I finished this up this weekend for my students in Book Of Days, which is a year long art journaling offering that I’ve been doing since 2012.
It was super fiddly to work on because all those fruits and leaves and things are collage. Cut, paste, cut paste. Not my favourite thing to do, and now that I’ve demonstrated it, I’ll probably never do it again. Hah!
I love the results, but I would have been happier working on this if I’d hand drawn all those elements. They wouldn’t have been quite as well rendered as these are (they’re from a collection of clip art from a watercolorist), but they wouldn’t have required all that blasted cutting and gluing, and I would have had the satisfaction of having done them myself.
I love *looking* at work done by collage artists, though. Like, whoa. So beautiful! Teesha Moore’s work is especially inspiring to me. I love all the little details she includes in every one of her journal pages, and how well integrated everything looks. And while I’m sure I *could* do things that way, I don’t *love* doing things that way. Thankfully her work in this world exists, and I get to gaze at it (pardon the drool pouring out of my face!) with awe and love.
Kelly Kilmer is another collage artist I admire. Her work has this delicious hybrid feeling to it with plenty of paint being thrown in at the collage images she chooses to work with.
She achieves moods in her journals that really speak to me, and she makes me want to *try* doing things this way, which is always inspiring, but ultimately, there’s that cutting and gluing thing, so I opt instead to gaze in awe and take it all in.
I think, if you’re going to be really good at something, you have to love all the steps it takes to get from blank page to finished work. I love tearing up papers and using them in my background, but cutting? Not so much. I get cramps in my hands from all that cutting, and the process feels way too tedious for me. I prefer the ease of paint + paint pens, a few stamps, and my favourite lettering pens, so that’s what I’ll stick with.
An occasional foray into the unknown is good for the soul, though. I like trying things that aren’t in my ‘list of favourite things to do’ just to see if my tastes have changed. Like, when I first started painting faces, I had to do them in pencil first, with lots of fiddling over proportions. I liked really clean looking faces – almost illustrative, but I evolved, and tried new things (Stabilo All!) and my faces got looser and more expressive, less tight and more painterly.
It’s how we grow, right? Try things. Discern what works and what doesn’t. Stick with what works.
And blessedly for all of us, there will always be artists out there who do the things we can’t or won’t do so we have a world of beauty to gaze upon.
Today’s Nudge: Feature one or two people who do what you do but in a different way in your blog today.
There’s a bunch of us blogging along in September. Find out more here, or pop your email address in the box below, and I’ll send you a nudge to blog every day along with a link to my daily writings.
P.S. LIFE BOOK 2018 is open for registration, y’all! Early Bird ends December 31st, so get it while you can!