{ a beautiful disaster }

It was about three weeks ago that I decided to work on art and the 'zine full-time, and in that time, I haven't blogged all that much, I know. As the deadline for the 'zine closed in, I became more and more absorbed by the work. I was suffering from that Gap, the one described in the video I posed a few days ago. I see art I love and want to re-create it, or create things that good -- and, well, I'm not there yet. So I agonized and tweaked things and, then, hit major writer's block. Big time.

You see, I forgot the one thing I'd learned a few years ago with my writing: aim to create a beautiful disaster.

It's an art in itself. I have a habit of over-thinking, over-researching, striving to write something people would think was wonderful, amazing, the best thing ever. So I'd think ahead, reading over my sentences and paragraphs, wondering if there was a better way to write what I was trying to say. You see, a little bit before this whole thing started, I'd written something for fun, a whim filled with all my favorite things that was really popular. More than my wildest dreams (okay, maybe about there). And as soon as that project was finished, I was faced with that problem of what do I do now? Feeling I'd let people down if I didn't outdo myself, I came to a halt. As of now, I've started the sequel three times and have yet to get past two chapters before I can't go any farther.

So I said to myself, "I'm going to make a mess." A total mess. Write scenes and toss 'em out. Do outlines that made no sense. Add notes in the middle of chapters. Write more than one version of scenes and such. Write things that have nothing to do with what I'm working on (right now, something that started as a writing exercise has morphed into a full project of its own!).

Funny that this philosophy took a little longer to make it into my art life. Considering the one "rule" of mixed-media and art journaling is there are no rules, a frame of mind geared towards many mistakes, messes, slips of paper, and inspiration from odd sources would seem to fit perfectly. Nope. Again, I was seeing things I loved, wishing I could create just as well, and, well, just generally over-thinking things. Afraid to "ruin" a background I'd spent a half-hour making, I'd move onto something else, hoping the "right thing" would come into my mind. I'd not use pens for fear of running out of ink.

I got over that. Sure. But I never incorporated things well. For example:


A spread from my current journal. The page on the left was a background I loved, then just said, "What the hell?" and started working. There was a thought in my head and I started with one marker. Didn't like that. Used another. Didn't like that. Got a pencil. Bingo! Did I cry? Did I get angry and paint over the entire page? No! I just went with it. And now, I have this great page that's filled with all these attempts and colors that looks like a mess. Exactly what I was looking for!

The right-hand page is REALLY a mess. I started writing some prose in the middle (because I'm no longer afraid to write, just write, in an art journal). The next day, I was watching a movie and wanted to doodle, so I just started on this page. Then played with markers. A few days later, I got some new ink for my printer and thought the page looked cool, so ripped a piece and put it in. And finally, I had pretty new glaze I wanted to try, so I smeared it all over everything. There's not an even coat of paint, or a central image, but I love it nonetheless. It's messy. Has white space. Thrown together. And is one of my favorites.

My beautiful disaster.

So here's my challenge to you: make a disaster. The face of your journal will never be the same, if you do it right. Worse than your worst page. Throw caution to the wind. Be haphazard. Do all the things your art teacher or parents would gawk at. I promise, no one will ground you!