Art Journal Wisdom :: Day 7 :: Experiment

Welcome To Day Seven of Art Journal Wisdom!

Try searching “art journaling” on You Tube and you will find at least a gazillion different videos /tutorials with a whole universe of techniques, methods, and approaches to try out and play around with.

If you ask me, that’s the beauty of art journaling — it’s a place to experiment and try new things and if things go south or look like zombie barf it doesn’t mean you’re a “bad artist” or that you “suck at this”.  It just means you still have some learning to do.  (And who doesn’t?!)

So if you’re a newbie to art journaling I want to encourage you to go crazy with experimenting in your art journal.  A good place to start of course is You Tube.  Don’t be afraid to play around with different techniques, supplies, and even various ways to approach your art journaling process.

But if you’re craving a bit more than just simple tutorials, 21 SECRETS is great because the teachers offer you actual workshops that will take you deeper into a variety of techniques, methods, and unique approaches to art journaling.

Though trying your hand at different techniques, methods, and approaches is all great and dandy, but this workshop wouldn’t be called Art Journal Wisdom if we only skimmed the surface of things.

So let’s go deeper, shall we?

The art journal spread that I share with you above is one of my all time favorites.  For one reason is that I created it during a very difficult and painful time in my life — and painting this not only gave me hope but it helped me see things differently about my circumstances as well.

I won’t go into the details because they are best kept private, but just let me say that our paintings have a beautiful way of talking to us if we are willing to listen — and this is a painting that knew just the right things to say to me at the time I needed it most.

And gosh.  Seriously.  This painting itself is why I created Art Journal Wisdom here for you.  If I can encourage, inspire, or convince just one Soul to bring this powerful practice of art journaling into their life more regularly,  well, that would be enough for me.

But I digress.

Today’s invitation is about experimenting.  Let’s get back on track!

The kind of experimenting I want to invite you to do today takes a bit of courage.

Who am I kidding?  It takes a whole lot of courage actually!

Today I want to invite you to just start painting in your art journal something that feels comfortable and natural to you.  Maybe it’s faces or animals or simply fun abstract pieces.  Whatever it is that you like to paint and feel confidant at– go for it.

But here’s the kicker….at one point during your art journaling I want you to take a deep, deep breath and then mess it up.

Yes, mess it up.

Maybe that means you use a gawd awful color or you start painting over the parts that look best or maybe  you just close your eyes, grab some black paint, and start scribbling like a maniac.

Whatever poison you choose — swallow it!

Bite the bullet.

Have a hay day at making a mess of things.

And why, you ask.

In the video below,  notice how right at the moment when my art journal spread was looking pretty good and things were coming together, I went ahead and started covering things up with paint.  I don’t know why exactly I did so — but I do remember thinking “oh shit” when I did.

Creativity thrives on drama.

When paintings go wrong or we’ve made a huge mistake or something we thought was so awesome suddenly goes sour, we as artists are faced with two choices:

1.  Quit and start over and just keep painting what we’re comfortable with.  (That’s ok to do.)

2.  Keep on trucking and discover new creative possibilities.  (Now that takes some gusto!)

Today’s invitation is about #2 and it’s intended to push you out of your comfort zone.  Messing up a good thing IS going to make you feel a little uneasy and maybe even freaking upset or downright angry.

But the real sauce on the enchilada here is to trust yourself.

That’s right.  Trust yourself.

You’re an artist.  Artists are put on this Earth to transform messes into beauty, pain into healing,  nothing into something.

You can handle whatever comes your way.  (It’s just paint on paper…not a sinking Titanic.)

Take a few deep breaths, maybe even step away from the art journal for awhile, and see what happens when you come to it with fresh eyes and an open heart.

Listen to what the painting wants you to do…and follow.  It will lead you.

And I’m going to be honest, you might end this experiment with one horrendous looking art journal spread or it might become one of your all-time faves, I can’t predict that.  But either way, the courage it takes to just try this little experiment will create ripple effects in your creativity (and maybe even your life) for years to come.

Mistakes, blunders, wrong turns, and manic scribbles are all a part of art journaling and life.  We can’t get past them!

But how we transform those obstacles and blemishes is what defines us as artists!

Now go out there and make me proud!

Go make a total mess of things and be sure to use hashtag #ArtJournalWisdom on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook to share it when you do!

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Connie Solera
connie@dirtyfootprints-studio.com