I finally made some time to play in my art journal this evening.
I’m quite new to art journaling and I’m just trying to see what others do and pick up things from them. I also try to see what I feel inspired to do at the time. Sometimes this works, other times it doesn’t.
I love playing with different media such as stamps, washi tape, acrylic paint, watercolours, markers, collage etc. I also love the idea that I can just cover anything I don’t like.
I really feel my perfectionism creeping in when I’m working in my art journal.
I’d like to learn to relax a bit and go with the process, rather than worrying about how it’s going to look in the end. I want my art journaling to be more about the process than the result.
I haven’t shared much of my art journaling on here. I don’t actually do it as often as I’d like – it’s more time-consuming than pen and paper journaling, and also I guess I worry about it not being ‘good enough’. Which is silly really, because it’s not about that.
At the moment I’m following the prompts from Lisa Sonora’s 30 Day Journal Project. I love how she starts each list of prompts with ‘do one, some, all, or none, as you wish’. It really helps me to feel free to choose and journal how I most feel like it. One thing that I have found to be really difficult with projects like this are too many rules.
The first prompt is about beginnings. Lisa provided the quote, from Henry David Thoreau:
There is no beginning too small.
I wanted to bring in the idea of the beginning being like a journey. I’m starting where I am, which is literally Auckland, New Zealand on this map. But it’s also about starting where I am in my life right now – with the skills, feelings, and desires I currently hold.
So often I put things off because I’m waiting for ‘the right time’ – whatever that is.
But more and more I’m realising that starting where I am is fine. Starting now, in fact, is better. Start where you are. You are here. Move forward from here.
These words appear so often in my journaling. Faith is a ‘being value’ I’m forever working on – a character trait that I would like to possess. I so often doubt myself, my work, my dreams, my skills, the possibilities for the future. I remind myself daily to have faith that things will work out. It never fails to reassure me, and keep me on track.
Courage is another being value I’m working with. In case you haven’t noticed, fear is something that seems to follow me around! Reminding myself to be bold kicks its butt, though.
The second prompt is to do with commitment. This is something I really struggle with.
I’m fine with romantic commitment (I’ve been with my partner for over 5 years) but most other forms of commitment are tough for me. The thought of a mortgage terrifies me. I usually don’t stay in a job for more than a couple of years. I move house a lot. I change my mind a lot about things: I lose interest, lose motivation, lose faith. In fact, blogging every day as part of this 100 Day Project is one of my best commitments so far.
I think I’m afraid of getting trapped in something I don’t want. And I’m also afraid that I won’t see things through, so committing to something can be really hard when I doubt that I’ll finish it. I worry about over-committing to things and getting too busy and stressed.
I love my freedom and like to make choices based on how I feel at any given time (this is why I find full-time employment quite hard). But, I also think there are benefits to really committing to something worthwhile and seeing it through.
Most of all, I think it’s important to be gentle and kind to ourselves. You can only ever do the best that you can at any one time. You are doing the best you can. Go gently.
It’s a very strange coincidence – I didn’t read the text before I put it down and painted over the top. Then I noticed these words:
Just try it. Experiment…make a commitment. Respond kindly.
Or perhaps it’s not a coincidence at all. The universe works in mysterious ways when you invite creativity into your life.