I've been sharing so much about my path to sobriety that I haven't shared much about what's going on with me creatively lately. Daily journaling or drawing has been a really big source of peace and contentment for me over the past few years. It feels a bit like a daily meditation, really, and I quite enjoy the process, as well as the aesthetic results.
What started out as a drawing-a-day project back in 2014 with my son, has turned into a steady practice in line work, color, design and turning words into little daily mantras for me to sit and ruminate on or share on Instagram and put out into the world as a little offering.
I've taken in-person workshops over the past couple of years, but my favorite class was a basic line drawing class on Creativebug with one of my favorite artists, Lisa Congdon. If you have high-speed internet (which I do not), you will love the ease of taking these classes at your leisure. The first online class I took happened to be while we were vacationing in Costa Rica and it inspired me to draw and mess around in my journal for days on end during that trip. I've been hooked ever since. Creativebug offers dozens of classes and has a free 14-day trial offer up on their site now. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes and what you think.
I've recently signed up for more online classes with Skillshare. I was driven to do so because Lisa Congdon has a new professional practice in illustration class offering on that site. Skillshare is offering three months for 99 cents right now and the plethora of creative, diverse classes they offer is amazing. I have to watch these videos at the library or somewhere that has a high-speed internet connection and that can be a bit of a pain. It takes careful planning on my part and I have to cart my supplies around town with with me, but it's still worth it in the end. I guess that's the trade off for small town, simple living, right? I highly recommend trying one of these online class sources. The supplies needed are minimal and the results are so satisfying.
Currently, I'm enrolled at the local community college and taking an introduction to art and design class. We're working mostly with black and white acrylic paints and creating paintings based on a focal point, incorporating depth perception and paying attention to contrast.
We're also learning about scale, proportion, positive + negative space; repetition, reversal, rhythm and progression in our designs and paintings. I'm loving every minute of it and it's definitely spilling into my art journal practice.
I personally subscribe to the perfectly imperfect idea of art and find beauty in the wonkiness and imperfections of my own unsteady hand. But that's just me.
This year I've been more focused on complete two-page spreads or exploring repetition on a one-page design. I don't give myself any time deadlines (like I did back in 2014 with the drawing-a-day journal) and I'm using words and geometric shapes to guide me, as that's what I'm drawn to in real life. Circles are my thing.
Okay, that's it. Just wanted to share my process and links to those helpful creative websites in the event you, too, are wanting to give art journaling a try. My art journals are now one of my most prized possessions and I'm constantly going back and pulling ideas from the pages for future art projects.
In my next life, I think I'd like to be a surface designer. Or a librarian. Or a writer.
Until then, I'll keep making daily marks in my journal + see where it takes me.