As someone who knows that creating is a fundamental necessity to my happy life, not only do I have the privilege and honor to work with other Createful people who inspire me every week, but I am typically working on two or three creative projects at any given time.
Right now I'm working alongside the other Art Fixers to finish my handmade altered art journal (everyone's books are so amazing! Will share soon!) and I have been busy lately building this blog and working on ANOTHER related creative project...
Soon, the altered art journal will be done and I'll turn to other creative projects we will make in Art Fix classes and with our art groups, and then as the blog folds into my life with greater efficiency, I have a series of small canvases in mind...and who knows what idea will come along to inspire me. There's so many ideas!
No matter what else I am doing, though, I also art journal. Always.
It's my "Go To" creative foundation from week to week.
Now, this practice has changed over the years. There was a time I tried to create a page every day. Ugh. I am not one to do almost anything every day (except maybe brush my teeth). But for years I've worked in my art journal on an "irregularly regularly" basis. In other words: when I felt like it.
Fortunately, I often do feel like art journaling, so over time pages accumulated and journals got filled—but something was missing. Art journaling for me was really a little too open ended. It just left too much room to do something else.
I needed an art practice without quite so much freedom.
Because I felt like I just wasn't creating in my art journal enough. For me.
So when I stumbled upon my current process, oh my gosh, so much clicked into place. Art Journaling is now a more solid part of my weekly life. I'm even more engaged in the practice than ever before.
(AND it's leading to yet ANOTHER creative project coming soon, very soon...)
This is how it goes
First, I begin the week early in the morning writing in my journal, and then for the rest of the week I create an art journal spread about something I wrote about.
Since I was at least 10 years old I've kept some kind of writing journal. I never considered it a creative act so much as a tool to help me think and process my life. I certainly don't write every day (not being that kind of person as I said) or even every week—and there were years I didn't write much—but generally I've always turned to my writing journal as a form of meditation and a place to do my best thinking. Morning pages aka Julia Cameron are always particularly juicy. The clarity and ideas that I get from that kind of free writing surface later in my life in surprising ways.
It was a personal light bulb moment when I saw that with a few shifts in process, I could turn the two into one rich and compelling art practice.
(AND like any good foundation, I thought it just might sustain the building of ANOTHER creative project which had begun to form in my mind...)
This shift in process is subtle.
I am still writing in my journal, but now it kickstarts my week.
I am still art journaling, but now I have a purpose and a goal for each page, and most importantly it's perfectly attainable over one week's time.
There's no pushing or stress to reach that goal.
I've structured my practice so I have a whole week to work on a spread (two facing pages that become one page). I can work a little at a time—in the studio, at home in between home and work tasks, in front of the television—I can (and do) skip days when I'm busy.
But there's a deadline.
I must finish the spread by the end of the week.
Deadlines are useful as long as the "line" isn't too "dead"ly (leading to fear and procrastination and sleepless night). There's none of that. If I don't exactly finish by Sunday night, I've been known to finish on Monday. But. I'm creating a spread a week.
Overall, weeks go by so fast and my art journal is filling with meaningful pages and I'm finding—truth be told—that I am a little obsessed in this practice—the best motivation of all. I can't wait to art journal!
(AND there is ANOTHER new project coming out of it very soon. Did I mention that?)
So that's it, folks! That's my creative life right now. I'm happily creating art projects and diving into some my writing projects and I'm happily engaged in my art journaling practice which is now a "consistently irregular" event in my weekly life.
It's as close to art journaling every day as I can get—but you know, that every day thing just isn't going to happen for me and that's okay.
Every week on the other hand? I can do that.
So what about you? What does your creative life look like? What shifts can you make to create more ease in your process to create more in your life?
Feel free to let us know in the comments below!