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thoughts about creativity and  art:   live your life as your work of art.

How journaling can help develop and sustain a creative habit

2018 Journal watercolor, crayon & inkbeth vendryes williams

2018 Journal watercolor, crayon & inkbeth vendryes williams

Hope is in the air! Now that spring is officially here. I sat myself down with a cup of tea and my daily journal.

For the past several days I have felt unable to put anything down in writing or drawing.

Has that ever happened to you? There is a world in us, and it is vital to open the windows. To take time to rest and wait.

Keeping a journal has had a massive effect on my life

…and surprisingly, It wasn’t until I stopped teaching art to paint full time, that I realized that my small daily efforts had produced tangible results.

My strategy was this: I would always keep a journal and a small zipped bag of my favorite portable drawing tools in my pocketbook. I carried this with me at all times. I wrote and drew what I saw and felt, whenever I had a moment.

I ended up counting over 130 journals documenting my life and my growing family. I recorded places, people and events.

Expressing my struggles and celebrations in words and images

helps me to reflect on life. My only expectation? To make a mark that articulates my vision and reactions to the world!

What a treasure this has turned out to be!

Now I need to adapt my journaling method to my life as it stands now. Read my next few posts as I explore alternative ways of approaching journaling now that the previous system isn’t working as effectively.

  • Do you keep a journal? If so how has it helped you?

  • Do you find that you forget to adapt your habits as your life changes?

Let me know in your comments below.

7 ways that journaling unlocks your heart to be creative

rushing through, time travel    

rushing through, time travel    

 

As I journey through life, maintaining creative flexibility,

I have found that most of the time, things don’t go the way you think they will. So when I earned my masters in drawing/printmaking from the University of Iowa, I was ready to begin creating full time and selling my work! Of course life intervenes and, shortly after graduating, my husband and I were privileged to have three sons, each 2-3 years apart.

journaling can weave creativity into daily life.


I decided to use my creative impulse to transform my rather large pocket book and uneven segments of time into a portable studio. I just kept writing, drawing and collecting the morsels of everyday life.( Link to Journal post fro October 30, 2016.)

1. Reflecting on these journals has been an unexpected gift, revealing my life from a intimate perspective, giving me an opportunity for reflection. This gives a bird’s eye view of the current map of my life. 
2. Memories come welling up in my heart, as I page through, nudging the past back into consciousness.
3. Details that I had forgotten are right there in my drawings and writing.
4.  Drawings and poems about  events and thoughts, that were forgotten in the midst of everyday activities are reclaimed.
5. There is affirmation of the joy and recognition of the sorrows of my life. 
6. I have an Opportunity to make a future based on recovering where I have been. 
7. Material is at my fingertips, for both writing and painting with historical and creative primary source materials: my own journals.

Now when I am working, and I want some inspiration, I include my personal journals among the literary and artistic inspirations available to me.

How to find the time? 


This is how I did it. I made a minimal packet in a small zip lock bag with a refillable ink pen, a pencil, eraser and sharpener, a plastic water-brush and a Moleskine journal, with sturdy paper that could take take light watercolor washes. As my bag and time allowed I added watercolor crayons, regular crayons, oil pastels and a portable box of watercolors. For a long vacation when I knew there would be a lot of relaxed time, I added larger paper and brushes, along with a lightweight coated masonite board on which to fasten  precut/ torn paper.

What do I do with journals when they are filled?


As each journal neared the end, I placed on a shelf, High up in my studio area. Last year when we were renovating our home, I Had to clear off my journal shelf of what i surmised, was 10 journals. Surprise, I had 130 journals. I had never counted them and barely had the time to review them through the years.

Like a garden, I have reaped a harvest that is constantly providing nourishment that is based on my life and the memories and images I have collected.

But it’s not the only way….


My gift to you is the story of how it happened. I would love to hear you own way of reflection on your life that has helped you to grow creatively, in whatever medium you work! Is your art, raising children, making healthy desserts, finding balance, managing money, training animals, making music, doing massage, teaching yoga, being a lawyer, keeping a beautiful home?
I am very excited to hear your story!