Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Simplification of Stuff

Another page from my red and black journal that seemed appropriate for the challenge at Three Muses, "Word Salad." Love those clipped words! The quote at the bottom is actually referring to a scientific outpost in Anarctica but I found those words to be completely relevant to art journaling as well so snip, snip and onto a page it goes.

And this is the part where I impart a little wisdom to beginners, whether you're just starting out in journaling or mixed media in general - LESS IS MORE! Limit your palette, limit the tools, limit the stuff! There is sooo much cool stuff out there but in reality, it will just get in the way of actual art-making, especially at first. Someday, I'll post pictures of my studios (yes, I have more than one!) and you'll see that I am not immune to "too much stuff" disease. Nope, completely and thoroughly afflicted with that...but look what it took to make a successful journal page: some star stickers from the office supply store, magazine clippings and an image. Tools? Scissors and glue. All the "stuff" took a backseat to thought and presentation. Sure, a little serendipity was involved: how perfect that I happened to have the word "journey" in red so it could stand out and how grand that the image I've had for years only now felt right for what I wanted to say. However, if I hadn't collected some stuff together by color scheme, I wouldn't have seen the spot-on combination of word and image lurking in my studio. In the last year or two, as my stuff has ballooned to suffocating levels, I've taken to creating "theme boxes" to hold things related to those "looks" or theme I most often return to...red & black, romantic, Zetti and so forth. When I'm working in the red and black journal, I only look to the red & black box for papers, ribbons, clippings, images, tissues, and embellishments. When I have a special project going on, I create a box for it. When I shop, I limit myself to shopping for "consumables" like paints and inks, information in the form of books and magazines, and then by theme box. It doesn't make any sense to purchase Marie Antoinette stuff when I have no projects ongoing that require that style or theme. This method of limitation and simplification has worked well to stop the stash from further encroachment on my creative process. And that, my friends, is what really should be center stage.

11 comments:

  1. And a beautiful result! Great words of wisdom! Thank you!

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  2. Can I hire you to organize my studio, Michelle?!? Thanks so much for sharing your organization techniques as well as your awesome artwork.

    Love the bold, graphic quality of this page. Hugs, Terri xoxo

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  3. Michelle, you are the best for writing this post, if only my "reason" would agree with me in the store! I've thought this weekend that I might only create things with what I have in my house, DO NOT BUY ANYTHING! Being formally trained in graphic design and fine arts, I always tell myself -less is more- you exhibit it wonderfully though! I noticed that on your post yesterday, there were very few elements involved, but what they were, and the placement of them, worked great! I will attempt to reason with myself now!

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  4. Wonderful words of wisdom and so true when applied to making art or almost anything. Your journal page is stunning and intriguing!

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  5. Stunning graphic images!

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  6. Perfect for both challenges!!!

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  7. Wonderful journal page and great quote! Thank you for sharing your process and would enjoy seeing your studio pix someday. The stash grows while we sleep...

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  8. Very solid lesson....I also love to "gather" because I am constantly inspired visually. I so appreciated the perfect simplicity of your piece.
    Love your Red Black piece below as well!

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  9. I love your red/black/white journal! And I am really enjoying your tips! I would love it if you would share a longer list of the titles of your "theme boxes" - such a great idea!
    jackie
    dixiespell@aol.com

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  10. Certainly in agreement about about streamlining-S-T-U-F-F ...and most certainly like the words you chose for this!

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Thank you for visiting my blog and taking a moment to comment! If you would like a response to a specific question, you are welcome to email me directly at lostcoastpost@suddenlink.net

Thank you again for the time you've spent here. Most sincerely, Michelle

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