Tuesday, February 3, 2009

a flawed start


i've never been able to keep a journal from start to finish. i start with excellent intentions, and usually do well for the first ten pages or so, and then my thoughts leak onto grocery receipts, bills, parking tickets, and so on, and then the poor journal is abandoned. even in school i couldn't manage to keep my notes sequential and separated by subject. for the first month my notes were picture perfect, outlined and dotted and numbered and dated, and then like clockwork, the grand unraveling began. french drifted to finance, business law mixed with astronomy, marketing consorted with the history of disease, and then my shopping lists and doodles and never-sent letters meshed with it all until my semester was one big potluck casserole. somewhere along the way i got the notion that my patchwork thinking made for lousy journaling, so i gave it up. when i started drawing again recently it was only on loose sheets of paper so i didn't focus on having to fill a book or put anything in sequence.

but i've been intrigued by moleskines for a long time, and i knew if i tried to bind my thoughts again some day, it would be in one of these. when i discovered thereza's amazing moleskine sketches last year, i was smitten (and still am) with her talent and her approach to journaling as a tool for self-discovery. then i picked up the first issue of art journaling magazine (which has a great article by art buddy lynn fisher), which got me thinking, "well... maybe..." and the final whap on the backside came when ricë started her series of journal spanks. she makes journaling so free, easy and fun that there is really no excuse not to start doodling in a book.

so, off i go. here are the first two pages of my bound thoughts - i wonder how long it will be before they start screaming that they want out. i'm labeling this journal flawed from the beginning in hopes that i'll have a greater chance of sticking with it, knowing that some pages i'll like, others will suck, and that it's OK not to always know where i'm going with the creative process.

32 comments:

~Barb~ said...

I think we mess up the whole journaling process when we make it into a chore instead of a gift to ourselves. I now look forward to my art journaling time as a gift I give myself each night...I've stuck with it way longer than ever before on a consistant basis.
Your pages are beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous!
Peace & Love,
~Barb~

joanne said...

i decided from the beginning there would be no way for me to stick with something bound...even the word "bound" seemed too constricting...i knew i wanted to use different papers...different sizes...and not impose any limitations on myself...and then it turned out i didn't even really feel like putting words in it either...i just wanted to paint...

so...i did...

i think after so many years of fitting into this box or that i wanted to do something that was just free and uninhibited by boundaries...

i am going to love seeing how your journal progresses...who knows...i might just want to give it a more concerted effort...

these pages are an amazing beginning...

Bella Sinclair said...

YES! Admitting it will be flawed certainly takes the pressure off! Wish I had started off life that way. :) These pages are gorgeous. LOVE those big, beautiful drops and the lovely model-posed hands. How exciting, a new adventure! And should your doodles spill out onto the odd receipt, be sure to tack them onto the pages, too.

History of disease??? Ew.

lil kim said...

ooh I love moleskine art. Yours is lovely. Yes i think most of us have the best intentions but it's always hard to keep something going. good luck with it! I'll be back to check your progress!

Milkberry said...

I'm thinking of getting a moleskin too but I keep thinking that I'm not worthy of it. Anyways, yours is superb! I envy your creative talent!! :P

please sir said...

I have a hard time keeping to a journal too, but moleskins are pretty great. Best of luck - keep us updated!

Nicola said...

I've been mediating recently on visualizing the things I want (and I am careful they are expansive desires, desires in a giving spirit) as actually already manifest. It's kind of the opposite of what I usually do, but it feels "right." Anyway, *great* piece, as always. : )

Anairam said...

You are off to a great start, I think! I am keeping 3 journals at the moment - My Daily Life one (started in Nov 08), my 100 ideas one (from Keri Smith), and my Art Journal. I've never before kept a journal so this is something new for me, and as usual, I am overdoing it by having 3 simultaneously. Sometimes one (or two)journals fall by the wayside (my AJ currently) for a couple of weeks, until inspiration strikes again. I am interested to see if I actually manage to fill up any of them, I have a history of starting things and then slowly drifting out of them. I could really identify with your post on this - and as usual it is so well-written! (But now that I think of it, I did finish my little alpahabet mini-journal last year, so maybe I'm not that bad!)

daisy janie : scoutie girl said...

as long as it's only the journal that's bound and not your thoughts. let us know what happens...

Krissy said...

perfect start! i love my moleskine book. don't know what i'd do without it!

Christy said...

All I can say is... moi aussi.

