Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How I'm "Uncomplicating" My Journal

I'm making some changes to the way I keep a journal, and it's been really fun. Over the last three years, I've kept sixteen-ish art journals, most of them finished, some not so finished. In the beginning, I was mostly drawing and gluing, staying away from paints. Once I bought my first watercolor journal, though, I was hooked. My love of painted pages grew until my journals were essentially bound books of small paintings. I love looking back at these books, but I also know that those pages were ones created when I had time to sit at my desk and create with full access to all my supplies. Most were created late at night, when a lot of feelings needed to be expressed into paint, but very, very few pages were created on the go.

I've really wanted to move back into keeping all of my life in one big book, rather than carrying an art journal, a notebook and a calendar. Moving towards that goal, though, meant un-complicating the way I was creating pages. You can see the start of that shift in this post on my 2013 Journal Intentions.

In January, I created a small, pieced-together art journal from scraps that I had around my studio. I quickly found, however, that I had created a very inconvenient size, and that the blank pages were a bit too intimidating for me. I moved on [I'll probably come back to that journal later this year] and started a new watercolor notebook, this time taking care to create lots of pages that could be modified on the go; meaning, not adding tons of layers of paint that I can't write over, creating spaces for notes and lists, keeping everything very slim and intentional.

Page One; marker, ink splatter, modeling paste, washi tape & graph paper

 I had a moment with this animal print at the craft store. Plus a whole lined page for lots of note-taking.

A space to write some meaningful words [watercolor background, acrylic and white ink pen for the writing.]

Magazine pages create perfect "hidey-holes" [my new favorite Betsy Garmon technique/verbiage]. Flip the page over to cover the more intimate details of your journal.

Created a painted border, with a giant open space for more note-taking.

And one good ol' painted page, for good measure [though to be technical, this is watercolor and spray-ink, a far cry from the thick pages of gesso and acrylic I'm used to!]

Friday, April 5, 2013

Watercolor Desktop

I'm so happy that Bri at DesignLoveFest featured one of my designs on her blog yesterday. Head over there to download a fresh spring desktop!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Blogging Like It's 2008

Well ... it happened. The dreaded, seemingly inevitable hard drive crash. I'm still working on the same computer I've had since 2008, and had to revert back to the same operating system the computer came with. Basically, my phone has more power and options than my computer does at the moment. I can't even get Twitter to work properly, or my email. It's all very exciting, and first-world-problem-y, and I'll hopefully be updated soon.

Until then, look out for smoke signals!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


You've heard by now, I'm sure, but Google Reader is going away this summer. I'm trying not to be too grumpy about having to change, and Bloglovin is making the transition much easier! You can follow my blog there now, too. [Just click the pretty lady's face below!]

  Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, March 1, 2013

Trust Without Borders // Venturing Out Into the Great Unknown

The shift from one season to another is always such an interesting place to find yourself, especially when the seasons are changing from, say, winter into spring. You spend so much time in the winter looking forward to the spring; dreaming of what it will feel like to thaw out a little, to see endless days of sunshine. Then, suddenly, as the spring surprises you with her arrival, you find yourself a little undone; where did you come from? I'm never quite ready for the shift.

{lyrics from a song I wish I had written [link below]}

That's where I [and my little family] find myself right now. I've been begging for spring, and suddenly, it's here, and I'm still trying to shed my winter layers. For months I've been waiting for every single shift that's occurring right now, and yet in the midst of it all I find myself a little undone. The past months have been a time for rest and recovery, and the coming [and current] months are about jumping in; about activating a few dreams that have been sitting dormant the last little while. It's spring [FINALLY holy crap] but I keep finding myself balking a little at the idea of shedding heavy winter coats.

Activating dreams is risky business; part of me much prefers introverted reflection. I'd really rather not take that leap of faith, or jump off the edge. I've been accused in my life of being all "Ready, Aim" and never quite "Fire." I'm having to change all that, though, and really break down the parts of me that keep me constantly stuck at "Aim". I've made tiny revolutions in this arena over the last few years, but it's come time to do the bigger work. Making leaps with haircuts, job changes, paint colors, relationships, moves, have all been the baby steps leading up to the big leap ... moving off of ready, aim and onto fire with my life-dreams.

Lead me where my trust is without borders. My heart is in my throat just typing that because I know what it means I need to do next. And sometimes it's hard to start releasing dreams into the open air when you're used to incubating them.

This song, though ... oh, this song. This song is the newest prayer of my heart as those parts of me get broken down and put aside. Isn't it bizarre to hear or read something that someone else across the globe has written and think, "THOSE are the words I've been looking for!"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tiny Revelations

Oh, my poor neglected blog. I keep showing up here to write something and nothing seems right. Since I was here last [a month ago?] it feels like everything in me and around me has shifted one hundred and eighty degrees. And in a good way! I feel like I'm slowly coming back to life, and as all the lights are getting turned on again, I'm seeing things I haven't seen in me before.

One week into my 365 Project [see below] I had the stunning realization that I am not a hand-letterer. Calligrapher, yes. I'd even take modern calligrapher, as that's probably more accurate. But hand-lettering is something I'll leave up to folks like Sean McCabe and Molly Jacques. I'm okay with having an unfinished 365, because that revelation was pretty priceless, and it keeps me from banging my head against a wall trying to be something I'm not.

One week into February, I had a pretty earth-shattering realization that shifted how I felt about my [shh, I hate using this phrase ...] "life purpose". It's big, guys. And I'll tell you about it soon, I'm still trying to put the right words around it. But it's been rocking my world.

Three years into a full creative burnout and I'm finally coming back to life a little. I think I have kept up the appearance of living a creative life, but I haven't been practicing a fully creative life in actuality. An unexpected hiatus has turned things around in my world, though. I quit my creative job without any prospects for a new job; I've been on interview after interview, and have had more jobs fall through my fingers than I can count. It's been harder than I realized it would be; I had no idea how much of my identity as a person and a creative came from working and actively contributing to other people's dreams and visions. Coming to the realization that I don't view my own creative vision as holding any value or worth at all was a cold, hard wakeup call. Now, months after walking away from the job that was burning me out in every way, I'm finally coming back to life a little; having actual dreams, resting my body and my brain, starting to have some real, big, thoughts and revelations. It's been a long time coming.

A tiny little post, but lots of huge changes happening around us. It feels right to document the shift as it's happening.

Monday, January 7, 2013

365 Project: Pretty Little Words

I'm so excited to share with you some photos of my 365 Project: Pretty Little Words. One of my goals this year is to grow in my calligraphy and hand-lettering skills. I'm committed to practicing every day in my sketchbook or with my tablet. I won't be posting every day, just because the thought of that kind of exhausts me, but I'll try to share a peek every week! I can already feel this project pushing me, both in creativity and in technique.

See something you like? Email me for print prices!