Art Journaling with a literal brain

Discussion in 'Art Journaling Pad' started by bbymks5, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. bbymks5

    bbymks5 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if this is the appropriate pad to post in...

    I love the idea of art journaling and mixed media!! I love the look, feel and style of everything I see when it's someone elses completed works of art! You're not afraid of being unrealistic...dream like...

    How can I retrain my brain from being very literal?? Somewhere along the way from childhood to adulthood I lost my imagination...I want to find it again!
     
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  2. mcurtt

    mcurtt give me all the paleo brownies

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    I understand completely. I deal with logic in my job and when I come home to play, I find myself in the same boat. The best advice I can give you is just play. Throw paint on the background, if you decide to even use a background. Maybe pick your favorite items from a few random kits and limit yourself to those when you create your next work of art. Don't compare yourself against others. What you do is yourself shining through. I've had hot messes and I've had pieces I've been pleased with. Art is like life in that respect. Your main goal is to express yourself, experiment and have fun. I know that I'll challenge myself to not go with a pretty art doll, to make an art page without one. Some of them have been pretty interesting, not having something to automatically ground your page.

    How can you retrain your brain? Gosh, just make it a point to do art every day. :-) Enjoy the process.
     
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  3. bbymks5

    bbymks5 Well-Known Member

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    @mcurtt I'm so glad I'm not alone!! After spending 7 years in HR in the corporate office for big box retailer I know what you mean...I could not be la la land.

    When you limit yourself to certain items from a few different kits, do you "force" (lack of a better word) yourself to pick items that wouldn't necessarily go together?
     
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  4. sbpoet

    sbpoet Well-Known Member

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    This is absolutely the right place!

    I'm thinking this might help: http://the-lilypad.com/forum/threads/art-journal-collage-challenge.44562/

    Don't think of it as a challenge, just start with #4. This is, basically, how I make pages. I think that, as a poet, I started with an advantage: everything is metaphor!

    Play play play. And no, don't limit yourself to certain kits.
     
  5. Mylinn

    Mylinn What's that old bat up to now??

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    For too long, I bottled up my creativity and bound it down with all sorts of 'should' and rules and ugh. My art therapist had a wall of shelves - on each were small to medium plastic containers (think kitchen sizes). In each was an abundance of one item. Container of lego blocks, of matchbox cars, of plumbing elbows, of various color/shape bits of wood, fabric bits, dead light bulbs, and so on. Just a wall of stuff. She had me pull 2-5 bins down fairly fast, without planning or thinking too much. Then from each bin, she had me pull a random number of items. Once I had a pile, she asked me to arrange the stuff. No rules, no boundaries, no challenge to meet, etc. I nearly choked, lol.
    Now, I find myself doing the same with my digi files when I feel stuck or creative-less. But now, there are multiple file folders and all sorts of digi goodies to pull from.
    OH! The best bit was my regular therapist helped me figure out I flat out love learning about techniques, tools and so on. Completion or perfection of a skill just never was that important or meaningful to me. And, thanks to her and places like this forum, I have embraced it. . .I only rarely worry/guilt over never getting good at X now. . . mostly never, lol.
     
  6. sbpoet

    sbpoet Well-Known Member

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    Ha! This sounds very like my challenge. & I used to be a therapist!
     
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  7. bbymks5

    bbymks5 Well-Known Member

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    @sbpoet I'm going to check out that link right now!! I'll probably be back with more questions!!

    @Mylinn I would have sat on the floor and sobbed!! No joke! That gave me anxiety just reading!! When you start a new project do you go in with an idea of what you want to do or just let it come to you?
     
  8. AnneofAlamo

    AnneofAlamo not a dirty trickster - a CLEAN one!

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    art journaling is my release from literal, from the organization of my life.
    my real life is very organized. I run a tight ship! lol

    art journaling what I love that it is my own. just mine to play, frolic and do whatever I want for me!
    selfish but oh so helpful to me.
    I tend to overthink and want to make everyone else happy, and it can be a bit exhausting. When I art journal, I am free. It actually when I am done, helps my obsessiveness.

    Long ago, I was unable to go to sleep unless, the house was spotless. No dirty clothes, never a dish soaking in sink, and I would go to bed with vacuum trailing me. I wanted to awake with the lines in my carpet.

    art journaling (and having 7 kids) has shown me just a way to relax without cleaning!
     
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  9. Eyeore

    Eyeore Hippity Hop Hippity Hop

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    I work best with a quote or reason to create an art journal style page.
    Then I add stuff that is literal, motifs from the quote, and then I splatter paint and blend layers to get the more artsy creative look.
     
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  10. julianz

    julianz Active Member

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    Thanks for that insight into your process, I will definitely try it.

    I think that's how I normally work too.
     
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  11. bbymks5

    bbymks5 Well-Known Member

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    @AnneofAlamo That is so me with 4 less children...but did you include your hubby in the child count or??? LOL Boy do I overthink and analyze just about every.single.little.thing (so silly right)!! Cleaning used to be relaxing to me...not anymore. It's a lot of work when you add in two cats, two young girls, a teenage boy and a man-child!! This weekend is going to purge all the things and laundry party time since it's supposed to be a wet one and the middle is grounded.

    @Eyeore I'm finding this to be the case with me! I'm having more success getting pages done doing challenges than on my own unless it was something special we did.
     
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  12. mcurtt

    mcurtt give me all the paleo brownies

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    I don't know if I force myself to pick items that don't go together or if I try to pull in items that match. I'm just randomly selecting and then seeing where I go from there. It is just an exercise, what you can do with what you've selected. As a side note, the art journal and mixed media 3 challenges at TLP are fun, they give me some instruction to begin my creation. :-)
     
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  13. bbymks5

    bbymks5 Well-Known Member

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    I'm having a lot of fun with Anne's Skinny challenges! When I have more kits I'd like to do another Inchie one too!

    I definitely need a starting point LOL

     
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  14. Mylinn

    Mylinn What's that old bat up to now??

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    If it is for a challenge, I start with a general idea of something to do. For my playing or just cause digital AJ pages, I pull random things and drop them into Scrapbook Max 2.0 (not savy enough to do it in Photoshop yet). Then I just move stuff around. I do finally end up with at least one fixed thing - usually a quote that I found while trying to make something out of all the bits on my screen. Everything else is just random bits placed. I struggle not to think too much about where to put em. So, my pages look random. Tis why I share so few of my non challenge AJ pages, lol.

    latest quote I've found? “Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got.” ― Philip José Farmer

    Maybe start with telling short stories on your AJ pages? Like pick 2 or 3 things, place them and make up a short story or scene and use it to decorate rest of page? The Mother Goose challenge last March rocked my world :)
     
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  15. bbymks5

    bbymks5 Well-Known Member

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    @Mylinn That's a good quote!!! LOL!! Yeah, I don't think I'll be posting non challenge art journal pages anytime soon :giggle
     
  16. BevG

    BevG Reformed trickster!

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    I created my first AJ about 2 years ago. It was scary (not the result, but the process). I got some encouragement and that helped me be more brave next time. The challenges here really do help. I am much more a literal, analytical thinker than I am creative. I like my creativity to have some structure, some boundaries as a starting point. Than I take off from there.

    Long ago, I used to sew my own clothes. The pattern was my structure, my boundary, but the color, type of fabric, buttons, etc. were all my creativity. Perhaps that will help you also. I think of the challenge requirements as my structure.

    And play, play, play - remember this is digital - you can undo, delete, or hide - or trash it and start over - and the only thing wasted is your time.
     
  17. BevG

    BevG Reformed trickster!

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    Oh the most obvious suggestion - browse the gallery and note the ones you like. Why? What did they use? How did they use it? Maybe do a scraplift of them. Again, setting some structure for your literal self to hang onto.
     
  18. ArmyGrl

    ArmyGrl Well-Known Member

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    @bbymks5 I think art journaling, whether digital, paper or hybrid, is an awesome way to get the creative juices flowing. Take it from an INTJ, clinical medical laboratory scientist! Art journaling is great for counteracting the literal brain that wants everything perfect, realistic and lined up. Art journaling can help loosen you up so to speak.

    Everyone is different, but I'll share how I get started. For me, it starts with a concept or feeling. There is typically a word art from a digital kit, a phrase, or even a challenge like the ones here in the AJ forum that guide my work. Next I decide what size I want to create in. For example, I am fond of 8 1/2 x 11. Next I typically figure out what background paper(s) to work with. The arty papers guide where I place elements like paint, gesso, inky doodles, washi tape etc. Even though I am making an art journal page, I still want the end product to look cohesive and well put together. Thus, I pay attention to the rule of thirds...or purposely break the rule. So, after the background paper, I place my FOCAL POINT. That's important because a harmonious piece of art has a focal point. That's what you want emphasized, what you want your audience to notice the most. It's difficult to explain what happens next, because this is where the art journaling freedom and personal style steps in. Background paper set, focal point set...keep adding art journaly elements to your hearts content (paying attention to flow, rule of thirds etc).

    You can use your literal brain to guide you. Like following a recipe. You'll find with time that your structure will loosen up. But it's okay, especially in the beginning to be more structured. The process should bring enjoyment, so try not to "fight" yourself or your natural tendencies.
     
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  19. bcgal00

    bcgal00 Feeling lazy with my coffee and book

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    I have been dabbling a bit in AJ this year. As a photographer, my focus was always my photos and telling a story. AJ has been a way to expand my horizons, thinking about color, texture and emotion and less about a photo. If I use a photo it is used more as an element, if that makes sense. The focal point is the feeling or words on the page. I'm still fairly structured in my design and whatever goes onto my page has to have some cohesiveness to the design. That's my process, yours may end up being entirely different than mine.

    I start playing around with the background, playing with paint, overlays, textures, etc and then build from that. My style will never be very abstact, very fantasy/whimsical, which is fine for me. I admire others who create those kind of pages but my brain doesn't work that way....and that is perfectly ok. Don't be afraid to just plop some stuff onto a page, move it around, see how you feel about it. I think soon you will grab onto some techniques or style that connects with you. Just don't be afraid to try and if it doesn't feel comfortable, do something else.
     
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  20. sbpoet

    sbpoet Well-Known Member

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    & I do it the other way around. I choose the elements – usually one element I especially want to use, then perhaps others – and then the background that will best support those. And, of course – just as with poems – the element(s) I started with often get deleted before I'm finished.
     
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