Illustrated Journals

Gabriel Campanario sketch Feb 12, 2009
Gabriel Campanario sketch Feb 12, 2009

Words are important to me. I like to use the correct word for the correct item, thought or feeling. “The quilt on the back of the couch,” for example, is much better than “the thing on the back of the other thing.”

TFQ and I had a discussion about visual journals a week or so ago. A lot of stuff had been rattling around in my brain. She was obviously thinking about these issues as well, because she clearly and cleverly articulated what I was thinking. There were some of the central points of our discussion:

  • Both of us have writing journals, which we use to rant and rave and explain and digest.
  • Neither of us wanted to try to express our feelings in art in addition to doing it in the journals mentioned above.
  • We agreed that we both wanted more of a daily art practice.
  • Both of us want to try different techniques that we read about in blogs and magazines. We don’t always know how to do these techniques.
  • We are both having trouble getting started.

The conversation, a subsequent letter to TFQ as well as a variety of comments I have made in my journal have all been working towards getting myself started and clearly articulating the issue. It has all been the product of stuff floating around in my mind as I try and resolve this issue for myself. I have decided that what I want is not to do visual journaling, which for me means explaining or working out my feelings and commenting on my life using media other than words. I want to illustrate my journal – or a journal. By illustrated journal, I mean that I want to sketch little vignettes or paint scenes that have nothing to do with my words. I want to do this to inform my quiltmaking and to inject more creativity into my life.

I use the sketch above from Gabi Campanario as an example of my idea. He sketches what is around him. His sketches don’t seem to have anything to do with how he is feeling. He obviously has taken it to an art form, which I am not planning on doing. I want to test ideas and sketch for myself. My quilts are really for others.

My biggest issue is starting. I need someone to hold my hand. I thought that decorating the box would kick start me into shape. No dice. It was hard, it took a long time and didn’t dry very fast. I did enjoy making it, though.

I thought getting some creative prompts, like from the Creative Mom podcast, would jumpstart the process.
No dice.

Finally I told Julie that I needed her to hold my hand. We haven’t set a date yet, but I am hoping we will both have time soon.

In the process of this hand wringing, I have identified a couple of issues:

  • My stuff for non-quilt creativity is everywhere. I have to haul it out in order to do anything.
  • I have supplies that I don’t know how to use.
  • I don’t have a messy space in which to work (and it is Feb and raining outside).
  • I still want to focus on quiltmaking and fiber. I want this endeavor to be a little extra.

I did some sketching in 2008, but stopped for some reason, so I guess I could consider this small amount of work the start, which means my real problem is continuing….

Author: Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.