Sunday, October 19, 2014

Advice from the Inside: An Art Journaling Exercise

So, I've been working away in this visual journal for the last few weeks, but seems I have been avoiding the cover. Not really sure why... but as I went along and filled page after page, the cover stayed white with the ghost image of the original illustration showing through the gesso. The book is almost done now... I have two pages left to finish up. I figured it was time to finally tackle this.

I really have no clue how most people go about deciding what to put on the covers of their journals. I've read blogs where the cover is done first, articles on how to cover your book with interesting papers, and seen store bought journals that had the cover ready made. The only other book I've worked on I used a stencil and molding paste for a raised pattern and put in some hand lettering. But that was years ago, and my style has evolved since then. I wanted this cover to reflect what was inside.

Cover of my 2014 visual journal. I committed to doing this early this summer, and I'm almost done. It's taken
longer than I thought it would, but it's been fun. And maybe I've stumbled on a new direction to take my work. 

I decided I should treat my cover the same way I worked on the inner pages. I started with a black marker and did my writing directly on the gesso. Subsequent layers of paint has completely obliterated it. That wasn't intentional, it's just the way it worked out. The colours were what I had on my palette already, as with my other pages. The image had been cut out a few weeks ago, but I never used it for what I was working on, and the words were already cut up and sitting in a little bowl (I know that's kind of weird... it's something I use when I'm stuck. I pick a word at random out of my bowl, and use that as inspiration to draw from. I've gotten some interesting ideas this way). Put together, it seems to work. And describes exactly what this book is about.

So to the journalers out there: how do you handle the cover of your books? Post links to your own blogs or facebook images... I'd love to see how other artists determine what should go on the outside of their journals.