My First Junk Journal WIP

Yesterday I created my first junk journal. A junk journal is a book made with found pages and collage. You can use anything to build a junk journal. This one contains covers and pages from other books, postcards and promotional flyers, a gift bag, and some of my own printed images. Along the way you can tape in other ephemera too.

This is a long post but it’s mostly images. I started out wanting to make a gratitude journal but don’t want to limit myself. I tend to have tons of post-its and scraps all over the place with ideas, inspirational quotes, or things that just pop into my mind. This is what I will use this journal for.

It is not finished, and I’ll point out what I want to do further as I walk you through the pages.

First, is the cover. It is made from the cover of a book that I got from the Phoenix library sale … a coffee table art book for under a dollar.

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I used fabric tape to help secure the binding but it wasn’t sticking so I scotch taped over it. I’d like to create a better solution for that. I also don’t like the color so I might collage over it. Or have considered painting on the entire cover as it doesn’t really strike me.

Below is the inside cover. The original book cover had a flap and I turned it into a pocket. I plan to write over large areas of open space with different colored pens as needed for the background colors.

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The white page will be nice to write on and draw on. Below, the solid areas of color will be easy to write on but I may gesso over, or collage sections with images that are easier to see text against. I also plan to do doodle pen work on images just for fun.

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Pages like the one below were built with different pieces from various mailers and pages. I bordered them with washi tape for added durability but I didn’t have much to choose from and would not have chosen these designs, so that might be reworked at some point.

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The borders are strips of collage that are folded over and taped down from behind. They give thinner pages a little more durability.

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Below, the pinkish border on the right is from drawings I’ve done in Procreate, on the iPad. It’s fun to see my own work incorporated.

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Below shows another border on the left that is from scans of other journal pages that I’ve painted, collaged, and further decorated with pen work. You can click the images to see a larger image.

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Whoops. The photo below is upside down. I messed with my photos enough already trying to get them from Apple Photos to Photoshop, optimized, then here. So I’m leaving it.

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Heavy images on the one below, again, I’ll have to work in a way to make more writing space, maybe. The eye is me, from a photo I used Procreate to paint over on the iPad.

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More work pieced together on the left. Many junk journals have different sized and shaped pages, like lots of irregular tabs all over the place. I found that I liked making my pages more uniform, like a regular book. That’s why there are so many piecemeal parts on the page, building them out to full size.

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I think this book came to about 40 pages to journal on. Twenty spreads in all. That should keep me busy for a while but I already want to start making another one. I need another library sale for more images to choose from!

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Above, for the right border, and below on the left border is a swatch from one of the “creatures” I drew on the iPad. I really like how the colors came out, even if my printer doesn’t print true to the image.

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Theres’ a bigger piece of my creature, below, taped in.

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My favorite, from a page of the Phoenix Art Museum flyer on an exhibit of Warhol’s portraits. And on the right side, a business card from Jesse Reno, whose three hour workshop I took at Artfest Rising. I love being able to use business cards and postcards like this for reminders, like in scrapbooking.

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The other side of Jesse Reno’s card and a little of my own work along the top and a nice big spot for writing in the white area. I like the black swatch too, as white pen on black is very impactful.

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Below, pages from the art book I got the cover from and promotional postcards I’ve received in the mail. This is turning out to be so special with all of the elements that I’m afraid to write in it for fear of messing it up. I have to remember, it’s a “junk” journal and I can always make more.

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I’m looking forward to seeing what it looks like all filled up. As it is, in it’s very unfinished state I’ve already flipped through it multiple times. It just feels so good in my hand, and to think that I made a book, is pretty cool.

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Below on the right is a a paper gift bag that I incorporated. I kind of see it as lined paper to use with a colored pen. The bottom right corner is a gap, and how many junk journals are left but I’ll fill it in with a rectangle of something else I find to tape in.

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The other side of the bag and some more white space waiting for me.

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Bottom of the left page is another portion of one of my iPad drawings. Love seeing it in here. You can click on the images for a larger view.
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You know me and eyeballs. I love the one on the left.

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And, last page with the pocket inside the back cover. Maybe I’ll use them for the post-its until I have time to transfer the information to the pages, by hand.

