i am really enjoying this new blog feature which will now appear on the third wednesday of the month! i have lined up many great art journal artists for you & for me. i love that i get to have conversations with some of my favorite "art journalers." i am just as curious as you are about their styles. So let's pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee/tea, and chat with them about their process, supplies, and their thoughts on what goes onto their pages.
This Month's guest is Anna-Maria Wolniak. Anna-Maria has an awesome art journal that's filled with wonderful white space and deep feelings. She sometimes works in one color (monochromatic) on her pages but they are filled with such emotion. Other times, the pages are filled with color but she always balances her white space. She's very expressive and i just love her pages. Let's see what she has to say about Art Journaling & her process.
Do you Art Journal every day? If so, what time of day works best for you?
The creation of my journals is driven by my emotional needs exclusively. There are moments in my life when I am incapable of conveying my emotions or thoughts to anybody... or nobody at the very moment is capable of understanding me, or there is nobody within reach I could talk to about some things. In these moments I resort to paint which is a natural means of expression for me. I do not feel the need to create large format paintings, I prefer small, sketch forms such as my journals. I often create only one page daily with only one leading idea that I am bothered by at that time. So as you can see - there is not any 'best' moment during the day to create. All depends. I live in a very small apartment with my hubby and son so I often don't have any possibility to work in quiet :)
How important is the journaling part of the process? What makes it significant?
I guess there is no golden mean. I am not quite sure how to answer this question, I do not know if my works are "idiosyncratic" enough to make me able to give advice on this subject. Personally, while working I try to follow the voice of my heart: the "colour" of my mood, the "saturation" of described moment, fragility or intensity of the moment... I think that anyone who wants to develop their own genuine style should above all listen to themselves, "touch" the inspiration with all possible senses, really experience what they are about to convey spreading on paper, reflect on each written word and totally feel - disregarding all the knowledge - the form and the colour. It is impossible not to be oneself fulfilling these conditions.
How do you bring the Art part and Journal part together?
These are really hard questions! I have no idea how could I answer on them... I really never think about such things, I just 'feel' it.
How do you typically start your art Journal pages?
First and foremost, it is about PASSION and willingness. Secondly, it is about finding a perfect material, substance in yourself, a tool that could be easily used, discarding the details and technical matters, a tool that would not impede conveying emotions and thoughts on paper. The third piece of advice - approach the journal with a thought, emotion or inspiration - if you have got it, the journal creates almost itself.
How do you know when the page is finished?
I say: "more or less - exactly as much as you reckon appropriate." Once I really wanted to master the art of minimalism with its pure and restrained form... I failed completely no matter how hard I tried, I had the impression that the result was somehow "empty." I believe that each artist should adjust, adapt the number of applied elements, the variety of textures, etc., to his own self. Once again we are back on track: the journal must be entirely "yours", genuine... Nothing should inhibit you... neither the format, nor the technique, nor, sure enough, the subject. I know some fantastic minimalistic journalers, in whose works sometimes only one line or one splash conveys more emotions than two overfilled pages of my journal... but this is a skill rather than purely material convictions. The page is finished when I decide that it's finished.
What types of Journals do you use? Purchased, homemade, or other? Why do you favor the kind you use?
My favourites are custom A6 adn A5 watercolour papers from the block. 250mg. These are the best for my works because they are waterproof and as you can see I use a lot of watercolours and other watercolour media.
Just a few years ago papercrafting and art-journaling were only a part of my artistic activity, which I practiced just because I wanted to archive some moments of my life. Quickly it developed into one of my passions, and into my way of life. One thing that hasn't changed is that I'm still doing it for pleasure! I am a mother to 7-year-old son Jaś, a wife to a wonderful and terribly handsome man, and a resident of a cozy, though tiny, flat on the 7th floor of a skyscraper. Currently I work with my dreamy company - Studio Calico. I am a mixed-media teacher and traveling with my workshops all over the Europe. I really love this job! You can follow Anna-Maria on her blog, pinterest, instagram, or facebook and don't forget to check out her other art journal pages.
What words gave you inspiration?
Which piece featured today caught your attention?
If you could sit down with Anna-Maria, what question would you ask her?