If we’re not careful, we can get way too serious about our art. Seriousness comes from high expectations. And yes, if we want to get good we need to bring high expectations to our work. But high expectations can also run us into a corner where we stop trying new things and we forget how much fun art making can be.
Fun is important. It’s important because when we’re having fun we’re willing to try things that normally scare us. Fun is where we lower our expectations and open ourselves up to learning. Low expectations mean we don’t have to climb over some giant barrier of entry. How many times have we not started a day of painting or drawing because we were worried the final product wouldn’t meet our expectations? How many hours of practice have we lost over the years from being scared of a bar set too high?
For me, this is where the journal comes in. I got really excited about the idea of journals when we filmed Anne Bagby’s The Grunge Book. I loved how much thinking she did in her journal. It was a place where she’d truly given herself permission to work without judgement. If she didn’t like a page, she could rip it out, glue it closed, or gesso it white. The point of the journal was to explore, to learn, to grow and most importantly, to show up.
How do you use journals in your art? Tell us at the below.
Kelly Anne Powers is a mixed media artist living in Portland, OR. You can see her trying to climb over the wall of high expectations (and sometime getting stuck) on her blog.
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