I was thrilled when I finished my first visual journal cover to cover, and I couldn’t wait to start my new book. When I first found my second book I was in love, as I flipped through the pages I could visualize all of the things I was going to create. But just four pages in, I hit my wall.
Inspiration block can come out of nowhere and prevent you from moving forward with your projects. I had ideas to get me started in my journal, but once I had a few pages complete I felt stuck. I didn’t know where to go from there. Whenever I picked up my book I found myself overwhelmed. Rather than visualizing future pages I became sucked into the emptiness of all of the blank pages in the book, and the amount of work required to fill them up.
There is nothing worse than feeling a sense of obligation when trying to create work for yourself. The purpose of a journal is not for it to be a chore, it is meant to be a place to vent, reminisce, and store memories. I knew when I hit this point it was time to take a break. With another school year starting, and all of the stress and busyness that comes with that, it was the perfect time to put my book away for awhile.
For a couple of weeks I didn’t make anything in my book; however even though my book was out of sight, it wasn’t out of mind. Anytime something happened I wrote it down on my to-be-created journal list; or anytime I stumbled on an image that struck me, I ripped it out and saved it. Slowly, as things began to slow down at school I decided it was time to revisit my journal.
I started by going down my list of things I wanted to make pages for, but still nothing inspired me. Next step was to explore my overflowing visual journal folder. I flipped through the pieces of paper, random pictures, and leftovers from past journal pages, everything I saved since I began my first journal. Suddenly, stuck in the back, I found the easel I traced around to create the cover of my first journal. It made me smile, and a page began to form in my mind.
When you are stuck and have no idea where to go looking forward can be difficult. In these situations, when the future is daunting, there is nothing better than to look to the past. Remind yourself what inspired you before, and use that to get you moving again. Find new inspiration in old places… (click here to see the book cover that inspired this page).
- Visual journal
- Rubber cement
- Book pages
To create this visual journal page I started with the easel cut out I traced around to create the pattern on my first visual journal cover. I decided to use it as a basis for the page, and I took a square piece of paper, and traced around the easel to create the circular, snow flake shape once again. I played around with placement on the page, and decided to put the tracing on the left side page, and glue the easel cut out on the right side page. However, before I glued them down I thought about the background, and decided to rip up pages and glue them down to add texture.
I ripped up book pages from the book I was currently working in and used rubber cement to tack them down. As I got close to covering the entire right side page, I decided to do something different, leave a space, and then finish covering the page. Once everything was glued on the right I stepped back, and thought about the left page. I didn’t want to do the same thing to the left side, but I wanted them to tie together. I finally settled on placing ripped up book pages around the square with the easels, but leave the rest of the page blank.
I began placing the other pieces and quickly realized I needed color. Since I had a somewhat opposite look going with the way I glued down the book pages, I decided to take it a step further. I left the ripped up paper white on the left side, and painted the rest of the page with red, orange, and yellow watercolors. On the right side I painted the book pages with the same color watercolors, but left the right corner white. In order to contrast the white pages I then painted the background of the drawn easels and the actual easel cut out with watercolor, and then glued them down.
However, I still wasn’t happy. Suddenly the easel shapes were blending in and the book pages weren’t popping against the watercolor, so I went to my go-to-supply when nothing seems to be working, a sharpie. I decided to make some of the drawn easels break out of the square, and continue onto the page, and I finished by tracing every other easel. I then traced around the white book pages with sharpie to create enough contrast to make it pop and added my words on the right side corner. After one last look I decided to take a color sharpie and scribble the space between the white book pages and painted book pages to make it pop, and I mirrored the color on the left page by coloring in one of the easels.
Although this page is simple compared to many of my pages it was a challenge from start to finish. I couldn’t come up with an idea, I couldn’t decide how to layout the page, and nothing seemed to be working together. However, despite this, I kept going and in the end I am very satisfied with the outcome. Sometimes the uphill battle makes the end result even better.
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