{art journal + inspiration book = ?}


Not that I’m happy about a certain bookstore chain biting the dust (in fact, I had a few months left of my Plus membership), but it did help to spur on this new wave of journaling juju I’m working through.

You see, Becca and I visited the nearest Borders still open, which was near her place, but 40 minutes from mine (I’ve become a huge fan of used bookstores in this Borders-less era, which works since I live across the street from one of the best-known used/new indie bookshops in the state) and wandered the very crowded store for whatever we could find. Being as I work for myself (scraping by as I continue to morph and change and figure out my place in this digital artistic landscape) and Becca is underemployed in child-care, there wasn’t much we could afford — Amazon has lower prices, anyway — but we could afford the magazines.

I haven’t really been into womens’ magazines past Bust and Bitch — two amazing publications, the later of which is a non-profit media machine funded by women all over the country — only buying, and this is fun, Japanese fashion magazines for years as I love Harajuku fashion, as it is. But my darling Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine was on the cover of Nylon, and at 40% off, I simply had to have it.

Let’s backtrack a bit. This isn’t a story that can be told linearly, rather, my mind doesn’t think in a straight line — what is that quote? Time exists so things don’t happen all at once?

"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." - Albert Einstein

There we go.

A month ago, I went to Art Unraveled to meet up with Dina and finally get to meet Traci in-person, and got the chance to page through the Journal Fodder Junkies journals while the other artists were speaking.

(Rice asked questions of the artists gathered, about inspiration, which you can see here. Extra credit if you can spot me for a few seconds!)

I think I’d already been thinking about how my journals had gradually moved away from where I started; a few years ago, I decided to stop using magazine images in my journals, and even did a radical experiment of creating an entire journal without any outside imagery. It wasn’t that I don’t like journals with magazine bits in them, just that I was in a different place — I, personally, didn’t like the aesthetic in my own work.

From an entry back in 2009:

So, today, I sat in the studio, turned up my iPod, and started painting. It looked great. And then, I kept going, and going, and BAM -- I could feel the teenager inside me screaming and crying, telling me to destroy it. "No, I can't do that," Older Me told her, "It is valuable in it's imperfections. It shows us what we don't like." "But we know what we DO like," she shouted back. "Why can't we just go back to that? To the way it was?" "Because how will we grow?" I said. "I was getting bored with acrylics and paintbrushes and drawings." "Then pull out the magazines," Teenage Kira advised. "You thought you were being all smart, deciding to not use them, but you really do like them sometimes." So I did. And made some awesome pages.

Oh, how clever I thought I’d been. But, in looking through those journals, with all those scraps of paper from the places they’d been, found walking around the block (Dave had a quote about this, about walking around your block and picking up the bits you find before getting started in the studio), I recognized a yearning that beforehand didn’t have a name, that I was missing that bit of journaling that more resembled a book of inspiration than a painting on each page. I knew, then, that I’d be taking a new turn by going back in the past — think of it this way; I was using something I learned in school I never thought I’d ever use. We’ve all had moments like this, that surprise at using knowledge we thought useless, that we’d never visit again.

Except now I’m a new me, which means it isn’t the same person looking at the prospect of using magazine images in her journal, so it’s turned into something new. Instead of being a journal full of only paint and artist’s pages, it is now a place where anything I find inspiring is taped or glued down right beside experiments with stencils or even the stencils themselves!

And I like this hybrid return to my roots. It coincides with some soul work I’m doing with the blog, and my identity on the internet as part of Gwen Bell’s Align Your Website. I told you last week that I’d be making changes in real-time, and you’ll soon be seeing the bare-bones as I work to figure out the content and framework for a new digital sanctuary.

As part of this, I’ll be stepping back from social media (such as Twitter & Facebook), so if you’d like to visit or keep in contact, check in here or the weekly newsletter. I’ll be posting daily, either long or short bits, and sending out the newsletter. And as True to You 2’s last lesson will be posted on Monday, I’ll be back to offering videos. I don’t know how long I’ll be taking a break from social media, but figure I’ll know the end when it happens.