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Below is the front of the cover. I don’t like handmade copper clasp but it was nearby. Maybe I’ll put a bead there and have the strings wrap around it. I feel like it needs some kind of closure thought because as you collage on the pages the book gets thicker and doesn’t stay closed well.

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So, there you have it. My first attempt at a junk journal. It’s bound simply, through the spine, with waxed linen. I can’t wait to play in it … although I might be distracted by making more to have on hand. Thanks for following the journey this far. I’ll keep you updated with anything I find particularly interesting as I work in it.

 

Letting go of old stories.

I have a handwritten note taped to my office door alerting those passing by to be quiet when I’m in meditation. I thought it would be fun to make a more decorative sign that I could flip over when not in use so I pulled out the paints and collage elements and thought that would be a good project to acquaint me with the materials.

At this age in my life I hear the voices in my head telling me that I’ll never master a new medium, and they are discouraging. I know they are lying. While I crave the idea of mastering something I also know that I have to start somewhere. I fight back with the voices telling them that it’s not about mastery, or being good at something. It’s about having fun and indulging in something that is enjoyable to me.

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So, I sat down and I started. I have to keep reminding myself that it takes time, and layers, to get to an end product that I will like. As I pasted and painted I don’t see an end result but I keep going. It’s like life. You keep adding experiences along the way. If you keep trying to see the end result you miss what is happening in the moment. You are also spending your time trying to control things into a very narrow focus. If you do that, you don’t let yourself to see what could happen along the way. You let your brain tell you where to go instead of experiencing maybe something better that you’re not being open to.

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That all sounds pretty nebulous, but it resonates inside me. Where I am right now is a place of exploration. Of letting go of control. Following my heart rather than trying to limit and force things. Seeing what is there to come out. As with the paintings, they’re works in progress, as is  life. It might, probably, turn out to be something I would have never dreamt of or expected if I can just let it evolve naturally. I feel like I’ve dipped my toe in, and while it can be scary to think about plunging in fully, It’s exciting too.

It’s hard to let go of old habits but like I’ve heard, it’s just one decision away. Time to let go of old stories. Maybe putting them on the pages will release them.

Fiction Sketchbook Project

Between starting homeschooling last year, and the studio being under construction longer than expected, I’ve been remiss in creating visual art. Months ago I signed up for the Sketchbook Project and luckily, they just extended the deadline to February 5. This particular challenge is A Message From a Future Self. I started out with collage and drawing, planning to write notes from my future self best that I could.

After I started altering my pages I read the instructions in full. Oops. I got the gist that it was to be more focused on writing, and not as much visual art. But, what is being an artist anyway, if not to break rules?

Sketchbook project collage pagesI am more than halfway finished and working feverishly to meet the deadline. The book and pages will be digitized in the online library, and held in the physical collection in Brooklyn, NY. We visited there this summer and it was so fun to browse previous project books.

I’ve spent a lot of time creating these pages and it is going to be really really hard to let it go. I find myself thinking about all of the people who have done the other projects before me (33,000+) and how, if they put their heart into their creations as I’ve been doing, they must feel the same thing.

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I have been tempted to keep it. This will be the first sketchbook of this type that I’ve completed. I always have sketchbooks but they turn out to be mostly free association writing with some pages of sketches, but none ever just full of art like this. I’ve made lots of other art, and I’ve sold it. Something about letting that art go is different. For one, I know I can make more of the same (repeatable beads and jewelry). This is more freeform and from the subconscious. It captures moments that are fleeting. Also, when selling art, you get something in return. Cash. So it’s more of a transaction and what the art was made for. After years of being a working artist, it’s a strange feeling to spend so much time on something and just give it away. Actually, I paid to give this away, as you purchase the sketchbook and pay a fee for the digitizing. I’m ok with that because I think it’s a fantastic project and want to support them and the arts.

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Not being much of a flat art kind of person I’ve been enjoying working with different media. There is something to be gained by working outside of your comfort zone and in something totally new to you. I have also been enjoying creating just to create–not to sell. I’ll show you the other pages as I go along. I may even add more to these and they don’t all feel finished yet but I have that deadline. I have to get something on the pages!

Something is telling me to finish it and set it free. Put it out there. There is more going on here, and I don’t know what that is but I am trusting it.