My Visual Journal: The only New Years Resolution I ever kept up
It was Christmas 2010 and as usual, I spent most of my time down reading inspirational and creative blogs in hopeful anticipation of becoming one of those creative types in 2011.
They always seem to have these awesome notebooks with doodles in them incorporated in with their shopping lists, and they looked incredible. They weren’t finished pieces, they were an integral part of these artists’ lives. I’d kept a diary intermittently since I was little, so this seemed like a natural progression.
My uncle Paedro always gives me an Amazon voucher, so I went off researching the books that would by process of osmosis, bestow upon me powers of creative notebookery.
While I waited for my learnings to arrive via snail mail, off I went to the Art and Hobby and got myself a fancy new notebook.
I spent New Year’s Eve at a party at the boyfriend of the time’s place, two LONG bus journeys away. I knew I’d have the time, and I wanted to get cracking with this new ‘creative life strategy’ thing I’d read so much about.
I drew the back of two women’s heads on the bus, and thought I was the biggest LEGE-BAG going.
The quality of the actual art is irrelevant. I felt like I had taken a leap in to the unknown. I liked this feeling. It made me feel like I had something special, just for myself. So, I kept it up.
I carried it with me all the time – even when it was annoying, and heavy, and I didn’t feel like it. I rarely used it, but I did drag it around with me, and I did use it from time to time.
Over the last few years I’ve continued the tradition, and now, particularly in the last couple of months, I actually use it a lot.
It taught me to be less precious and just jump in to try things out. I have a rule about not tearing pages out of covering them over, because all mistakes are part of the process at the end of the day. It’s all a record of where you’ve been, and I shouldn’t hide that part of me.
[blockquote text=”No one will ever get to read my journals, and because of that I can be free to do and say what I want within them. Everyone should have something or somewhere they can do that.” show_quote_icon=”yes”]
Tonight is New Year’s Eve, and everyone will be resolving their heads off come midnight. I hope you find something worth sticking with. <3
If you don’t think you’re creative but want to try, this is an easy way to start. If you’re already artistic and familiar with the ways of the notebook, then this is where your journey ends: stop reading.
- Buy a notebook. I like Paperblanks and Moleskine ones, but the main things you need to keep in mind are:
- Blank pages. No lines.
- It should be able to fold flat, so you can paint across the two pages seamlessly.
- The paper should be thick enough to not disintegrate if you paint on it.
- Don’t get a massive one with loads of pages. It can be overwhelming to start if you have a million blank pages staring at you.
- Get some art stuff.
- Pens, pencils, pastels, one of those travel watercolour sets. Whatever you want to try out. You don’t need loads of fancy stuff. Have you seen the stuff people do with a bic biro on YouTube? Try out whatever you have, then add to it over time. For example: I hate pencils, so I started out with chalk pastels and and a black uniball pen. Now I use water soluble pens, water colours and these cool water brush pens.
- Get motoring!
- Do something. Anything. If the first page is daunting, skip a few pages.
- Draw/write/doodle/play/scribble/cut out pics and stick them in/whatever.
- I mix it up: writing lists, drawing random stuff around me, keeping a diary, planning paintings, and planning world domination!