Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Art Journaling Every Day

Maintaining motivation as an artist can sometimes be the biggest challenge, especially when there are so many distractions throughout the day. But the web can be a wealth of inspiration in these times, there are so many wonderful challenges, prompts, and inspiration around the web that I sometime find it hard to know which ones to take on. The Sketchbook Project, The Sketchbook Challenge, Inspiration Avenue, Art Journal Every Day, and Everyday Matters to name a few, are great sources of motivation for me. These little jewels are wonderful ways to keep me motivated and especially good to keep pushing me out of my comfort zone; something that I think is very important for all artists.

Another way to keep fresh and inspired as an artist is to take a class or two.  There are lots available and not all are crazy expensive. Alisa Burke has several good ones, Cathy Johnson offers some lovely online mini-classes as well as full ones, Jane La Fazio, and Diana Trout also offer both online or in person classes. Check out their blogs and take the plunge.  I guarantee, if you can't get to retreats or workshops, then the online options can be wonderful. I haven't done too many but the ones I have done have been great.   Robin Cox Walsh of Pink House Studio told me recently, if you take away just one or two jewels from the class then it's been worth it. Robin is one of those wonderful artists whose work is always upbeat and quirky, and her blog is a great read.

Another great way to stay fresh is to find an artist who's work, style, or process connects to you in some way. Someone whom you admire or feel particularly inspired by.  Follow their blog, take their class or send them an email to tell them how much you appreciate their work and maybe establish a mentoring relationship with them.  I have a number of artists who fill this roll for me. One particularly beautiful artist is Pat Elliott.  She's a UK artist who is masterful with watercolor.  Her blog is a wonderful feast for the eyes and she' is so generous with her advice and encouragement. Sue Bleiweiss is another of my art heroes. Sue was the person who encouraged me to take my art one step further through blogging and online sharing.  Catherine Parkinson is another artist whom I like to consider a mentor. Catherine lives in New Zealand and is so generous with her comments and advice.  She keeps several blogs, and another of hers that I love is "Saving The World One Mother at a Time".

Finally, get into blog surfing.  I never have time to read all the blogs I subscribe to, but I do try to get around to at least some of them everyday.  I comment as much as I can and let these people know that I appreciate their talent. Check out my list on the right.  Be sure to diversify your taste in blogs, you never know what jewels of wisdom you can find in places you never expect. Some other inspiring blogs to check out include Robin Meade and Ann Hyde.

So, as far as prompts and challenges go, this piece was inspired by the brilliant Julie Fei-Fan Balzar of Balzar Design.  She offers a prompt called "Art Journal Every Day". Julie talks about the heart of art journaling and ways to make it a part of your 'every day' routine. She offers loads of tutorials and ideas and has a pedigree in art and design as long as your arm, so check out her blog which is rich in wisdom and creativity.

How do you stay inspired? I'd like to know.

Thanks for checking in.