Journaling without working retrospectively

Image: Asphyxia’s personal journal with a collage of her travel photos of herself and her good friend, Jenine, in Paris. There is washi tape and collage with stripes, dots and flowers. Hand-written text on the page describes pâtisseries they’ve eaten. The background is painted with patches of different shades of yellow and aqua. Black and white text says PARIS on the right side of the page and at the bottom is black and yellow text, ‘MÈME PAS PEUR!’ which means, ‘I’m not a bit afraid’.

One of the things I love about my journal is that it’s not just a memory bank. You know the feeling when you have a gazillion photos from a trip and you want to put them somewhere, and you want to make it look fabulous, but you just can’t seem to get around to it so it doesn’t happen? Well my journal is designed to avoid that kind of guilt trip.

Y’see, I hate working retrospectively. I used to write in my journal at night, too tired to make a pretty page, but later I’d be disappointed. There’s my gorgeous book full of colour and beauty, and then you turn the page and there’s nothing but boring black scrawl. So I’d take it into my studio and see what I can do. But it was annoying, because I’d want to get on with my new stuff, with the here and now stuff, not faff around trying to make my old stuff look better.

So I developed a new approach. It’s all about the construction of the book. By making in advance (when I’m inspired, not tired) the kind of book that makes even boring black scrawl look good, I rarely have to go back and fix anything. And right there, on the very night I’ve scribbled my heart out, the page looks fantastic.  Ahh, I sigh… raw, edgy… oh yes, this black scrawl is working for me.

Anyway, that’s one of the techniques I teach in my online art journal e-course, Make The Book Of Your Dreams. Feel free to check it out if you’d like to give it a try.

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