Saturday, April 25, 2009

To Keep an Art Journal As Practice

To keep an art journal is a ‘practice’ as in meditation and yoga.

Every day in your meditation or in your yoga you bring a different ‘you’ to the practice. A simple example of this is that on some days you have not had enough sleep and your meditation or your yoga will reflect that fact. Another example, once in a while you will have a glass of wine with dinner and then have another after dinner. Not only will the meditation and yoga be affected, but any exercise - and in a way - any motivation, will be affected.

When you set out to keep an art journal as a spiritual practice it will be the same. Some days you will be brilliant and many days you will be average and some days you will just suck.

Once you decide that you are going to keep an art journal on a daily or semi-weekly basis, you will immediately come up against impossible obstacles to doing so. These obstacles are exactly why you haven’t already started – press through. Growing is not always comfortable and one way to add in a new practice is to make it more uncomfortable to not do it than it is to do it. For example if you promised yourself that you would work in your art journal at least twice a week and you made it Monday, but forgot all about it until 11:30 pm Saturday – make yourself do at least a portion of a page anyway. You will teach your mind that you are serious about starting this practice and you are going to do it no matter what! It may take a few late nights or missed dinner dates, but your mind will get the message.

For the best results in using this ‘practice’ you want to cultivate a non-judging attitude. With frequent and regular practice you will bring yourself to the page with more creative confidence and learn to trust the process and yourself.

I use an affirmation that one of my journaling teachers gave me, “Create to be authentic, not perfect.”

To Keep an Art Journal as a practice is actually a practice in being authentic.

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