Hello friends, artists, creatives, journal keepers and small business owners. This post I'm sharing is focused on art supplies and specifically on sketchbooks. But before I get into the specifics with my recent experience, I wanted to share with you my sketchbook story.
I've been hearing for years that every artist should have a sketchbook. And I have often seen sketches as examples from those given where I have run into this subject matter. I have never done much sketching, the type of drawing that is rough, with no erasing, etc. That approach, to me, has always felt awkward and pointless, like, what am I going to do with this now that I've sketched it?
Of course, as I have grown as an Artist and have seen work over the years, I understand that sketching is like studying for the Artist. It helps the artist become familiar with the subject matter they are working with. Going from finding the subject, to experimenting with different compositions, and then planning the colors, medium and approach for a final work of art.
This has not been my experience until recently. Up to that point, I always replicated from images with my pencil, colored pencil and other mediums I've learned and worked with. Then, once I discovered watercolor, my approach has always been intuitive, rather than planning the composition ahead of time. This intuitive process requires a lot of trust in my own instincts and being willing to take risks when feeling uncertain.
In my recent Artistic work, I have had several focal points and mediums I've tapped into: fashion illustration, hand lettering and illustration, and creating designs based on subject matter important to me.
So, I have come to appreciate the essence and purpose of a sketchbook as I tap into different possibilities with fashion sketching, determining the subject matter in a new design that I'm now sketching to see where the different parts will fit together, as well as making decisions about what type of lettering to use when crafting a header for my blog or creating a new design for a new series in my art store.
Sketching has become a more primary focal point for me as an Artist and Designer to help me work out the essence of what I want to create as well as the specifics of how I want my design to look aesthetically.
In my recent Artistic journey, I completed a previous sketchbook that I've used for a couple of years, filled with headers and hand lettered artwork that I have used and continue to use on my website/blog, in my marketing on social media representing my products and services plus the JOY Design Series that are now available in my Art Store. (I now offer that same service to small business owners with Dawn's Dynamic Designs: Hand Lettering and Illustration.)
Since I completed the sketchbook recently (see image on the right below), I decided to pull out the next sketchbook that I had stocked in my studio. I sketched out my 2nd design in my Lyric Line Series and began to fill it with color. But unfortunately, the quality of the paper in this other sketchbook was thinner and did not produce the smooth look once the color was applied. Of course, since this design would be scanned, I tested it out and I wasn't pleased with the result. So, what to do?
Should I look for another sketchbook that would match the quality of the previous one or try something totally different? I decided to look for the UPC code on the sketchbook I had filled and found it on Amazon. Yay! I ordered another one right away. But I also ventured out to an art supply store and picked up a set of marker paper from Strathmore (my favorite brand for creating watercolor paintings), since it was markers I've been working with to create my Hand Lettering and Illustration.
This past week, after getting the marker paper and ordering a new sketchbook identical to the one I just filled, I decided to start with the marker paper for my next Lyric Line design (a series of art I'm creating based on lyrics I've written over the past few months).
I'm excited to try this new product of marker paper to see what the difference is with the medium I use to create Hand Lettering and Illustration, whether the color is more vibrant, how smooth the application is, and if I'm pleased with the final result, as much if not more so, than previously. (I also decided that the other sketchbook will work great for writing and pencil work.)
It sometimes takes experimentation to determine what works for us as Artists of our Lives. When something doesn't work, we can appreciate even more what does work and relish the qualities of what we love as we determine our next steps, our steps toward creativity and JOY.
Have you experienced using one product, switching to something else and then deciding to get the original product again since you liked it so much? Detail this experience, comparing the two, and relish your appreciation for what does work for you.
Art Journal Prompt:
Create a spread showcasing the aesthetic of something you really love that you use all the time. Try to get below the surface and tap into how it makes you feel.
Using your favorite writing implement, doodle the words that describe why you love this item so much and why you keep using it.
If you would like to read previous blog posts:
Catch the replay of Andrea Lewis interviewing me for Heal Past Wounds and Get JOY Back
Book Review on JOYFul by Ingrid Fetell Lee
Copyright 2019 text and header by Dawn Herring
I can't believe it's that time again: My year in review with 2017! Where did this year go?? I have no idea. Time stands still for no one, as my Mom used to say. Now I clearly see why she said that. And then some.
