Visual Journals – My New Obsession

I have been a faithful journal writer for more than six years now. I have volumes of both handwritten and typed journal pages. When I first began, the linear-sequential part of me insisted that I only write on lined pages or type so I could use spell check.

Two years ago, I was lucky enough to attend a seminar at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) on Ocracoke Island. The seminar was entitled “Reading and Writing by the Sea.” I joined with a group of educators from across the state to explore the art of writing for a few days in January. On the first night, we were given new journals to begin recording our experiences and thoughts from the week. I panicked just a bit when I opened the cover to find completely blank pages. What? No lines? How would I right straight?

The facilitator of the seminar suggested that we take some time that first evening to show our journals who was boss. We were provided access to rubber stamps and ink, magic markers, and water colors. Taking time to “mess up” the pages certainly did open my writing in completely new directions. I became obsessed with making sure I had some sort of colorful border or background design on my pages before  I started writing. I also gravitated to “my” style of journal when I needed more blank pages. I know what type of journal I prefer and I know the only place in town that I can purchase exactly what I like.

Two weeks ago, one of my colleagues (an art teacher) invited us to join her once or twice a week after school to begin “visual journals”. This seemed like a very natural progression for me, so I jumped right in. Now I’m completely hooked. I search the internet almost daily looking for new prompts. I have collected my art supplies from various locations in my home and put them in one place where I can easily access them. And I just can’t stop!

I’m also signing up for the Creative Every Day 2012 Challenge (http://creativeeveryday.com/2012-creative-every-day-challenge) and will be sharing some of my creations here throughout the coming year. I’m excited about this new direction and can’t wait to get started! Who says I have to wait? Time to get creative!

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