Wednesday, May 06, 2009
My friend Violette has had her first book published. Its called Journal Bliss and it is a fun and whimsical guide to visual journaling. Violette teaches you lettering, drawing faces, making transfers, decorative backgrounds and more. She has great ideas on borders and making art on envelopes. There are also wonderful prompts to get you started on your own journals. One of my favorites is Symbolic Stories and the Journal page about the Strapless Ball Gown. With Violette's permission I show it here.
Here is the page describing symbolic stories
I love the journal page that goes with it.
Here are Violette and myself when we met last year in Sedona.
Blog Book Tour
I am delighted to be a part of her blog book tour. As part of promoting Violette's book I am including a short interview with her. I hope you enjoy it.
1. What advice can you give about actually finishing a big project. I often get bogged down and lose my desire to work on something. With a project as big as Journal Bliss I know you had to stay focused and motivated. How did you do that?
Good question Kate. As you know (since you've known me for a few years) I have difficulty maintaining my interest for long periods of time so this was a challenge. The cool thing was though that if I looked at Journal Bliss like being several mini books - like several essays rather than one very long book then I felt it was doable. In the book I talk about eating an elephant one bite at a time - if I didn't do it this way it would have been too overwhelming to complete. I looked at each chapter as manageable. Then each chapter was broken down further - what do I need to cover in Doodling?? And then it would be broken down even more. Journal Bliss was fast tracked meaning I was told to do it in half the time of a normal book so that helped me to stay focussed. The book was my main project for over 6 months - I lived, ate and breathed it! So my advice to you is to break down your project into sections - for example, backgrounds, borders, faces and lettering. Look at each section as one project......before you know it these baby steps will lead you to a completed project! You'll look back and think....now that wasn't so bad was it?
2. Do you have any process you use when you are getting ready to create, like putting on an apron, doing a small meditation, etc? Just how do you bring your creativity out to play?
I'd really like to say that I do and in fact I encourage others to do so if it works for them. Basically though I surround myself with my creative tools and quite frankly I live in an insanely creative place with art and colour everywhere not to mention inspiring messages plastered in every nook and cranny. That makes it easier to create I believe. If everywhere you look there is inspiration and reminders of one's innate creative spirit then the creative process is a joy and needs only be given the word to spill open onto the latest project. But on another note.....sometimes I will don a funky red hat and pretend that I'm a housecleaner - it sometimes tricks me into thinking I'm someone else! Maybe one day I'll make a "Colourful Magic Hat" like the coat in Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. Donning the magic hat will help put me in the creative space. I'll let you know how that works out!
3. I think there can be a lot fear in Art, how do you access your inner bravery and conquer that fear?
Yes there can be fear - the fear of not being good enough, not having anything of value to convey etc. I access my inner bravery (by the way I really like that saying!) by simply showing up and doing the work. I've learned that I have come into the world to show up and create art and that creating art is pure joy for me. Sometimes though I simply have to draw or paint the fear - the fear can show up as the Inner Critic as in one of my Journal Pieces. Giving the fear a face whether it be 2D or 3D is very powerful juju! Somehow some of the charge on it is released by the very act of giving it an outlet. It's almost as though I say "Here you go......I am giving you life so please could you go away now?" Basically what I'm saying is approach your fear. Often when you do the fear dissipates.
4. When you feel like you have been doing the same old thing how do you find new inspiration? How do you translate that inspiration into your own style?
Well that's the beauty of the net don't you think? Inspiration is just a click away - plus with all of the paper arts and alternative magazines out there one is never short on different avenues to take artistically speaking. I'll often look at something and it twigs an idea in my mind to create a piece - rarely is it exactly like the piece I saw on the net or in a magazine. A while ago I was at a bookstore and I saw an illustration of a Sun which was whimsical. I was so inspired by it that I rushed home and did my own version. When I returned to the store and looked at the Sun illustration which was my original inspiration I noticed that my version was radically different. It's a good idea to not have the other artists work in front of you - just the thought or idea of it can spark a new piece. For example you may see a necklace that you really love in Belle Armoire Jewellery - it's a beaded piece with sections of copper wire twisted here and there. Now let's say that you're a doll artist. So you decide to make a similar necklace but the difference would be that you add a miniature doll as the focal point or pendant. Voila! Your piece is now uniquely yours! Do you see what I mean - we can put our own spin on things and create something originally ours. Remember everything has been done before, nothing is new just revamped and sometimes improved.
5. What is the biggest surprise you learned about yourself or your art while writing Journal Bliss?
The biggest surprise was that I could actually stick to something for that long a period.......I mean usually one month is the longest I stick to one project. That's probably why I'm not too fond of one year long round robins. I need immediate gratification most of the time in order to satisfy that little "I need a quick fix in order to not get bored inner child". So like I mentioned above I needed to reframe creating the book by seeing it as a series of mini books or essays and projects. Once I could wrap my head around that then I was good to go. Don't get me wrong - there were many days I was whining to my partner about all of the work that had to be done however generally speaking I surprised myself by just doing it. Another thing that surprised me was the journal pages that kept showing up that were relevant and poignant. It's as though they had a life of their own and were lining up asking to be given life. I love it when that happens!
Thanks Violette for such a wonderful interview. You can check out her blog for further information on her blog book tour and see many more fun interviews.