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Friday, 25 November 2011

Keeping A Creative Journal

Keeping some kind of journal is an essential part of being a creative person. It allows you to document and store everything you stumble across that has sparked your imagination for the future. I have filled many sketchbooks and altered books over the years and I still go back to them for inspiration. I keep journals for both art and textiles, both are different creatures for me and I like to be organised. Textiles is all about texture, pattern, materials and you explore everything you see using fabrics and techniques. My fine art books are full of drawings, mini paintings, media and tracings and I notate everything to help development.

Altered books has become a bit of a phenomena and there are groups all around the world. What you do is find anything bound like a book and alter them creatively, bringing them alive and making them exciting! I made my own altered book in college using an A-Z map book of London. I went around the city taking photographs doing sketches and explored artist who were inspired by cities and created a book. I think it was one of the most exciting things I have ever done! I loved scribbling in my book and collecting information. It is something I come back to on a regular basis, unfortunately a lot of my work was ruined by storing them in the wrong place at the wrong time. My A-Z hangs on my bookcase reminding me to explore new things and be creative!

I've not shared my art on blogger, I want to create a different space for that. I love to draw. I think if I didn't draw life would have no meaning. I share life's frustrations through my work, my pain and anger at the cards that are sometimes dealt to me and the people I care about. I have a private sketchbook which is just for me, which has been neglected this year because I've had no need for it.

Sketchbooks and journals will always be the best part of an artists work because you can see how they develop ideas and how they get inspired. I might have a photograph or a sketch that I want to use as a part of a drawing, I would take that image and develop it over time. I will never just use the image like it is.

My friend Fran wrote a great post addressing the subject of inspiration or imitation. I think there is a line that every artists fears, but by using a journal you can develop your ideas and make them your own. I tend to stay away from any websites or magazines that may influence my work, its not easy when we live in a world that is surrounded by imagery! I think if you completely rip something off then obviously, they have stolen your design and imitated the original. I get inspired all the time by what people wear, artists I love and films I watch, but it would be difficult not to let that seep into my work.

Getting back to my original point, keep a creative journal because it will help your work enormously! I think you will be surprised how much your work will change, or even improve by doing so. I will always alter books, sketch, doodle on note pads, scribble on photographs, collect leaflets and it all ends up in my journal at some point for future projects.


  1. I really like the altered book idea- I've never thought about doing that before! Your A-Z book looks brilliant; I love the idea of adding pull-out/pop-up/overlaid photographs of buildings etc to their corresponding place on the map! x

  2. I think you would love making one. If you google it you will get lots of websites that can help you along. It's pretty old now, My other books are just full of sketches. Thanks :-) I need to start a new book. I have been making a recipe scrapbook and a book full of doodles. X

  3. Lovely post, you've inspired me to actually start keeping a notebook in my pocket to note down all my doodles, thoughts, mad moments! xx

  4. Thanks! I'm glad you were inspired :-)xx