Of course when you have responsibilities and others to care for and connect with plus staying busy with creating and finding joy, time sure does fly by!
And this year has been eventful, and I have lots to share. So I Shall. Ready?
Where shall I begin? Usually, Journaling comes to mind first. So I'll start there.
I am an avid written journal keeper and have been for many a year (30? I'm not sure; I think I lost count, as well as with how many filled journals I have. *wink*)
This year I continued my daily written journal entries. Up until September, I was doing a.m. and p.m. entries. Once the new school year started up and I had an earlier wake up time, I found myself forgetting to write in my journal since my a.m. responsibilities side tracked me. I was shocked I had let it slip! So I took a closer look at my practice, and after engaging with a live journaling event hosted by another avid journal keeper, I determined to ONLY JOURNAL in the a.m. if I really want to, like if I have something I want to say.
One thing I learned in taking a closer look at my a.m. journaling practice was my redundancy (which I spoke about during our JournalChat Live in November). I found myself repeating things from the night before that weren't necessary. Why do this? I asked myself. So I gave myself permission to let go of the a.m. entry unless I felt drawn to write. And so far, I've only indulged once or twice in the a.m. and most times, it's been on the weekend, when I'm relaxed and not in a hurry. Lesson: let go of what is extraneous or what isn't working. No need to feel obligated! (This is HUGE for me as a journal keeper.)
I do continue to create evening doodles every day to honor my day's experience and still find it engaging, fun, and relaxing, giving myself space to play with design, color and texture with my watercolor markers and artist pens. You can view many of my doodles on my Instagram account and here.
Also, I created my own designed Planner Pages to change things up with my journaling practice, but I found that printing them out, hole punching them and using them became more of a chore rather than a JOY. OY. So, I continue to write in my blank journals as always and plan to get more. My goal is to always have a quality white blank paper to create my doodles on; that's one of my reasons for loyalty to the empty sketchbook as my primary journaling tool for entries.
As for JournalChat Live for all things journaling of which I host on Social Media, I decided to change things up and go LIVE ON VIDEO in our JournalChat Live Facebook Group which went from Public to Private this year! Yes! We had a delightful time in November as we talked about How to Keep Things Fresh with our Journaling Practice; I also provided special prompts for us to play with during our time together, which made it even more special and fun! I plan to host JournalChat Live in this group in the coming year of 2018! Do join us if you haven't already!
Speaking of going LIVE on social media, Next up I will share with you something New I started on Facebook called JOYFest, where we gather together to share our JOYS with one another, thus making the World a Better Place. We had our Christmas Edition on 12/7 and had a blast sharing our Greatest JOYS of 2017! You can catch the replay here.
Our next JOYFest will take place in our new Private JOYFest Facebook Group! I decided it would be fun and organized to hold and host LIVE VIDEO events in private Group Settings to create a comfortable and affirming place to share our JOYS together! I so look forward to having YOU join us to share Your Joys in 2018!
To backtrack just a bit, I wanted to share with you the new focus I created with my website and message here at Refresh with Dawn Herring. I realized that most of the engagement I experience that refreshes me brings me JOY as I get refreshed. So...in January, I went live with a completely new website with JOY as my focus, and I have had so much fun since! So now my brand reads, Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Finding JOY Takes Center Stage! I do hope you enjoy perusing all the JOY focused content and navigation as I share my JOY with you. And you can create your Own Path to JOY, which is my greatest aim for you!
Which leads me right into some new offerings here at Refresh with Dawn Herring...ready?
First up, Dawn's Life Directives and Affirmations Coloring Pages with Prompts! YAY!
Since I am an avid doodler and have so much fun creating doodles and coloring them in, I thought it would be fun to Create Doodles for YOU to color in! Using the tenants that I hold to and look to live by, such as Appreciate Your Self for Who You Are, Recognize Your Value and other self care initiating directives, I created Coloring Pages, with a word from me about each tenant and prompts for your journaling, art journaling and doodle practices...and if you don't already practice, this is a perfect place to start! :)
And if you're looking for even more prompts with a self care focus, plus some video and audio from me along the way, then my new course, 7 Steps to Creative Clarity, is perfect for you! If you ever feel blocked, bored or uninspired or maybe you don't know where to start in building a thriving, fun Creative Practice, this is why I created this course, so you can find the JOY of creating!