Kelly C. said...

i used to think that my journal had to be complete sentences recalling the day. then, i decided to just do whatever, and it has made all the difference. happy journalling, my dear!
*)

cindy : quaint said...

i'm terrible at journaling, but if i could draw like you i would be much better. i always mess up the first page and then i'm done. good luck, keep us posted, please.

sandra.d. said...

believe or not, we do not have tradition of making journals. our girls / from 8 to 15 years about/ making something what we call memorials. in that notebook they stick nice photos from journals or drawing something nice, write some sentences about love ect.

i like your way of expression- it's great. great illustrations and text. ;]

L'Atelier said...

i have been planning to do a visual journal this year- and last year and the year before. I managed 2 years ago to keep a sketch book- anything goes little A6 booklets -am on my 5th booklet now and i really tresure them now and use them for inspiration. inis
i think you are right one can't be tooo perfectionistic and set too high goals. seeing your loooooooovly booklet i am thinking- visual journal! I just have to start it... thats half the dead done... and then go on even if one page isn't the greatest
have a great day dearest Aimee
xo

Miss Aimee said...

I am so right there with you on the journal thing which I think is why I love blogging so much-its very journal like yet people are expecting it so you actually do it and finish. :)right?!

painted fish studio said...

good luck! i prefer the random note/receipt method myself... i can never seem to find my journal when i need to jot something down!

jess gonacha said...

what a start!!! your journal is going to be fabulous, aimee, no question. i think admitting it'll be flawd is a great way to start out-- that always freaks me out about journals, too. what if it's not perfect??! i can't wait to see more!

Nina Crittenden said...

Bonne chance, mon amie!

Stampmaiden said...

Girl, I absolutely love your colors! This is a gonna be such a colorful journey with lots of "POW" punch! I've found that doing the daily journaling thing cannot happen for me right now so I make it a point to do at least 3 entries a week. Depending on my day or emotions, I can choose a phrase or word and leave it at that. Sometimes I'll add a few words.
The main thing with journaing is to make it "you" so that you'll feel comfortable with it and have fun as you go along. So far, looking good!
Linda

Lynn Fisher said...

Oh...if that is "flawed"!...my goodness it's beautiful.
When I walk into Wet Paint or Blicks and spot the moleskins...I have to be held back. I love them but already make my own HUGE 10 X 10 books...so I stop myself somehow, but I FEEL them...I can hardly stand it.
It doesn't take long to start a new habit...let's hope this one takes hold.

Megan Coyle said...

good luck with the new project and your latest piece is just as lovely and colorful as ever.

Asja said...

i love your first two pages! i hope you will finish your new project- i'm sure it will be amazing!

Esti said...

My mental process goes like this: if I have several moleskines around I'll find it easier not to look at them as something that must look perfect. I don't know if this makes sense, but if I only had one I'll feel more pressure...
I'm sure that you'll make something worthy anyway!

Cestandrea said...

aimee, your painting here makes me laugh, it's so cute!
You know, I was like that when it came to journalling but now I have filled already at least 10 Moleskine books and do all my sketching in it, watercoloring everthing afterwards cause the paper takes the colors so beautifully. I'm sure, you will be like that with your moleskine and fill it up with lots of beautiful artful doodles!:)
love
Andrea

aimee said...

very insightful comments! i love esti's and anairam's thoughts about keeping multiple journals for bouncing around... and love all these thoughts, really! thanks :)

●• Tiny Red said...

great!
and don't be too precious about it, it's only a sketchbook after all!! 'flawed' is a good title to give it.
i'm like Esti, just have lots around me to draw and experiment with... :)

peggy said...

HA!!
Oh Aimee, this is such a perfect post for me right now!! I am still keeping up with my sketch-a-day, but lately they have been on the backs of envelopes or in other people's sketchbooks. I agree, having a few books going at once keeps things interesting. And I do wind up taping those envelopes and receipts into a journal or two. I think that may be what the pocket on the back cover of a moleskine is for!

Shani said...

Qu'est-ce que c'est bon ça!!! Et en francais en plus! Oh bravo, j'adore!

Denise Scicluna said...

"even in school i couldn't manage to keep my notes sequential and separated by subject. for the first month my notes were picture perfect, outlined and dotted and numbered and dated, and then like clockwork, the grand unraveling began." --- i can very much relate to this one!! it usually used to happen to me in the beginning of the scholastic year - all neat and coloured at the beginning of the year. and by the end of the year my notes would be in a complete mess! no colour or interesting titles :{

i really want to get myself a moleskin some day. i make use of a plain sketch book and i really want to see the difference!

elizabeth said...

Aimee, I am sooo with you on this. As both a writer and an artist, I've tried so many times to keep a journal or sketchbook. It's not that I don't draw or write, but I draw in margins and on scraps of paper, and I write in emails and letters and random to-do lists. But I'm traveling out of the country for the first time in March (Ireland!), and I really want to document that trip-- in my own messy, sporadic, disjointed, whatever kind of way. So I'll keep an eye on your "flawed" journal experiment as inspiration for my own.

And p.s. I should probably know this, but what medium do you do your work in? I get the impression that the backgrounds are done first, then the doodles/drawings/words later. Is that right? Have you written about your process somewhere already?

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