Monday, February 25, 2013

Lost in the White Book (and a moleskine spread)

At the end of last year I started the White Book, my new square 25x25 cm (about 10x10 inches) journal.
I had it all figured out. I was going to continue on the journaling road I had walked on for the past two years or so with my altered atlases and ROD-journals. The only challenge being that I would work with a white background, hence the name 'The White Book'. I looked forward to it. I really did.

Trying to replace small writing with big words. Mwah....


What happened? Well, my christmas/new years vacation, that's what! When I worked in the Quinn Book I did my writing on a separate writing pad and just added that writing with home made envelopes. And I rediscovered my love for writing. I know that those of you who have seen the spreads in my Moon Journal and my first Altered Atlas (the US Postal Book) may think me crazy now. After all, don't I already do like tons of writing in my journals? Yes I do, yes I do, yes I do...and still...

Emulating other people's style. Left Carolyn Sewell, right Kelly Kilmer.


What was starting to trouble me was that the decorated pages limited my writing to the space that was left open for it. I used to just keep written journals and just write until I was done. Now I was done, because the page told me so. In my vacation I rediscovered the joy of just writing without boundaries. And I knew that I wanted to keep a solely written journal again. And so I have. And I love it!

This was a lot of fun by the way. It's not me, but I had fun playing with the made up fonts.


I am writing so much that I have filled nearly a hundred pages in my writing journal so far! I write pretty much every morning and I don't have to think about the layout of the page or prepping anything to make it ready for my stream of consciousness writing. I. Just. Write.

This is a bit closer to my own style, but messier than I like.

Now however I'm left with my White Book and my more artsy journaling practice. What to do about that? I do still have a need to keep a visual journal that is different from my  sketchbooks or artsy books. I consider a journal a very specific reflection of my day to day life and so I wanted to continue this as well in images and colour. But how?

The process of this one suited me a little better. Watercolour background instead of decorated papers.


I have become so accustomed to my own style of journaling that now I am a little lost in my own journal. And that means that I am experimenting right now to find a style that suits me. I'm looking at other peoples work. I'm imitating peoples styles, just to get a feel for what I like about it and what not. I have yet to produce pages that really look and feel like me. In this post you can see some of my efforts.

This is not the White Book but a Moleskine sketchbook. I tried to make this word doodling more my own.


I cannot say I am very pleased with all these pages. Don't get me wrong. They look nice enough, but the process just didn't feel like me (except for the moleskine one). I'm kind of feeling my way through this and it's making me very uncomfortable. I did want to share this process with you all though, because I think it's important to show the struggles as well as the highlights. I will keep trying and at some point a new adapted personal style will emerge, I'm sure of it.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy week!

27 comments:

  1. I do love the styles of these various pages. It's so hard to let something go, isn't it? But kudos to you for going there!

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  2. I don't journal like you do (I'm very sloooooow at my art journal workings...maybe that's what I need to concentrate on this year?) but I did recently experience a "block". I was creating a Cookbook cover for my (long-awaited) Aunt Joan's cookbook. I had a definite vision for the cover and I gathered research materials and old photos, etc to do a nice vintage-looking watercolor - yet EVERY sketch was absolutely dreadful! Finally, my cousin suggested I just keep it simple with a piece of pie or something, and suddenly it came to me! I ended up with a pie with a piece cut out in mixed media - totally unlike my original concept. My aunt said she LOVED it, and I was very pleased with the finished product. I had to have a nudge to "think outside the box".
    Jackie

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    1. Sometimes you can get too stuck on a specific outcome, when it's better to just let go. Right now I have no idea what the outcome is for my journaling, but maybe I should let go of the idea that there should be one. (Oh, that's deep, Caatje!, haha)

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  3. Thank you for sharing Caatje... embrace the uncertainty... and keep moving through... can't wait to see where this takes you... love your 'write more' page... and beautiful post...

    Jenny ♥

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    1. Thank you Jenny. I'm just gonna keep at it, and something is bound to emerge out of the chaos. ;-)

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  4. I love that you keep challenging yourself

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    1. Most of the time I like that too, but with this journaling thing, it's kind of tiresome too. ;-)

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  5. This is a problem we all face in our artwork. Influenced by something we see. How we put it together. I believe what you are doing is exactly what a journal is for - a place to experiment. Things do not have to be perfect, neat, exact. It is a place to be messy, try different color combinations, fonts, images or not? No rules. Unless you try you never know. I applaud your honesty an attitude. Sometimes our biggest mistakes lead us to our greatest happiness. Keep trying you are discovering You!