So this year of 2017 has been an important year for me as Creative Visionary and Guide for those who need some encouragement and feel they could use a little bit of permission to create!
And for those who like to LISTEN and be inspired, I launched my Refresh Daily with Dawn Herring Podcast! Yay! So far I've created one episode that you can listen to or watch, whatever your preference, both here on my website and on YouTube. I plan to create more episodes next year (including some interviews with others who share about their creative practice!) My purpose in creating a podcast is for those who are looking for tips and inspiration toward building an authentic Creative Practice that brings them great JOY.
Also, this year, I launched my new newsletter called The JOY Finder! I share tips and inspiring stories about how I am Finding More JOY so you can too, plus I keep you up to date on what's happening here at Refresh with Dawn Herring, including when I'll be hosting Live Events you don't want to miss. You can subscribe here and receive a gift from me, 10 Steps into JOY!
To conclude this 2017 Year in Review, I thought I would share a bit of what I've been doing in my art studio. I did take some time off this past summer, breaking the creative mold I had been in with painting with watercolor every day for three years. Once I got back into studio space, I decided to try some new things (with more new stuff planned for 2018...). I did my first fashion gouache and pen rendering of a gorgeous faux fur jacket which you can view here. Plus I did some drawings in a sketchbook of some of my jewelry. (There is one post on my Instagram in the early part of 2017 you can view.) I plan to indulge a bit more in this type of art since I enJOY it so much. I continue to paint with watercolor, working on watercolor paper at this time. Plus playing with designers gouache as well.
So there you have it! It's been a busy and exciting year for me at Refresh with Dawn Herring, and of course, it would not have been the same without YOU, my dear readers and friends. Thanks so much for joining me during my Live events and sharing your journaling and creative lives with me. It brings me true JOY in sharing with you.
I wish you the greatest and most JOY-Filled New Year of 2018; and I look forward to having Fun and Engaging with YOU in all of our creative energy together in community, thus making the World a Better Place!
May Joy Find YOU in the Most Unexpected Places!
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring for Art Header
As an artist and creative, I’m always looking to stretch myself and try new things, sort of change things up to keep me on my creative toes but not so much that I feel strained or burdened.
JOY is what drives me to pursue different paths. My curiosity gets initiated and then I eventually just MUST make space to try out what’s been in my heart and desire to do.
One of the issues I face as a artist is putting myself in a creative box, one I invent for myself, sometimes, without even realizing it. Then I begin to feel the confinement of that box, like something doesn’t feel quite right. Like my creative freedom is being minimized somehow.
We all put ourselves in boxes of one sort or another, don’t we? And often, we have no idea that we have done so.
We just start to feel restless, like something has to change, or we might just get a little annoyed!
As a painter, for the past several years, I’m delved into intuitive transparent watercolor, both on canvas and on watercolor paper.
I built myself a portfolio, both for public viewing as well as some personal paintings I have tucked away.
But, alas, I have still felt other artistic urgings begging for attention, and I think they were starting to feel forlorn that I hadn’t done something about it already!
Well, it was just a matter of time before I broke out of my transparent watercolor box and decided to try some mixed media, often a combination of transparent watercolor and gouache paint (which is more opaque in nature), as well as adding pen work with india ink.
Plus the subject matter that has been pining after me has been fashion focused whether garments, jewelry, or handbags and shoes, etc.
In the past year, I did do several pen renderings of my own jewelry and then I added a bit of watercolor marker for a colorful flair.
But recently, I decided to make space for a fashion rendering of a colorful fur jacket that I’ve had pinned to my inspiration wall for some time now.
Out came my gouache paints and my sketchbook, and I finally went to town with a paintbrush. I didn’t do any sketching ahead of time for structure or for figure work. I just started applying paint and ran with it.
After the initial gouache groundwork, the next day I used my Winsor Newton watercolor markers and Faber Castell Artist Pitt Pens for added depth and texture.
