Getting Messy



Art work by Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd… isn’t she fabulous?! 

Last time I posted, I shared a podcast interview between The Jealous curator and Kiana Mosley and the importance of exploring to discover your style. This week I am sharing an interview between the creators of Get Messy: An Art Journal Challenge and art journalist, Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd. The reason why this interview is pretty great (and how it ties into the last post) is because Oliver-Lloyd says that if you are a beginner in art journaling, don’t worry about your style because that will come with time… and practice, of course. This rings so incredibly true for any creative endeavor you choose. Most importantly, when you begin, you probably already have a style, but you may not see it. Well, she said something along those lines, but you will just have to listen in on the conversation to find out.


Click here for this rich and fun conversation… cheers!


Breakin’ from the Studio

Last week was terrible because of a terrible allergy attack.  I’m feeling mostly normal now, except that I seem to be permanently stuffed up.  On the bright side, before this allergic reaction to the Oregon air occurred, I went to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm for the tulip festival.  It was fantastic!  Taking a break from my studio time to see these bright and richly saturated colors with a backdrop of Mt. Hood was completely welcome and needed for this artist soul of mine.

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On Perfection

These past few months I’ve been happily tied up with participating in the #creativeUNblock projects with the Jealous Curator (she’s just fabulous).  It’s actually been quite liberating for so many reasons.  A huge hurdle I have overcome in doing these projects (specifically with January’s unblock project) is making mistakes.  It used to be I would make a mistake and I wasn’t happy with the outcome of what I made.  I wouldn’t finish the piece I started and make an excuse for not working on it like, “oh, I just need to stop over working it…  I’ll just finish it later”.  Then I would stash the unfinished work with the others that have collected a year’s worth of dust.  Afterward, I would shut down all my creative outlets for a very long while.  It was like I was punishing myself for making something with which I was not satisfied by not making anything else for months on end and sometimes years.  Pretty silly, right?!  Having the expectation that ev-er-y-thing I create comes out to my mind’s exacting specifications, even when my mind doesn’t know exactly know what it wants sometimes, is crazy.  In other words, the expectation of achieving perfection each and every time I pick up a paintbrush or pencil is absolutely ludicrous. And every time I didn’t create that level of “perfection” for which I planned was disappointing.  I felt crushed and often thought, “who am I to even think to pick up a paintbrush?!”

But with these projects it’s becoming easier to make something completely terrible not pleasing to my eye and then moving on to make something that genuinely surprises and excites me.  Now, I am frequently pumped up to start the next project all the while maintaining my enthusiasm to finish a work that I already started.

Allowing yourself to make mistakes is part of it.  It’s a part of the process.  Making mistakes is about growing and finding your creative voice to distinguish yourself through whatever medium you choose.  It can be painful sometimes, but at the heart of it, the work is for you.  YOU choose who can see your mess ups, if you want anybody to see them at all.  Or you can choose to proudly hang up your awkward phase works and celebrate them as part of your creative history.  Whatever.  The choice is yours because the work ultimately comes from the depths of your imagination and squishy feeling parts that are intimate and personal, which is why going through these phases can be difficult.  Just because something you envisioned didn’t come out the way you wanted doesn’t mean you should stop creating, it just means you need to keep creating.

Happy making, everybody!


#creativeUNblock for March

I finally moved forward in time to March for the #creativeUNblock project.  Even though I still feel like I have about a million thirty seven ideas for January’s project, I am embracing March… and actually it’s a lot of fun!

This month’s #creativeUNblock assignment was to paint paper, cut it up and make a collage.  Here’s what I came up with so far:

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Untitled – Uno, watercolor collage, 6″x8″

And this:


Untitled – Dos, watercolor collage, 6″x8″

Since I’ve been loving this project so much, I’m pretty sure it’ll keep making an appearance in the upcoming months 😉

The Collage Scrap Exchange

Sometime last year I found out about a collage scrap exchange through the good ol’ internets.  Papirmass and Brown Paper Bag decided to get together so the rest of the world can collaborate with each other and make some art.  Basically, participants signed up with Papirmass to enter the contest, then participants were paired up other participants so they could exchange their collage scraps with each other via snail mail. Then the participants were supposed to make a collage with their “new” scraps.  The theme assigned was “New Landscapes”, which really can be interpreted as just about anything.  Pretty cool, right?  I was super stoked and I signed up….  and may have convinced my mom to do it as well 😉 I was fortunate to have been paired up with a great partner who sent some really interesting and colorful collage scraps.

Unfortunately, I forgot about the contest until my mom reminded me about it the morning of the due date.  I finally set to work at 9:30pm – only two and a half hours before the deadline. With a short time frame on arranging a way to use my partner’s collage scraps and finding imagery to go with it, the below is what I came up with. This was definitely one of the most spontaneous pieces I made in a long time and, despite a mishap that may or may not have caused me a great deal of frustration, it was fun!

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The Answer, collage, 9″x12″

If you want to see more participant entries, visit Instagram and type in the hashtag, collage contest. If you want to see the best of the entries, visit the Papirmass blog to have your socks knocked off by imagination and creativity.