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    1. Actually to me, what you mention above is what my sketchbooks are for. My journal is way more of a visual diary to me than a place for experimentation (not that I never experiment with it). I keep a journal as a record of my days and my life. It's a log if you will, a daybook, a chronological shadow of my existence. That's why I'm so hung up over it. I need to tell my story in my journal and right now feel like part of my voice is missing. The experimenting with styles and materials and all is what I do all the time in my sketchbooks. My journal serves a very specific purpose for me and that's not being met right now. Oh well...we will struggle on and come out on top! Thank you for your reply though, I do get what you mean. Experimenting is essential when finding your own style.

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  6. Caatje, what if you used one page of the two page spread for writing only and the 2nd page for art journaling, using writing in the blank areas?

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    1. Thanks so much for thinking with me and for that suggestion, but that would not solve anything. It would still mean only one page for writing. I write up to four pages a day. My visual journaling could never keep up with that. The idea of a book with mostly written pages and just a few visual ones (as would be the case with me if I alternated between the two) is just not what I'm looking for. What I like about my journals of late is how visual they are and incorporate the writing into the visual. But I need more room to write for a while and so I decided to keep a seperate writing journal for that, leaving me a little lost on the visual. I'll get there though, somehow, someday...

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  7. Wow it seems like I am not the only one who is in that quandary lately of just what is MY style as opposed to other people's art style that I like and sometimes emulate... you are about the 5th or 6th blog post (mine included) that is mentioning that enigma...I am sure all our individual styles are out there... have fun (re)finding yours!

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    1. They are! We just have to snatch them up somehow by being stubborn and keeping at it. Good luck!

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  8. I totally understand what you are saying here, Caatje. I think it is what kept me from starting an art journal for so long. A journal to me was solid writing, and I love to write....a LOT. I didn't understand how an art journal was going to work into that. I thought you had a great answer to that with your artful books that allowed so much writing space. But I haven't tried that approach myself. I think that's why my own art journal practice has been a little haphazard. I will watch your journey with these questions with interest.

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    1. I do love the way I have journaled over the past years. It really is my thing to journal that way. But right now I need a little more writing space still without having to worry about the visual. I might go back to this style in the future as I do love it so. But for now it's just time to try and see what else I can do. We'll just have to see how it goes.

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  9. Carin, ik herken wat je schrijft en kan maar één ding zeggen: lekker je eigen ding doen!
    Experimenteren is leuk en het is zeker niet verkeerd om andere stijlen uit te proberen. Mijn journals zijn in de eerste plaats dagboeken om mijn ei in kwijt te kunnen. Dat op een creatieve manier vormgeven is prettig maar komt op de tweede plaats...

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    1. Ik denk dat ik twee eieren kwijt wil. Het schriftelijke én het visuele. Het schriftelijke gaat gestaag door, maar dat visuele wil even geen vaste vorm vinden. Misschien hoeft dat ook even niet, maar de behoefte blijft. Dus we modderen toch maar even voort, haha. Dank voor je reactie Annie!

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  10. Ik snap je probleem helemaal... maar je zult zeker een goed mix vinden en een manier om het allemaal in jóuw stijl te integreren. Succes en plezier Caatje. Vooral dat laatste niet vergeten hè: plezier!

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    1. Oh ja, plezier! Haha. Ik word er een beetje rusteloos van. Ik had een perfecte routine dacht ik, tot ik erachter kwam dat ik meer wilde schrijven. Nu moet ik dus een nieuwe routine vinden, dat heeft nu eenmaal even tijd nodig. Maar vrees niet...ik zit niet te huilen boven mijn pagina's hoor. ;-)

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  11. I know exactly what you mean when you say you're not very pleased because they didn't feel like you - they do all look great, but I have also had spells of trying out other styles and while I always think they look nice enough, they don't feel like mine enough for me to be really happy with them. Sure you'll fidn the right path to take for you soon!x

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    1. I know what you mean. I try the different styles on for size just to pick up certain aspects that I might like. It's no fun to really journal in somebody elses style all the time. It gets old and tired very fast. Only your true voice will keep you interested enough to keep going. Thanks for your response!

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  12. Just wanted to ad an extra thank you to all of you, both here and on yahoo, who are thinking with me and giving me advice. I'm gonna have to find my own way in the end, but I really do appreciate all your sympathy and ideas. And...it's always good to know that I'm not alone out here. Thank you!

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  13. I'm not going to give you any advice...except, I've Never seen anything you've done that isn't simply wonderful...and I hope you'll keep looking for and experimenting!

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    1. That I certainly will, Annie! ;-)

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  14. Wonderful colorful spreads in your journal!! You do in your journal what I do on fabric!!

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    1. Oh, I wish I had the skills to journal with fabric. I'm trying to learn to free motion stitch and it's a pain. But I'm nothing if not stubborn, so I will learn!

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