So this is basically my first attempt at rendering a fashion piece with paint and pen after many years of sketching/drawing fashions with pencil in my youth.
I was quite delighted with the result.
No, it isn’t perfect and I see my flaws. But it was a complicated piece and I’m satisfied with how it came together.
I’m sharing this with you, dear reader and friend, to show you the importance of making space for what is calling to you. Whatever it may be.
I know we all have busy lives. And we all fall into our ruts of sorts that we just naturally follow, until we feel that pining inside and finally decide to do something about it.
I’m glad I did. Yes, it took me a while from the time I pinned that image. But timing is everything.
And I did this rendering on the heels of another painting I just completed, that is a combination of transparent watercolor, gouache, and collage with card stock, which is another creative goal I have met.
Yes, in a sense, I feel like I'm on a roll with breaking out of the boxes I was in for a long time and really making space for the new.
It doesn’t mean I’m going to donate all of my time to those new ventures. I like dabbling. And I still have my go-to stippled watercolor painting I so love to do and have from the beginning of my watercolor journey that started almost 7 years ago.
My aim is to follow my intuitive heart wherever it may lead and indulge in what brings me the most creative JOY for my path.
What will your Creative Path pine for next?
Make a list of 10 ideas you want to follow. Which one is pining most for your attention right now? Start making plans to open up space for one or two ideas that you feel the most drawn to. Remember to keep it simple so it’s do-able and brings the most JOY.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Break out of your art journaling “box” and try a new approach to a spread that you’ve been wanting to try but simply haven’t made time for. See what this new approach opens up for you!
Draw a box and items in the box that that have been your go-tos, things you’ve been doing for a long time or using that you want to put aside for now.
Draw another box with the items that you are pining for or that are pining for your attention!
Subscribe to The JOY Finder here!
Get Creative with Dawn's Directives and Life Affirmations Coloring Pages with Prompts here!
Copyright 2017 Art Rendering by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2017 Blog Text by Dawn Herring
Note: The image to the left is from Elle magazine and is copyright to them. Thanks for the inspiration, Elle!
I have a lot of fun with Acronyms! I created one for the Month of May in an earlier post, and now I've created a new one for July. Above you will see the video I posted on IG to share my acronym, plus I've included it below in text format so you can use it as a journaling prompt or simply a reminder to initiate more JOY.
Here's my Acronym for JULY:
See what you can do with this acronym! You can get creative in your journal, art journal, or sketchbook and/or create a doodle for it! Just have fun reminding yourself to initiate more JOY on a daily basis.
How can you unearth more JOY today? This Month? All summer?
May JOY Find You in the Most Unexpected Places.
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
I so enjoyed a Facebook Live today as we shared what is creatively inspiring us! I share about my creative practice, my painting, my music, plus news! I trust you will be inspired, and you're welcome to leave a comment on what is creatively inspiring you right now!
May JOY Find You in the Most Unexpected Places.
Hello dear Refresh Daily friends! This is my first post of 2017 after the relaunch of my new website.
Today I did my first Facebook Live video (after working with Periscope late 2015 and early 2016.) What is Creatively Inspiring You and Me? was our topic and we had a wonderful time sharing on both sides! I talk several times about our new Private Facebook Group, Your Path to Joy, plus other specific things that I've been excited about in my creative life.
The original video in it's entirety can be viewed on my Facebook profile as well.
I hope you get inspired to initiate more JOY in your life as a result of tuning in.
What is creatively inspiring you right now? Has this been repeated or is it something new? Write an entry to whatever it is, telling it what you love about it and why you want to do it again.
Art Journaling/Doodling prompt:
Use Creative Inspiration as your word prompt for an art journal spread or doodle the name of what is creatively inspiring you right now using the colors that bring you the most joy!
May JOY Find You in the Most Unexpected Places!
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
We have arrived at the end of yet another year. It's amazing to me how quickly 2016 has flown by. And the dimensions of my life are just as interesting and fascinating and challenging as they ever were. And it's that time of year to share with you some of what I have experienced so I can share my gratitude, my perspective and my refreshment, of course!
So, where shall I begin?
