November Spawned a Monster

Every November, without fail, I go insane. Maybe it’s the short days. Or it’s the icky, rainy weather that shows up and doesn’t dissapate until May. Whatever it is, I start to crave color and images. My hands won’t stay still–I have to make something. One year it was xeroxed zines, black and white bits all over my bedroom floor. Knitting another year. I made a lot of ugly scarves, funky purses, and cute hats. Writing, of course, November is NaNoWriMo, after all. I started my first novel four years ago (almost to the day). But the creative activity I started six years ago has paved the way for all the other creative-craziness I’ve experimented with over the years: art journaling. It’s my favorite craft. I’m obsessed! Painting and sketching and scribbling into a little book I can snap shut and take anywhere, yes! I still journal here and there, but I stopped making it a daily habit when I started writing. Right now I’m on a temporary writing break. I’m waiting for my edit letter from my agent, then I’ll have to get back to work on Miles Away From You. And I don’t want to start a new writing project in the meantime because once a story grabs me, I can’t focus on anything else. So, the November madness is upon me and I’ve decided to start art journaling daily again. A couple nights ago, I dug out a Moleskine I started in 2012, but still haven’t filled, and wen to work. That first night I wasn’t feeling up to digging out the messy supplies yet, so I spent some time adding photographs to my journal. I usually use an app called PostalPix to have my iphone photos printed, then I stick them in my journals with double-sided scotch tape. Here are a few spreads I finished up with photos this weekend:


I used acrylic paints and watercolor pencils to make an abstract grid-like background, then pasted in a quote I’d printed from Pinterest. Since I used an inkjet printer, the words smeared and slid around when I glued it down–which worked well for the quote actually. The portrait on the left page is a selfie where I made myself to look like one of my idols, Merril Garbus of tUne-YaRdS.


The photo on the left is a print of an art journal page I did digitally on my ipad (great for lazy nights when you don’t want to drag out supplies and get your hands messy). On the right is a wicked little pixie I saw in the watercolored backgrounds. Finished the details with watercolor pencil and metallic markers.


That’s a pic of me in my “natural habitat”–the record store. The background is acrylic paint, scrapbooking paper, and metallic markers.

It was so nice to be able to add just one element to pull these pages together and complete them after all these years. That definitely lit the creative spark in me. I’m going to try to post every day as I rediscover my love or art journaling again.


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