution of your plan. Where you start with it may or may not be where you end up with it. And that is just fine!
Here's a video covering these three ways to approach a page. If you have questions, join the discussion over in our Facebook group.
In our next lesson we'll dive into COLLAGE.
(You can access all the lessons in this course with the dashboard buttons on the righthand sidebar of this page.)