With Journaling, of course. Journaling continues to be a mainstay in my life, with am and pm entries and visual doodling, some of which I have shared with you here at Refresh Daily. My favorite techniques have been doing mind maps, dialogue (which I talk about here), list making and some stream of consciousness (where you just write whatever comes to mind without much concern if it makes sense.)
Most of my journaling has taken place in my personal journal, and some of it has been in a separate sketchbook which you can read about the beginnings of here. In this separate sketchbook, I've mainly focused on mind maps, list making, creating doodle headers for this blog, Refresh Daily, and making creative future plans.
I also discovered a book this year, The Creative License, by Danny Gregory, which actually gave me the nudge I needed to actually draw like I had planned to do in my initial sketchbook in a way that was more for drawing/studying objects and places with pen and watercolor. I share a book review with several sketches here. I'm so pleased to have found just the right resource to get me headed in this direction.
In continuing the #JournalChat tradition, I decided to create an ongoing #JournalChat OPEN HOUSE with the evergreen topic, Your Journaling: The Greatest Relevance. Here is my final 2016 contribution, Making Conversation. I also wrote one earlier this year titled, Creative Clarity. If you desire to make your Journaling Voice Heard, here are the refreshing guidelines. Also, if you'd like to join our #JournalChat Live Facebook Group, here's the link.
In other New News, I added an Instagram account to my social media and have enjoyed sharing images and video clips to share with you. I'm RefreshwithDawnHerring on IG if you'd like to follow me there.
I also added a new Your Life Refreshed! Private Facebook Group for folks to share, ask questions and give encouragement to others seeking to increase JOY and REFRESHMENT in their daily lives.
For the Art Side of things with my Creative Practice, I made two custom rubber stamps, one with my first name signature and one with my Dawn Herring Collection initials. I found creating rubber stamps a lot of hard work even with the right tools, so I haven't continued making more. I also made several of my own stencils, but again, I found it to be too much work. It's all about experimenting and seeing what you enjoy.
I also expanded the size of my intuitive watercolor paintings. I've done as small as 5x8 inch and actually went up to 24 x 30 inch, but my favorite size seems to be 18 x 24, which for me is not too big or too small. I tried a new brand of watercolor paper that was recommended to me, Fabriano, but I think I still prefer Strathmore for its durability with lifting and scrubbing off paint.
I also tried my hand at combining watercolor and gouache. The painting titled, Transition, is the result, in a 5 x 8 size. I also added another mixed media canvas with hand lettering titled, Glimpses. (You can view these below from the links provided.)
I also tried using gesso on both canvas and watercolor paper which I have found keeps the colors more vibrant. I still enjoy creating layers of paint with my intuitive watercolor paintings. You can view a sampling at the Dawn Herring Collection Art Gallery.
I've also added a new page to my website that focuses on my Doodle Designs and Hand Lettering which you can view here.
Earlier this year, I dove into a Fashion Illustration and Design Course with my teacher and good friend, Laura Volpintesta. I have enjoyed learning how to build the body through form and create my own designs.
As an artist, doodler and hand letterer, I have enjoyed listening to and reading many podcasts/interviews from Jamie Ridler to Meighan O'Toole to Lisa Congdon and Danny Gregory; they have all inspired me and given me encouragment in my artistic pursuits.
A special thanks to Jamie Ridler of Jamie Ridler Studios, for featuring my Creative Living Tip in one of her podcasts this year!
I also want to thank YOU, Dear Reader/Subscriber, for taking the time to read Refresh Daily blog posts and leave comments and feedback on topics I have covered and insights I have shared along the way in 2016. You continue to inspire me as I engage in my Creative Practice elements of journaling, mixed media, watercolor painting, doodling, drawing and hand lettering. I also continue to enjoy staying connected to Spirit through prayer, study and meditation.
I trust that 2016 has been a year of inspiration and refreshment for you in Your Creative Practice. I'd love to hear how what I have shared here at Refresh Daily has inspired you in your creative journey. You can contact me direct at email@example.com.
I wish you the very best 2017 where you find JOY and REFRESHMENT every day!
Journaling Prompt: Record three things you enjoyed most in 2016, especially ones that have had the most impact concerning creating positive change in your life.
