Writing a journal and making things have been the creative constants in my adult life. I can trace their roots back to my childhood, but I want to talk about what they mean to me as an adult. I began writing a journal when I was in college, after reading the diaries of Anais Nin. I have been journaling ever since, for well over 40 years.
Writing in a journal is where i figure out what I am thinking and feeling. I don’t try to compose for others to read, I just write. Sometimes I’m dumping feelings, sometimes I’m trying to make sense of something that is worrying me. Journaling is a companion. I frequently carry a notebook with me so that if I’m alone in a coffee shop, or waiting for an appointment, I can write about whatever project I’m currently working on.
Making things, sometimes what I would call “art”, but also more utilitarian things is my other constant. Making art has always been a desire of mine, but it has been a struggle to let myself devote time and resources to it until about 10 years ago. I was at the beginning of a really difficult transition time, I read about an art retreat happening a couple of hours away. I had an overwhelming desire to go, and despite the voice in my head saying it was too much money and impractical, I listened to the desire and went.
Spending 4 days making art in classes and hanging out with women who made art making a priority in their lives changed me. Making art became a priority in my life. I connected with other women from the retreat and developed a supportive network of art making friends which has continued and grown stronger over the last 10 years. I have called myself an artist ever since that retreat. I still struggle with the inner critic saying it’s not practical, but more often I listen to the deep desire that called me to that retreat.
Making art and writing are both ways for me to examine my world. Both help me figure myself out. Playing with color, shape and pattern in a loose way while painting or making collage loosens my left brain/analytical mind and allows my right brain intuition to rise to the surface and make connections I wouldn’t so easily make with my conscious mind.
I teach classes that use the visual journal as a vehicle for exploring one’s creativity in a personal container (the journal or sketchbook). The visual journal is a safe place to play with color, shape and pattern in your own style. Even if you think you don’t have a creative bone in your body, or that you can’t draw, you will enjoy this loose and open structure.
The visual journal can become a tool for creative problem solving, allowing and inviting your deep desire to speak to you through art making or writing or both. I offer tools and techniques to help you access the answers waiting within you.