i am really enjoying this new blog feature which appears 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 or tea, and chat with them about their process, supplies, and their thoughts on what goes onto their pages.
This month's guest is super talented and sweet Diana Trout. I found Diana through her book Journal Spilling which i own. It's a technique driven book which i just love but Diana also offers up lots of encouraging words to "tame the critic." i highly recommend this book! She has a playful style that uses lots of colors & words. 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?
I don’t art journal everyday. Usually I have more time on the weekends. Even though my profession is Artist, I am oftentimes busy with the marketing, class planning and sketching/painting that goes into the job description. Sometimes I sneak in a bit during the week. It feels quite wonderful when the time appears in my schedule.
How important is the journaling part of the process? What makes it significant?
Very often I will begin a journal page by free writing all across a page spread. I love this process and sometimes I trip over something that comes out in this writing. The writing gets covered by a layer of gesso so that it is no longer legible. Sometimes I’ll write a single word or phrase down before I cover it with gesso. Or maybe I’ll pick it out after the gesso has dried and write it boldly.
How do you bring the Art part and Journal part together?
The journal and art are linked and organic. My process is to move quickly and intuitively from one part of the page to another. My pages are never planned out. I’ve learned a lot about my particular artistic process through art journaling. I’ve become much more aware and respectful of my process. This carries into my other artwork and, really, into every other aspect of my life. Sometimes I’ll write more but mostly there aren’t any more words after the initial spill. It is meaningful to me and that is enough. I almost never work from a quote or written thought because that seems too forced to me.
How do you know when the page is finished?
This question made me smile. A page is finished what I : a) run out of space; b) run out of time; or c) get tired of working on it. In other words, the critical left brain question “Is this work finished?” doesn’t enter the equation when I’m working in my journal.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to Art Journal?
The best advice I could give is get a cheap sketchbook or composition book, scissors, gluestick, a pen and some sort of color: kids markers, watercolors or craft paints. Put these items all together. They aren’t precious or expensive. Pretend that you are a toddler and scribble or drip paint. Cut up some magazine pictures that you like and glue them in. Move on. Have no expectations. This is the most difficult part for adults, but perhaps you can say: "For just the next half-hour, I will have no expectations."
What types of Journals do you use? Purchased, homemade, or other? Why do you favor the kind you use?
Diana’s professional life is weighted equally between her twin passions for teaching and creating. Her stitched mixed media textiles, watercolor and bookarts have been exhibited nationally. Her artwork and articles have appeared in national magazines.
Trout’s book, Journal Spilling, Mixed Media Techniques for Free Expression is used by artists, art journalers and teachers. Upcoming live classes will be in NYC, Art is You in CT, Princeton, NJ and her home studio. Online classes and links to her YouTube and other social media are linked there as well. https://dianatrout.typepad.com/
What words gave you inspiration?
Which piece featured today caught your attention?
If you could sit down with Diana, what question would you ask her?