Art Journaling Prompt: Using the word, REVIEW, or 2016, use an image that has had the most profound influence on how you see yourself now versus at the beginnig of the year. Doodle how you appreciate who you have become. You can also use this prompt as a starter for a mind map, recording any association you have with 2016. This can be a great way to review your year. You may be surprised as to what you remember. Have fun!
I always love it when I find a resource that just hits the spot for me as an artist and creative. And Danny Gregory's book, The Creative License, is just such an example. I discovered Danny Gregory through a Creative Living with Jamie Podcast on Jamie Ridler's website. I was so inspired and impressed with the interview, I decided to check out Danny's website and books.
I saw that he had several, one of which I wanted to read right away, a memoir called, Every Day Matters, but I decided to check out his book, The Creative License too. I'm so glad I did.
There are several reasons why I enjoyed and found myself inspired by this book. Danny has a way of presenting the act of drawing from a totally refreshed and relaxed approach, a way of observing your life and the many things and people around you, but in an almost Zen-like quality, totally focused, totally in the flow.
This approach really opened me up to the possibilities of where I could go with my Creative Practice, adding to it in a way I hadn't done before. I did contour and detail drawing in my youth, and did faces for a long time, but all basically from images. Danny's approach to drawing what you see from objects right in front of you intrigued me. I love his step by step narrative for those who have never drawn before or think they can't.
Another thing I loved about this book was Danny's voice: his attitude, his personality, his authenticity and his laugh-out-loud sense of humor. Even if you have never drawn anything before, just the read is worth it because Danny makes the whole explanation of why drawing can benefit you so much fun, entertaining and insightful.
This book is full of full color and black and white illustrations and Danny's no-nonsense attitude about getting a daily sketchbook practice going, with no concern for what it looks like, if it's any "good" artistically speaking, and seeing the whole experience as learning more about yourself and your world.
Danny inspired me so much through The Creative License, I decided to start a drawing practice in addition to my daily journaling, watercolor painting and doodling. I've presented several of these drawings just to give you an idea of how I've approached it, with no concern for how "artistic" it looks.
He does recommend starting with just black pen (no pencil, no erasing or correcting--just draw and don't worry about it!) so these drawings are just that.
As an artist, I've always had admiration for folks who keep a sketchbook full of pen and watercolor drawings, and Danny is one of those people. Thanks, Danny, for being a source of inspiration for me as an artist and observer of life.
Write down a way that you are an observer of your own life. Also, write down a way you would like to be an observer that you haven't tried before and what you can do to get started.
Using the word, Observe, create a spread that pays homage to how you view your world. How does your point of view enhance to the way you see life?
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I am excited to share with you my contribution to our January/February #JournalChat Live OPEN HOUSE (see link for details!) with our focused topic, Your Journaling: The Greatest Investment.
I will share with you why journaling and art journaling have been 2 of the greatest investments in my life and what these practices have led me to as one of the Greatest Investments in my life, especially in the past five years.
As an avid written journal keeper, I have found numerous benefits in my daily entries as I've discovered more about myself, my life, my world.
But one of the biggest Investments my journaling practice has been for me is in direct connection with my creativity: It has been directly influential in giving me creative clarity and direction (combined with prayer/meditation) toward building my creative practice, which is essentially regularly engaging in journaling, art journaling, doodling, intuitive watercolor painting and other creativity-based activities that keep me connected with my creative flow and light.
Journaling has enabled me to hash out what works for me creatively and what doesn't. I can be honest with myself and determine what I love and what doesn't float my boat.
One of the Greatest Investments I have discovered as a RESULT of my journaling practice has been my Intuitive Watercolor Painting. I decided to start using watercolor 5 years ago when I first began working in a sketchbook/mixed media book to create visuals with paint, image and text, what I now call my Art Journaling practice.
Watercolor and Art Journaling came into my life at the same time and both of those practices have become essential in my creative life. With both activities, I can listen carefully to my intuition and to my heart, which enables me to understand myself better, on a deeper subconscious level, which is incredibly powerful. I have been amazed with what comes out sometimes.
My watercolor painting that I do daily has become a way to play with color and apply it in my own artistic approach, both using the stippling method (essentially, dots of color in layers) as well as other paintbrush applications. This process for me is relaxing, refreshing, revitalizing and FUN. I have found my artistic style using the watercolor medium and that makes me very happy.
