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. ;-)