3.24.2012

MY ART JOURNAL - where input becomes output

page 14

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i have started a new journal, and i would like to share it here (and on flickr). it's very personal, but sharing makes it feel more important. it also feels like anyone who looks at it is somehow listening. :)
a big and annoying part of my OCD consists of repetitive negative thoughts. this process is aggravated by environmental input. the only control i have over input is obviously where i put myself. i have gotten into a pattern of sleeping during the morning, as night is more quiet and productive for me.

so how do i deal with what i take in? there is this constant flood of activity in my brain, uninvited and truly uninteresting, and pretty critical. this stream of negativity is exhausting in itself, so i try ways to dam it or change it's direction.  i spend a lot of time "researching" online. i open my facebook page in one tab, which has become a huge source of social networking for me (again, another post). in other tabs i have sometimes 4-6 different things i am looking into and learning about, mostly art related or interest-driven curiosity in weird topics. right now it's paranormal and urban exploration. i open these tabs and get carried-off on tangents by images and stories, blogs and flickr searches...and this gives me the slightest ability to direct my stream of consciousness toward things i actually like to think about. i love this escape.

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page 10 - feelin like a mandala....
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 i also love movies. with extremely few exceptions, we watch netflix. i love having ultimate control over what we watch and when. we have become documentary junkies and have taken-in less popular yet amazing animated and independent films. for me, letting the shows "babysit" me is a form of medication. again, i am attempting to direct my thought patterns, only instead of me typing searches, i am letting myself float on something of interest that i have chosen. 
now i cannot watch TV without drawing or working on something. so i am creating in my journal while hopefully being carried by a wave of interesting input. i am not suggesting TV and internet can change anyone's life, i am sharing my thoughts on why i do what i do. certainly not excuses, as i am completely aware of the need for fresh air and exercise to balance. no need to turn that statement into any soapbox, there is no argument there.
 although internet and TV are not in themselves "art therapy", i use them to fuel my inspiration to create, and to give my mind a break as i draw or think about things i like to think about, things that don't drag me down.


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page 9 - fire and eyes
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i have come a long way in my art journal. i started out being indecisive and lacking confidence, now i can actually say i love my drawings and their process. drawing every day is necessary now -i want to draw from the minute i wake to the minute i lay down. i still have some motivation issues, but not for a lack of inspiration.
what inspires me these days?
  • collections of rocks and minerals on flickr
  • satellite maps of earth
  • patterns of flowers and trees
  • reptile, insect/bug and snake skin patterns and colors  
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page 7 - 'shrooms and songs...


 page 6 (left) - decisions suck 
page 8 (above) - mistakes can stay in your journal- in this case, i started drawing something that came out too freudian (inspired by a friend's pet snake) so i blackened it and called it a secret. :P what's obvious here is that i was still uncomfortable letting it be...
  
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pages 2, 3 and 4 -
space-waste, couldn't get motivated yet...i wasn't confident that anything i could draw was good enough to live on a permanent page in a journal.
so i tried to visually talk myself into it, then drew scribbles on a vintage medical page....
these pages and the inside cover took me longer to accomplish than most of my single pages later on!


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inside cover
i began on the inside cover for 2 reasons: i hate to waste anything, and it made my scary, empty journal seem more "mine".
so, there is the evolution of an art journal. every person has a different process, unique needs, varied skills, and preferences as to type of journal style or medium. but what i know to be true is that no matter those differences, every person can benefit from keeping a journal. and the most important part is that you need no specific skill to keep an art journal. it is your place to unwind and not judged.

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