Years ago, a librarian planted the seed for an idea that just came to fruition today.
Back in 2001, I found myself in a meeting with a public library who wanted to exhibit some of my visual journals in their gallery.
That was cool with me.
Until the curator of the exhibit said, “What we want to do is make giant copies of your visual journal pages and hang them up on the walls.”
There was an awkward moment where I tried (once again, in vain) to describe the creative process behind my visual journals. They’re not art…but they are artifacts of a creative journey.
It’s like meditation, but with art supplies.
This is my creative therapy and how I problem solve, so it’s really private… Etc.
Up until this point, my visual journals were only shared with people in my workshops. It would be another year before I started blogging and showing selected images from my visual journals online.
Having a group of art curators thumbing through my journals made me so vulnerable it was hard for me to speak intelligently. I felt so exposed, but also embarrassed: for not knowing what I expected out of the meeting but also not expecting for so much shame crop up.
I wasn’t comfortable just displaying big copies of my journals without the proper context, and hurried out of the library red-faced with my stack journals stuffed into a bag.
But the idea stayed with me. What would it be like to see big poster-sized, or even billboard-sized images from my visual journals?
Now I can show you. Here’s a peek inside my outdoor art studio in Oaxaca, Mexico. It has beautifully worn terra cotta tiles, perfect for getting messy with more paint.
This video shows you what the images look like inside my visual journal. I use all sorts of materials for my journals, usually blank artist sketchbooks. This one is made from an altered book.
Watch this space for a step-by-step tutorial on how to make wall-sized art out of your own favorite journal pages. It took a few tries to get the result I wanted, so I’ll share what I’ve learned in case you want to try this yourself.
It’s been a long, slow process for me to be able to share the pages of my own visual journal publicly. They really are artifacts of my own internal creative process, so not that much will ever be seen by others.
Even though I’ve been blogging all these years, I still struggle with making such an internal process visible to others.
But this is exactly what helps people find out about the work I do. My reason for sharing these pages, even in my own workshops, is to inspire others: Here’s what is possible. Here’s what you can do.
Now I can see the value to taking some of the pages and making them big. My creative journey artifacts can be upcycled into art. Why not?
I walk by my outdoor studio dozens of times a day and see the message: Love the Journey… and that makes me happy.
How do you feel about sharing your own visual or art journal pages with others?
What questions do you have about making your own visual journal pages into art you can hang on the wall ? I’ll try to answer them…