Tuesday, November 20, 2007

evolution of a journal

At the beginning of this year, I bought myself a gorgeous, chunky, lined and dated moleskine diary with the intention of capturing something in it each day, in a way that was different from the usual way of keeping a diary. I bought it because I loved the feel of it, the weight of it in my hand, the dark hard covers, the smooth shiny pages which pens and markers glide so beautifully across.

When I discovered mandalas, they became my way of keeping a diary. And it's the one activity (apart from keeping this blog) that I have been doing with any consistency and regularity throughout the year, so much so that it has become a natural daily practice, and it's all come about organically. It has been a true journal in so many ways, and I didn't even realise it. And just cos it's lined, and I don't paint in it, shouldn't have lessened its value as an "art" journal to me in any way.

It's not only been a personal space, my personal space, it's been a practice of spontaneity and freedom within a simple structure. I have also experimented and played instinctively with colour, design, line, character - things I love most about drawing and making drawings, free from the harsh self-criticism that I usually unleash over my other so called "proper" attempts at art. And free from expectation. So - I had already been keeping an "art" journal and I hadn't even realised it, because I thought an art journal had to be something else, something that looked different to what this looks like, something more elaborate, something more "serious", something a lot more "arty", whatever that means. In the end, I didn't really need somebody else to tell me how to do this. All I really needed to do was trust myself.

Realising this makes me both sad and happy. Sad because I didn't see the value of what I was doing until now, but happy that I finally have. And also relieved, because I don't have to try to be anything or anyone "artistically" other than who I am. I am also relieved, because it means I can let certain things go and simplify and concentrate on the things that really matter to me. I had already been trying to do far too much.

I can't wait to buy my moleskine diary for 2008. And next year, in addition to mandalas, I will perhaps aim to fill the whole page with line and colour and words. And I might just share some of them with you too. ;-)


Ellen Lyn said...

Love your mandalas....and hope you will be sharing more in the future!!

Teri C said...

Such wonderful mandalas! I love them all but that second one is awesome-my favorite so far.

Good way to use a dairy. I was thinking of getting a calendar Moleskine for 2008-if I can find a small one.

nĂ  said...

yay!!!! good for you! your mandalas are a great original way of doing your journal! and it's fab that you are doing what you want to do and not what you feel like you're meant to. there are no rules in this kind of thing, i don't think.
have a nice day ms hb!!!

steve said...

Way to go! All of these are gorgeous, and you gotta love the Moleskines. I have yet to get myself a lined one, and by the looks of it, they hold up quite well. yes, this is a difficult place to be--this questioning of yourself and what is art, or true or serious art. Anymore, like you, I do what i like to do. I've been through all the formalism in college and enjoyed and hated it. Many times you have to unlearn what you have learned to find your own voice, and to also simply have fun. If ypu find the time, you might want to consider making Artist Trading Cards with this type of art. A couple of fun trading groups are Fine Arts ATC at yahoo, and Monday artday ATC. Both can be found in my bloglines. Anyhow, keep up the beautiful work!

Nina said...

your mandalas are soooooooooooo gorgeous.

yeah baby, share them words and pictures with me:-))

Paige Keiser said...

Oh wow how inspiring!

About me said...

wow I love the first one so much.
it's so cute =)

Unichorn said...

I'm so glad for you you found this insight. Doing it for yourself, in your own way, is the way to go, girl! ;) And as I said, not only are the mandala's a great way for you to journal, they keep getting better and better too. (Although that's not the point of course, but stil :D)

Brahdelt said...

Good for you! Your mandalas always tell a story. *^v^*