Creative Notebooking

After a hiatus from making things, I made the conscious choice to build it back into my daily routine, but I was struggling to get going because I’d lost my sense of direction with my work. Luckily, the internet was spying on my innermost thoughts and a sponsored ad for the class Inside a Creative Notebook rolled into my feed. I’ve always wanted to keep a sketchbook as part of my practice and I’ve always kept a glue book filled with inspiration, but I was interested in blending my inspiration, ideas, sketches and art journalling into one space where I could play and explore ideas to later develop into finished work. This class provided the perfect soft structure to get right to work and really helped me dig deeper into what kind of work I want to make.

Here’s a peek inside my Creative Notebook Project so far…

Title Page
Color Palette
Reference materials – organizing this spread of images helped clarify the vision for my own work
This collection represents my favorite artists over the past 20ish years, in order of when I discovered them:
Sabrina Ward Harrison, Mark Ryden, Elizabeth McGrath, Wes Anderson, Mr. Finch
Beginning to mix things up with nature photography, reference materials and my own drawings.
Playing with color, collage, paper cutting, paint and atmosphere.
Anyone remember Geek Girl from GQ magazine in the 90’s? That’s her head.
Fun fact: I didn’t realize that was a men’s magazine until my mom pointed it out, lol

As a self taught artist, most of the work I’ve done involved experimenting with various media and techniques while discovering my style. What I feel I’ve been missing is a framework for the research and development of ideas to go deeper into what I really want to create. This process has begun to fill that gap. After gathering my reference materials, laying them all out, editing down to a handful of key images, and looking closely at how it all fits together, I realized my strongest interest lies in character development and 3D illustration. Another common thread is animals and the natural world.

A year or two ago, I took Andy J. Pizza’s Skillshare class, Make Creativity Your Career: Six Exercises to Create a Successful Side Project. I love his podcast and knew his class would probably be great too, but since I hadn’t considered my art in terms of getting a job out in the world, I found it difficult to think of what kind of side project I’d want to do. The beauty of constantly learning is eventually it all comes together. This notebooking process has led me back to this idea of creating a side project and where I’ve landed is choosing a story I love and creating characters and sets to go along with it. I checked out a stack of books from the library on nature journalling, writing comics, crafting skills for stop motion, puppets, and building miniatures. It’s been such a fun deep dive and I have lots more to draw and explore in my notebook.

And here’s that thing again…homeschool, life and work all blending together with blurry edges. We’ve been reading The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles as our recent read aloud and it’s filled with so much visual language we both keep wishing there was a movie to watch once we’re done with the book…but since there’s not, it might be the perfect candidate for this little project of mine. We’ll probably finish it this week and then I’ll make a final decision on whether it’s “the one,” but I can’t get it out of my mind so I think it might be.

If you have suggestions of stories to bring to life, I’d love to hear them!

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