Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Masks of Humanity

The theme for this week's challenge at inchybyinch is "mask" so within that context, I created my own theme within a theme, "Masks of Humanity." The first inchy represents different facades of human nature. We wear each of those masks as necessary, some change them more frequently than the others. The second inchy is of humanity's perspective of itself. As a human race, when we look in the mirror, we see what we want to see rather than the actual truth. I didn't plan to make the masks on this theme. But when I started drawing the first one, and wondered about the colours, black and white emerged. And then the theme appeared in my head, with messages behind by masks.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Twinchie - Circle of Words

Twinchie for Small World of Inchies & Twinchies Challenge. The theme was "Circles"

Autumn Inchies

I made these inchies for a challenge over at InchbyInch. The theme for this week is "leaf"

My Art Journal - First Page

Okay, so it's not a great piece of art, but it is my first try with art journaling so I thought I had better keep it simple. I used the "connect" theme, from Creative Everyday challenge. The theme worked for me. I was trying to figure out how to start the journal so that it would show its purpose. It's also inspiration for the future, especially when at some point in the future, inspiration might be lacking.

Art Journaling for the First Time

I have been trolling the Internet for days, looking at blogs and images about Art Journaling. The idea of it occured to me when I bought my first moleskine few months ago, and saw Moleskine art people have posted on flicker. Finally, I have decided to try it.
I debated whether to start art-journaling in my regular every-day journal, or start a different journal. I've decided to go with a different one for now, so I can focus on learning and experimenting, and see what works for me.
I've discovered plenty of weekly challenges. It's actually amazing to find just how many people do incredible work in their art journals. I have started working on my first page with one of the challenges in mind, but not quite sure yet what direction I am going in. I like the pages of this moleskine. Besides usual good quality of the moleskine, the watercolour pages are textured and thick, so using the glue on the pages doesn't wrinkle the back. I know art journaling is supposed to be all about self-expression without worrying about tidiness. But my self-expression happens to need a tidy look on the page, so I need to put bit more thought into it.
Hopefully, I will post my first page tomorrow.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Journal Writing

Writing in my Journal has now become such a regular thing that I find something missing if I skip a few days. Often, I find myself wishing I had started earlier. But, as a child, I didn't know anyone who kept journals and so didn't even occur to me to keep them.

I started my first proper journal in 2000, gave up, and restarted in 2002. Since then, I have been a regular, and now very loyal journal writer. Currently, I am on my 15th Journal (picture shown), which will probably be finished in a few days, so excited to start a new one. And that doesn't include all the other journals I keep for special reasons, but more about that later.

What it is about rambling on a paper? I certainly don't do it with the intention of sharing, because my journals are completely private. Perhaps, it is the satisfaction of recording things that are important to me as my daily life goes on. Things that seem mundane now, may not be years later. When I look back at my older journals, I wish I had put more details. I also wish I had wrote more happier things. I tended to use my initial journals as more of a moaning place, so now when I look back, it seems all miserly - which obviously wasn't the total picture of my life.

Over the years, I have tried various techniques, adding new things and see how they work. I am still working on my own unique technique. But that's the beauty of a personal journal - your madness doesn't have to have any method. You can do whatever you please, as long as pleases you.

My hunt for journals is worse than shopping for clothes. It has to be right. It has to appeal at that moment. Pages have to be thick enough so I can use a fountain pain. Journal has to be durable enough that pages won't fall apart with constant use. The writing experience must be a pleasure. That is the key for journal writing.

Up until now I have used variety of journals, and bought a different one every time, but since using a moleskine for a travel journal few months ago, I think I am falling in love. Might just become a total moleskine addict, though I am not completely giving up on other journals yet.

And it is a pleasure that I look forward to every day, and hope to continue for years to come.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Keeping a Journal

"When a person dies, a library is burned" - Edmund White
You just read the above quote. Now read it again out loud. Repeat is slowly, with your eyes closed. Do those words create a picture in your mind?
In my mind, they create an extraordinarily vivid picture. In my mind’s eye I see a face; I see human eyes, and as I gaze into them, I get a glimpse inside the mind. A mind full of memories, shelves and shelves stacked with archives of that person’s life; all the joys, sorrows, achievements, regrets - all chaotically piled. From the mind, my gaze slides further down to the heart and there I see more shelves. These shelves are full of love given and received, emotions expressed and stifled, words not spoken, wasted time on hate and anger. Then, even deeper, I get a glimpse of the soul. The rows and rows full of books are endless…there is so much here.
Everything this person has ever experienced in their life, every being they have ever encountered and all the things that have effected this person - it is all listed in this library. All the knowledge that if that person had a chance to sort through it, they would be closer to their true SELF then they could have ever thought possible. Even as I am looking, in the distance I see the flames. They are expanding, eating up the shelves at a steady but fast pace; parchments burn, shelves crumble and books fall in a heap on the floor before they too are consumed by the relentless fire. Within moments all that remains are charred crumbs of what used to be a human being with a unique place in the universe.
Each of us has a unique place in this universe. We may not be important enough to show up on TV or write about in Newspapers, but we are important nonetheless. We have our own purpose to find, our own destiny to fulfil. Journals are a way to record this journey - a unique perspective, a unique story that can only be told by the one person who is living it. A journal has a purpose as unique as the person who is keeping it. It can be a very private place to record all your thoughts and your views; something you may not want to be read by any but your own eyes. Or it can be a legacy you can leave to your descendants; something that may give them a glimpse of their own unique heritage. A journal could be anything you want it to be - a simple notebook, or a creative artistic project. The possibilities are endless.
A journal is not a diary. Christina Baldwin gave these definitions of journals and diaries in her book, “One to One: Self-Understanding through Journal Writing”: “…traditionally, diary connotes a more formal pattern of daily entries, serving primarily to record the writer’s activities, experiences and observations. A diary tends to be outwardly focused.”
“The Word journal is loosely defined as an intermittent record of the inner life, written consistently, but not necessarily on a daily basis. A journal often provides a place for writers to explore the more subterranean aspects of themselves; those things which are the hardest to share with others, and often the hardest to understand even in our own minds.”
My own journal is a combination of diary and a journal. I like to record events and things that happen in my life - outward focus - but I also like to delve deeper into my consciousness to seek the answers that lie hidden. Over the years, my journals have grown with me. I started off, recording daily happenings in monotonous way…then looking back at one of the old journals I thought it looked a bit boring. So I started researching techniques of journal writing, and was amazed to find vast amount of resources available on the Internet. Through my research and experimenting within my own journals, I have come to believe that a journal is a place for complete self-expression. Write, draw, doodle, paste photos….do whatever you want. A journal is your place - your world - seen from your own perspective. It can be as colourful or as grim as you deem it to be.
If you are unsure about how to start your own journal, here are some free resources to get you going: