Thursday, June 13, 2013

Art Journaling and a commentary on social media


An artist I follow on Instagram recently posted a picture of a post it note she wrote telling her followers to use their own imagination, create their own art and “stop copying hers”.  I stopped following her because I found it very mean spirited.  

When we use social media like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and when we blog, do we honestly think that our ideas are not going to be used by others?  We are putting Ideas on the world’s stage shouting “look at what I did!” and we seek feedback from an unseen audience.  Sometimes the feedback is awesome and sometimes it is not, but we put it out there, so we lose control over how it will be interpreted.

I don’t consider myself an artist but I do feel I am artistic.  I make no money off anything I write or create.  I put things on this space or on Instagram because I WANT them to be copied.  I WANT people to try to make their own deodorant, granola and cleaning products.  I WANT children and adults to find the joy in art journaling.  I WANT people to visit the places we never knew existed and read the books we enjoy and see the movies that made us grow and think of life a bit differently.

On the flip side, there is an issue of integrity, and I have to wonder if I ever crossed that line by using artwork that was posted on Pinterest as inspiration for my art journaling pages.  Sometimes I just don’t have the time or energy to come up with a 100% unique idea so I turn to people who regularly post their ideas on Pinterst boards.  Their work becomes the foundation of what we do, but it is always tweaked with the addition of personal writing.  Sometimes I search google images for an illustration, which is how I began one of my favorite pages about yoga.  

The Instagram post it note made me think about social media again (it seems I am always thinking of the pros and cons of social media....)  We are literally writing the rules on etiquette as we go.  I am going to go back through my art journaling posts to make sure that I credit the source of my inspiration.  This artist was so angry and upset that someone used her artwork - not to sell as if it were their own, but to copy for the simple joy of drawing.  To this I say, don’t post it.  Don’t put it out there.  Keep it close by and protected.  Sell it on Etsy, but don’t give it away on Instagram.  

This has made me more conscious of how I will approach art journaling in the future.  This is what we did this week on our altered board book project:

  • Each child came with a quote.
  • We used Mod Podge to adhere torn dictionary pages to the book page.  I discovered that it may be best to lightly sand the board book page before applying gesso.  When we used a plastic putty knife to evenly spread the Mod Podge over the gesso, some of the gesso scraped off revealing the book page underneath.  I liked this look but other children covered the gesso with a layer of paint first.
  • We used a hair drier to speed up the drying process.
  • We created an drawing to accompany our words.  Lilah and I used Google Images for a quick look at Cookie Monster and fairies.  
  • For this page there was no need for a sealant.  The Mod Podge dried evenly and with a glossy finish.  








The girls would like to learn how to make beautiful letters.  This will be the focus of our workshop next week.  There are several tutorials on Pinterest that demonstrate the art of lettering.

This project is beautiful.  I think in some ways I like it better than our art journals.  They feel more personal and intimate to me.  I would love to try this with my writing group.  I can envision a book created around their stories and poems, or a lovely scrap book of our writing adventures over that past few months.......







16 comments:

  1. You are my number 1 source for ideas and inspiration for Art Journaling. Keilee's too! You just don't know how much I love your creations. Everything you do is gorgeous. We have all the things to make board books when our lives slow down a bit. I am not sure when that will be at the moment. I would give ANYTHING if Keilee could be in your journaling class. We really need to check into letting her Skype in. :)

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  2. Are you free Tuesday at 4:00? That is our next board book workshop and she can totally Skype in! I will email you the details if that time works for you. If it does not, we will pick a time!

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  3. We look forward to all your wordful insight! Great art work. So inspirational. DTBLE

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  4. I agree with your reaction to that artist's Instagram rant. Also, whatever happened to the attitude, "Immitation is the highest form of flattery?"

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    1. I can understand if the art was being sold as an original or if it were being used as a graphic illustration to a piece of writing, but to copy for the sake of creating art? I find that a bit extreme. I am always pleased when sometime enjoys and activity that we have done and found peace in the process.

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  5. Love all the board book work. We just started a girls art journaling group that will meet once a week all summer. This week I had 8 girls show up.
    Blessings
    Diane

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    1. I can't wait to see more pictures of your group!!

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  6. I have encountered mean spirited people like you on the internet. Many years ago, I used to sell scrapbook layouts on Ebay and then cards on Etsy. I stopped. There was such a battle among scrappers because so and so had scraplifted their idea or their layout. It was as if their art was completely unique, something never made or thought of before. I would always share that whatever one is making someone else has already thought of it or made something similar. Really there is nothing new under the sun! I got tired of all the bickering and decided to invest my energy on my family instead of making art to sell.

    Like you, when I post things on my blog only (I don't have the energy or time to facebook, instagram, twitter or pinterest much) is for sharing. Most of the things I share is because I think they will add to someone else's life. I want people to copy or do it too because I think it's worth as it was for my life.

    AS for you being an inspiration... You have inspired me to offer to teach a mixed media art journaling class using old books at my local library. I will be doing 2 classes only because I only have babysitters for the next couple of months. But I am hoping to inspire others to create some art and fill their soul with inspiration!! Thanks again for sharing your artistic books! :)

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  7. "I have encountered mean spirited people like you on the internet."

    This sentence didn't read right, did it?? I didn't mean you were mean spirited, but LIKE YOU, I HAVE ENCOUNTERED MEAN SPIRITED PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET.!!!!

    Sorry about that. :)

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    1. That is so funny! The first time I read it, I did take it to mean I was being mean spirited and to be honest I can understand the opinion that art is person to the artists and should never be copied under any circumstances. I get this point of view. But then the artist should not share it freely in such a public domain. BUT then I read it again and realized I was not the mean spirited one (and I felt much better!) No need to apologize! I can only imagine how many things I have written over the years that may have been taken two ways.......

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  8. Many great artists have spent time copying other artists work in order to work on a technique or style. Same goes for writers. And to use for inspiration for your own work? Why not?

    I love your art journaling classes and have thought I wish we were just a bit closer or a bit less busy. We're in Danbury, so not so very far. Perhaps some day we can join you or maybe I can just learn to start my own classes from you.

    Love your blog. :)

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    1. Kim, We would love to meet you! Danbury is just under an hour from here if you take rt. 58. (I think it is 58 that runs through Easton and Reddiing). Email me if you would ever like to come and try. How old are your children?

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  9. Jessica, I think we actually met a few years ago at a concert (not very good) in New Haven. I have two boys ages 12 (13 in a few weeks) and 10. I think my 10 would really enjoy art journaling. My 12 yo maybe not so much.

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  10. I love these! You do a magnificent job of inspiring your students.

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  11. I agree with you 100 %. Thanks to express what I could'nt.

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  12. Thank you, I love your words and your art.

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