WOYWW 157 – art journaling

Now the hullabaloo of the third anniversary WOYWW has passed, I am playing with some art journaling.  I began my first page yesterday and it’s what’s on my desk today.  I am not sure I have the passion for art journaling, but I decided to give it a go.  The class on UKS has been popular and lots of people seem to be delving in to it, so I figured I might as well.  Not sure if I’ll continue, but I did make a little 12 page journal using watercolour paper from a pad that I had hanging around and I think even I can manage that.

It’s still in its infancy but so far I’m liking it well enough.  This page is about how I would think to myself that I would art journal when pigs fly – and look, here I am giving it a go.  I guess I’ve always been less inclined to share my thought on anything other than my kids, through my scrapbooking.  I’m not really one to lay it all out there, IYKWIM.  But I do enjoy the arty process so I may focus on that more than a core dump of my head.  But maybe the process will  be freeing, who knows.  I guess it’s one thing to make an art journal that only you see and a very different matter to make one that you share. But my first attempt is less likely to involve real deep truths so I feel ok about it.  As things develop, IF they develop, that may change.  Navel gazing isn’t really something that benefits from reaching a wide audience LOL! I suspect I would be too inclined to edit my thoughts if I know strangers are reading them.

I quite like the bright turquoise and  lime scheme and it was a great excuse to get out come rarely used stamps.  Mr. Pig got masked to add the wings and it actually worked out pretty OK.  My Sharpie paint pen burped out a dime (5p) sized blot over the dotty letters so I had to try to cove that with a quick swipe followed by a bit of Sharpie.  It’s OK, but I’ll always know it’s there.

Now the crushingly intimidating part – writing with my own hand!  Ugh.  I could chicken out and go for all stamps or snippets of text but this is just an experiment so I will be brave.

I would love to share my ATC but it was coming all the way from the Philippines care of Patsy and hasn’t arrived yet.  I’ll share it the first WOYWW after  I get it.  I’m hoping Neet got mine by now.  Fingers crossed the postie didn’t drop it in a puddle!

Stop by Julia’s place and you can find out all about WOYWW and if you hop the blogs you will likely see many of the ATCs exchanged.  I’m really looking forward to it myself.


Art Journal samples made digital

I was playing around with paints and made a small ATC sized art journal sample piece.  I am new to all this so I really was just having a play.  I just used a couple of colours, and some white, and a plasterers texture scraper – it’s a bit like a credit card on one edge but the other has some saw-tooth like notches.  The thing is, my craft mat was a bit messy and the scrapper, which I use a lot, had some residual ink and other muck on it, so scraping it across the sample left bits of other colours, of black ink, of all kinds of stuff.  This is what it looks like in its natural state:

And just a bit closer so maybe you can see the texture of it:

I was looking at it and really, really liked it.  But I know from experience there was no way I was ever going to be able to duplicate it, or even get close.  Sure, I might make another one, but it may not be as nice – it could be better, but chances are it won’t be,  ’cause life’s like that.  So I thought how might I capture it to make good use of it? It’s only 2.5 x 3.5 so nt a lot that can be done with it in that small size.  I thought about the printables that I make and thought what if I use my own sample to create something that uses the sample as the colour, rather than a flat colour fill?

I first scanned my small sample at 300 dpi.  I opened that in PSE, as well as a blank file.  Then I set about creating a number of border-y things – rows of triangles, scallops, banners (mostly by tiling the Shape Tool images to fit across the page) in black.  I dragged in my sample then did the  Create Clipping Mask thing to fill the black with my sample.  Cool.

I also did the more simple  Select>Paste for some plain circles.

I love the look of the checkerboard edges (I love them on my scrapbook pages too, and have lots of that sort of paper collected) so I also made a strip of solid black and solid white squares.  I aligned the squares. selected just the black, then just the white,  doing a Merge Visible on each group.  Then I filled the white ones with black too, and added the Texturizer on them, just so they didn’t look quite so flat.  Did the same clipping mask command to fill one set with my sample then staggered the two strips (one black, one with my sample) to create a checkerboard.

Here’s what they look like printed!

I can now print them and cut them out to use them on anything I like.  I did take the further step to copy over the two black box strips to another file and saved it as CHECKERBOARD.  That way I can drag over anything else I want, to create that pattern with ease.  I did the one, then duplicated it so I had three of them, but in future I think I would make different ones so the coloured areas aren’t the same on all three – the idea was to be able to create a longer strip, and I can still alter them a bit by copying over the strips and flipping them or overlapping bits so they a double-length strip isn’t just the same “pattern” side-by-side, but it would be easier to create different strips for more variety.

So from a small 2.5 x 3.5 sample. I now have a full sheet of collage clips – and one that I can mess about with, doing colour variations, for example, to create even more fun stuff.

It only took about an hour to do so no reason I wouldn’t do this for any sample that I make that I really like.  And I expect I will play about a bit more with the tools and techniques before I decide if the whole art journal thing is for me.  I am feeling too splintered at the moment, with scrapbooking, making printables, art journaling, even making cards and ATCs all fighting for dominance in my head space.  Something has to give, but in my heart of hearts I know scrapbooking is likely to win out.

It’s interesting.  I wonder if the art journaling thing is a more honest expression of who some of us scrapbookers are as (dare I say it? Yep.) artists?  MOST scrappers I know say they make their pages for their kids, for their family, as a record of their lives.  But as time goes on, some of them have also said to me, almost as if it is sacrilegious, that they really scrapbook for themselves, as an artistic expression that happens to use family photos.

Maybe it’s almost as an excuse for making time for art, as if they need to justify it with the higher purpose of doing it “for the kids.”  Now I am IN NO WAY saying that is true for every scrapbooker, but I do wonder if the progression of some scrappers from layouts to art journals (which tend to be by, for, about, the creator – I mean if there is  an art journaler out there who is journaling someone ELSES life, I’ve yet to stumble across them!) is because the kids grow up, move out, move on, and all of a sudden there is this gap where the reams of photos each month dwindle to a handful, the grandparents have enough mini-books to keep them happy, and there you are.  A scrapper with few photos to scrap (unless you are happy to live in the past and catch up on all the unscrapped photos from years back) and all this creative energy with no outlet.

It’s hard (at least it is for me) to make the shift to scrapping stuff I care about, or aspects of my life.  I am in awe of Shimelle because she does it so easily.  Is it because she started out scrapping her own life? Is it harder to go back and adjust your focus, and is art journaling easier because you are beginning fresh, with a new purpose?  I am just FULL of questions today! But that is enough.  I’m clearly in an introspective mood and maybe THAT has to do with considering art journaling as well!  I’ll leave it, but if you have thoughts on this, comment and let me know.