Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to 2014 and our brand spanking new blog schedule! *fanfare* *trumpets* *elephants peeing* (elephants always end up peeing at the wrong time).
Over the last few years, I have taken a lot of workshops. I love workshops. I love learning new things and getting excited about new techniques and adding more ammunition to my internal army. A lot of the workshops I have taken have been art journaling workshops. I don’t love art journaling. I love the techniques and the mixed media joy, but I usually just focus on that part and ditch the journaling. I don’t love all of the self-affirmation.
I take that back: I love self-affirmation. I think it’s great. You should totally sit in front of the mirror and tell yourself that, doggonit, people like you.
That is awesome. Go you.
HOWEVER. I feel like keeping an art journal is ALREADY self-affirmation. You are taking time out of your day to do something that is JUST for you. You’re not going to sell it. Chances are you probably won’t even show it to anyone. It’s just for you. That’s a huge pile of self-affirmation. In my opinion, that’s all you need.
I used to be a chronic journaler. I used to sit in Denny’s at 2:00 a.m. drinking cup after cup of really bad coffee and chainsmoking while writing down every little thought and feeling and imagined slight. My first handmade journal was a folder that I swiped from the medical records department of the clinic where I worked, filled with papers titled “progress notes,” so, feeling really clever, I carried this thing with me everywhere and called it my Progress Notes. That entire year, I made no progress. I would write until my eyes blurred then I’d get up in the afternoon, read it, and then get pissed off all over again. It was a burden, all those detailed memories. Nothing ever faded into obscurity. Nothing dimmed with time. The pain remained continually fresh. Once I stopped journaling like that, I was able to accept and move on. I think that’s the reason we don’t all have photographic memories.
SO. I am going to issue a challenge: Anti-Journal with me. We will keep a weekly art journal and will jam on some new techniques. We will not take ourselves so seriously. We will create a book that will be a chronicle of our year without a single use of the words “dream,” “believe,” or “faith.” We will focus on positive things. We will use some of those 100,000,000,092 pictures we take on a daily basis. We will make something that will be joy-centric.
You will make something that is authentically YOU.
This will be a low-pressure project. Each spread will be done in multiple parts, a little bit each day that shouldn’t take more than an hour or so. My own journal is 8 x 8, so each spread will be 8 x 16. I have inclusions between most of my pages, small 3-4 inch pieces, just to keep things interesting.
I am calling this the Chronicles Project, and I would love it if you played along! Next week I will show you my first spread and will give you prompts to use (if you need them). There will be a Mr. Linky widget so that you can link your blog. Let’s do this thing!!