Journaling, both written and visual, have been conduits of wisdom, deep understanding, insight, and help with making decisions, including investing time in myself every day, even if it's just 5 minutes.
I highly recommend a written journal keeping practice as well as a visual one to invest time in yourself this year. But one of my greatest wishes is for you to discover what makes you happy and practice it every day. YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID.
How has your journaling practice been a wise and beneficial investment in your life? Detail how your life has changed for the better as a result of keeping a written journal.
Also, detail how your journaling practice has led you to the greatest benefit of your life. How did you discover it and how often do you engage in it? How do you feel about it afterwards?
Art Journaling Prompt:
Using the Greatest Investment as a prompt, create an authentic visual that honors what you love about art journaling or another activity that lifts your spirit and leaves you feeling fabulous. What do you love about it so much? Relish the process!
As you can see by the title to this post, I'm starting a new series of doodle/art related posts in association with an Art Journal Challenge I signed up for called Color Me Positive. :) They post a new challenge each week, and our first one had the theme, Gratitude.
As I have already noted, this is an art journal challenge. But I did not choose to use my current art journal as my substrate of choice. No, instead I decided to go the Doodle route and use a page in my art sketchbook where I take notes, make headers for my blog and experiment.
With the challenge having a focus on gratitude, I decided right away that I didn't want to use the word, Gratitude, in my visual. Instead, I came up with a way of expressing gratitude using different terms, so I decided to use: Thank You Very Much.
Once I determined what words I would start with, I then considered what I would include for the items I am thankful for. The three (good number!) I considered and used are: Creativity (but, of course, right?), Love, and Connection with Spirit.
Of course, creativity includes all of my Creative Practice Elements: Art Journaling, Journaling, Doodling, Watercolor Painting, Collage, Walking, Reading, etc. My creative practice has had such a positive impact on my life that I want to encourage every person to build one of their own. It can be simply life-changing. Why? Because it gives you a way to express yourself, go deeper with yourself and understand yourself better. Plus, it's FUN. It's a way to Play. And we ALL need more PLAY in our lives!
The second one is focused on Love, which includes my relationship with my husband, my daughters, and my grandson, as well as others who are dear to me, both relationally and based in quality friendships. Love makes everything more meaningful and purposeful. Love never fails.
The third, yet most important, in my list is my Connection with Spirit. I wouldn't have anything at all without it. And it is the basis for everything I do. It's where my Intuition and Inner Wisdom come from, it's where my creativity finds its greatest strength, and how I keep the LIGHT ON in my life so I can see the next step on my journey.
As far as process goes, I determined I would use wavy lines as my framework, and then I drew in letters for my message, determining spacing and design as I worked my way through. Then I determined what sort of embellishments I would use to create visual interest as well as what colors I would incorporate to help express what I was feeling the most authentic way possible.
I really enjoyed the idea of bright sunshine where my Connection with Spirit was located since this is the Light that shows me the way with every step. The rest of the embellishments are focused on geometrics, with squares and diamonds and circles, molding to the shapes around them. I had a lot of fun with this design creation.
What would be your focus with the words: Thank You Very Much? What top three dimensions of your life would you include if you made such a visual? Why would you choose those elements over others? What do these choices say about what's most important to you?
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the words, Thank You, create a visual spread that incorporates what you valued the most in the past year and why it was priority in your life. Use images and text that show the most heartfelt message that comes to you in this creation to honor your heart and process as you play in your journal.
Dawn engages in many roles: As Writer/Blogger and Artist/Creative and Founder of Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Art and JOY Align, She enjoys sharing from her vast experience as award-winning, life-long artist and leader in the field of written journaling, offering encouragement and proven tips to other journal keepers. Dawn's focus is on written journal keeping, artistic expression and finding your Creative Voice, and positive change that leads personal empowerment, encouraging you to leave your authentic and positive mark in the world. Dawn is a Commercial artist, hand letterer/illustrator and writer/blogger and enjoys sharing insights, humor, and encouragement as she shares from her life experiences as a woman, wife, mother of two grown daughters and as a Grandparent to a special needs grandson. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart.
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