Art Journaling // August 2013

Art journaling is a good groove to get into. I love it for different reasons each time I force myself to do it. An ever-growing to-do list usually overpowers my creative will, but I know that making a big mess on the dining room table and letting it all loose is so good for my peace of mind. So I just do it.

My purpose for art-journaling is to flex my creative muscles and to just make something- no rules allowed- quickly, and without over-thinking the process. It’s a chance to explore shapes, composition, colors, and type without worrying about the outcome. While I work on setting up the background, I start processing any feelings I’ve been experiencing lately, and let that guide the content for my page or spread. I’ve been getting better about concisely sharing my thoughts or emotions, without turning my art journal into just a journal full of only words. I want this little book to just be filled with moments in time.

Here are my two most recent spreads I made over the weekend.

Mandi's art journal from Making Nice in the MidwestMandi's art journal from Making Nice in the MidwestMandi's art journal from Making Nice in the MidwestMandi's art journal from Making Nice in the MidwestMandi's art journal from Making Nice in the Midwest

15 Responses

  1. rachel says:

    Someone forgot to tell me that when you become a mom you go through this weird self-discovery/ self-questioning, who the hell am I phase? It’s like being fifteen again, but it’s harder because now you feel like these other people rely on you knowing who you are. looks like you’re working your way through it beautifully and thoughtfully.

  2. Annabelle says:

    This is so beautiful! It reminded me of my own art journal, sleeping under a crazy layer of dust on my desk. I really need to get back to it. My exploration of photography and drawing made me forget about it completely. I find art to help me get stuff out of my head and I try to do so in as many ways as possible, because my therapist knows how full my head is! Art is a great therapy. I’m still a teenager but I understand how you feel, though. It must be hard to be your own person when you have to think of all these adult things, and especially when you have to raise a brand new human and help them turn into a person of their own. I hope you will get everything straight one art journal page at a time. x

  3. maddie says:

    Every time I think I’m getting good at scrapbooking (if there is such a thing), you post one of your creations and bam!, I’m put back in my place :) My mind doesn’t think about composition and shapes when I’m making mine but I think that’s a great exercise that would be helpful with blog post layouts. I also like how you try to capture moments in your life by using sentences and thoughts rather than words. Isn’t that what scrapbooks are for – to capture your mental state a one moment in time. If you’re not going to remember from simple words – write it out!

    • Mandi says:

      Oh my goodness, Maddie! Stop it! You are fabulous. While you do make me feel good and special and all that fluffy stuff, I think you are wonderful and just a tiny bit hard on yourself. Just enjoy the creative process!

  4. alice says:

    people who are ‘judging you for not doing enough’ are people who’ve given in to the stress and never tried to make a creative life. i’m wowed you manage to juggle having a small baby, having just had cancer and major surgery and running this blog – let alone all the other things you must squeeze in! keep your chin up, beautiful lady! xxxx
    ps. maybe make some of your art journal pages into individual pieces + sell them as art? thrift shop frames? etsy? or scan it (at the library?) and make it into onlline graphics a la – your pages are beautiful!

  5. Sarah says:

    so cool! I might have to copy you

  6. giedre says:

    Thanks for a reminder of how important journals are! I’ve been trying to keep an art journal this summer and failing miserably, because by the time I finish my MASSIVE daily to-do list, I’m just usually so pooped! But I WILL get back on that!

  7. I agree with Rachel! I’m really struggling with trying to figure out what I want right now too—with a toddler, another baby on the way, a good, yet unfufilling job that we rely on as a family–how can I even begin to think about what it is that “I” want? I don’t even have time to file my nails!!! Before any of this, I remember thinking to myself one day how awesome it was to be me and how my life could stay the exact same and I would be happy forever. Well, that changed–and I love my little life and family, more than anything, but I do miss the old me. I sure hope she’s still in here somewhere!!!

  8. Annie says:

    I so appreciate this Mandi. I remember someone asking me this question when I was feeling the stress of never “doing enough”. The question was “How much is enough?” Because no matter how much or how little we “do” it may never be “enough”. Meaning..this is a pressure that is not from God. Also someone said this that stuck with me. We are human “beings” not human “doings.” Don’t get me wrong. I like knowing and having purpose and having that sense of accomplishment and achievement. But I have learned (through progressive life experience) to let God help me define that definition of what my “purpose” is more and more because I believe we were created to enjoy Him and enjoy and have life abundantly. As I walk with Him He has helped unload the burden of never doing “enough”.

  9. jenn says:

    loving this idea! i agree it’s hard to figure it all out and find an ideal balance without losing ourselves… i’m working on the “what i want to do” part as i make some career switches.. giving me hopefully flexibility with our littles, but bringing home enough. oh boy what a process!

  10. this is so wonderful. i used to keep a collage journal / art book but haven’t kept up with it as of late. this really makes me want to pick it back up again! thanks so much for sharing this, i really love it.

  11. Lisa W. says:

    I love this!!!!!!! Its looks like a scrapbook page, awesome:)

  12. katie says:

    So blessed by this post. we’re all asking ourselves the same questions!! nice to remember that we’re not alone in that, we’re all balancing and prioritizing and re-evaluating… beautiful journal pages too.

  13. Karyna says:

    I just found this post and your blog…. and I’m so glad I did! I love this, and the vibe and openness of your blog. Also, you’ve just inspired me to start an art journal. Thank you.
    There is something soft yet powerful about just putting it all on the dining room table, cutting, pasting, and letting that momentary emotion or creativity come through, exploring with “no rules allowed”, no expectations of “it must be good, must be perfect”. Such a wonderful, honest way to process emotion or experimentation that’s just for oneself. Thank you. :)