Artjournal_find_2 I think one of the reasons I fell in love with design and scrapbooking is that it gave me a reason to make art. A reason to play with papers and words and images. A reason to have something to say. A reason to solve a problem through visual means.

In my scrapbooks I can easily tell a story because there is always something specific to tell, a moment to capture, something tangible to recall. A focal point from which to begin.

For some reason, before scrapbooking, I had in my mind that I needed a reason to emake art. That I could not create just for the sake of creating. Well, I could do it physically, but in my mind I was bombarded with too many questions, fears, negative self-talk. I would start something and then stop myself...

Why am I doing this?

I have nothing to say?

This is dumb.

This is a bunch of abstract nothingness.

This sucks.

The few times that I did paint I was left with the feeling that I had nothing to say. There was no emotion behind my painting. In my mind, no reason. And my big question: who would want to listen to me anyway?

But you know what?

Through the few pages I have created for this Art Journal challenge, I am finding that I am the one who listens. It is me that needs to hear my voice through another medium (rather than in my head), through paint or collage or design or journaling or photography or typography or whatever.

I guess I needed permission from myself that it was ok to make art for me, to find my voice (even if I am the only one listening) through my own exploration of thoughts and supplies and techniques, to just create stuff. To play. Permission to make it what I want it to be. To let myself go. To reach inside myself and see what's in there...what creations have been laying dormant due to my own fears of having nothing to say.

I am learning that art is an expression of my self. That there is something in me, waiting for permission to come forth.

, like perfection, is totally overrated.

33 thoughts

  1. Sharon

    2005-06-27 23:52:48 -0400

    Very cool perspective.

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  2. Mary

    2005-06-28 01:32:22 -0400

    Sounds cool and remember you _aren't_ the only one listening.

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  3. Rachel Ellington

    2005-06-28 01:53:07 -0400

    OK..."are you talking to ME?" Hello! I have recently had a similar insight....I call it my "letting myself go" time. I loved scrapbooking, but never loved it as much as I have this past month or so. I think you inspired me with the art journal, first of all. It was later that day that I was sitting in my studio, and my daughter was playing with play dough at her table and then quickly moved on to paint and making a jolly old mess....but she was so delightfully happy. I, at the time, was trying to figure out what to do for a magazine call and becoming a bit frustrated with myself. It was that moment that I just let myself go, gave up the struggle of trying to create something that I thought the publishers would jump over eachother to get their hands on and just have fun and create for the sake of myself just as my daughter was doing.....
    Man, for the first comment on your blog, I sure did ramble....Geez, Edith!

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  4. julie

    2005-06-28 03:12:13 -0400

    Hi Ali,
    Wonderful! I'm sitting her thinking, "Yeah, what I do is MY voice"', whether anyone is listening or not. Kind of gave me chills reading your insightful words.

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  5. Jessi

    2005-06-28 03:26:13 -0400

    Awesome...I was wondering how the art challenge was going. I know it is about the inside voice, but this outside voice thinks that you do awesome work.

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  6. Lindsay

    2005-06-28 04:16:42 -0400

    Well said! I completely agree that there is something in all of us!

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  7. May

    2005-06-28 04:38:53 -0400

    WOW! you said it!!! I think you are right on and you have inspired me to go create... just to create!!!

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  8. traci

    2005-06-28 05:45:50 -0400

    Love the art journal entry, and love the blog entry, too! Definately a powerful discovery--you're so brave! :)

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  9. jamie

    2005-06-28 06:04:22 -0400

    u r cool. this is cool. totally, girl.

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  10. Celine Navarro

    2005-06-28 06:28:29 -0400

    that's exactly the way i feel...

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  11. Shelley

    2005-06-28 07:01:09 -0400

    Wow you hit it right on the head. Your words are so true and real. They are also my words, that constantly play in my head. But I just couldn't quite say it like you have. Thank you for voicing it, for putting the feelings into words! I feel like I have received permission just by reading this.

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  12. Lisa

    2005-06-28 07:04:43 -0400

    honestly.. it's like you took the thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head for a while and wrote them out.
    i've always struggled with the why. why do i do this, what does it all mean, will anyone care but me?
    and lately.. i've gotten to the point where i don't care if anyone cares but me. and i like what i'm doing.
    on a less philosophical note - i'm in the market for a great white pen - what brand did you use on this?

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  13. sara

    2005-06-28 07:14:24 -0400

    amen. i needed that today. thanks, ali. ;)

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  14. MarilynH

    2005-06-28 07:16:07 -0400

    That is a totally cool way of explaining it. :) Did'ja get my email the other day? ;)

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  15. Mirjam

    2005-06-28 08:28:04 -0400

    Thanks for sharing!!

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  16. Tina

    2005-06-28 08:50:34 -0400

    You expressed this just so eloquently. Perfect. :)

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  17. Christie

    2005-06-28 10:31:24 -0400

    You go girl! I love what you have written and I am finding my own voice in my scrapbooking as well! Thank you for sharing your thoughts which come as inspiration to the rest of us!

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  18. Julie

    2005-06-28 10:41:24 -0400

    I LOVE the quote you used on your art journal page from Miss Rumphius. That is one of my favorite children's books, and the quote is something I have tried to think about and strive for. What can *I* do to make the world more beautiful?
    Thanks, too, for your insight into letting go and finding your own voice. As always, you give me something to think about!

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  19. Amanda

    2005-06-28 11:01:10 -0400

    Well said! I understand completely. I find that talking out loud often helps me learn. Does that make sense? Journaling and art and communication are the medium by which we are able to learn, to understand, to relate. At least for me anyway!!
    thanks many times over for sharing and continuing to share :)

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  20. doris

    2005-06-28 11:39:35 -0400

    powerful insight.

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  21. emily ruth

    2005-06-28 12:46:44 -0400

    i am the only it!'re cool...

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  22. stephanie thiel

    2005-06-28 13:55:09 -0400

    Wisdom beyond your years Obi Wan (got Star Wars tag from Renee' and thought I'd pass it along to you!). I am always amazed at how you are able to dig just deep enough to uncover your truths. This is no simple feat Ali. My hat is off to you and your ability look past a lot of the psychological muck and zero in on what it takes to make you real...and to make your art real for 'you".

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  23. Loni

    2005-06-28 18:54:41 -0400

    Well said, my friend.

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  24. keschypoo

    2005-07-01 07:46:43 -0400

    Thank you for this...
    "I guess I needed permission from myself that it was ok to make art for me, to find my voice (even if I am the only one listening) through my own exploration of thoughts and supplies and techniques, to just create stuff. To play. Permission to make it what I want it to be. To let myself go. To reach inside myself and see what's in there...what creations have been laying dormant due to my own fears of having nothing to say. "
    I was at Hood River this weekend in a small coffee shop. Displayed on the walls were small sketchbooks, just little black and white books of peoples drawings of daily stuff. I so wanted to make one. So much that I actually went and bought the journal and a special black fine point drawing pen. Hmmmm, what now, I can't draw... what am I going to draw...? Me doing the dishes, no one wants to see a drawing of me doing the dishes.
    But now I get it... I WANT TO SEE A DRAWING OF ME DOING THE DISHES. Even if for now it is just a stick figure. :-)
    Thanks for the permission I've been needing!

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
  25. Angi B

    2005-07-02 06:21:14 -0400

    thank you Ali! i've been taking a little break from all my creative endeavors and have been wanting to dive back in but didn't have a clear view of how to do just that - then I read this post and it all makes sense. Sometimes art has no reason. Thanks for the inspiration (again!)

    * edited 08/11/14 11:16AM
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