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Reason.

Artjournal_find_2 I think one of the reasons I fell in love with design and scrapbooking is that it gave me a reason to make art. A reason to play with papers and words and images. A reason to have something to say. A reason to solve a problem through visual means.


In my scrapbooks I can easily tell a story because there is always something specific to tell, a moment to capture, something tangible to recall. A focal point from which to begin.



For some reason, before scrapbooking, I had in my mind that I needed a reason to emake art. That I could not create just for the sake of creating. Well, I could do it physically, but in my mind I was bombarded with too many questions, fears, negative self-talk. I would start something and then stop myself...


Why am I doing this?



I have nothing to say?


This is dumb.


This is a bunch of abstract nothingness.

This sucks.



The few times that I did paint I was left with the feeling that I had nothing to say. There was no emotion behind my painting. In my mind, no reason. And my big question: who would want to listen to me anyway?



But you know what?


Through the few pages I have created for this Art Journal challenge, I am finding that I am the one who listens. It is me that needs to hear my voice through another medium (rather than in my head), through paint or collage or design or journaling or photography or typography or whatever.


I guess I needed permission from myself that it was ok to make art for me, to find my voice (even if I am the only one listening) through my own exploration of thoughts and supplies and techniques, to just create stuff. To play. Permission to make it what I want it to be. To let myself go. To reach inside myself and see what's in there...what creations have been laying dormant due to my own fears of having nothing to say.


I am learning that art is an expression of my self. That there is something in me, waiting for permission to come forth.

Reason
, like perfection, is totally overrated.

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33 thoughts

  1. Julie says…
    06/28/2005

    I LOVE the quote you used on your art journal page from Miss Rumphius. That is one of my favorite children's books, and the quote is something I have tried to think about and strive for. What can *I* do to make the world more beautiful?
    Thanks, too, for your insight into letting go and finding your own voice. As always, you give me something to think about!

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  2. Amanda says…
    06/28/2005

    Well said! I understand completely. I find that talking out loud often helps me learn. Does that make sense? Journaling and art and communication are the medium by which we are able to learn, to understand, to relate. At least for me anyway!!
    thanks many times over for sharing and continuing to share :)

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  3. doris says…
    06/28/2005

    powerful insight.

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  4. emily ruth says…
    06/28/2005

    i am the only audience...love it!...you're cool...

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  5. stephanie thiel says…
    06/28/2005

    Wisdom beyond your years Obi Wan (got Star Wars tag from Renee' and thought I'd pass it along to you!). I am always amazed at how you are able to dig just deep enough to uncover your truths. This is no simple feat Ali. My hat is off to you and your ability look past a lot of the psychological muck and zero in on what it takes to make you real...and to make your art real for 'you".

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  6. Loni says…
    06/28/2005

    Well said, my friend.
    Loni

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  7. keschypoo says…
    07/01/2005

    Thank you for this...
    "I guess I needed permission from myself that it was ok to make art for me, to find my voice (even if I am the only one listening) through my own exploration of thoughts and supplies and techniques, to just create stuff. To play. Permission to make it what I want it to be. To let myself go. To reach inside myself and see what's in there...what creations have been laying dormant due to my own fears of having nothing to say. "
    I was at Hood River this weekend in a small coffee shop. Displayed on the walls were small sketchbooks, just little black and white books of peoples drawings of daily stuff. I so wanted to make one. So much that I actually went and bought the journal and a special black fine point drawing pen. Hmmmm, what now, I can't draw... what am I going to draw...? Me doing the dishes, no one wants to see a drawing of me doing the dishes.
    But now I get it... I WANT TO SEE A DRAWING OF ME DOING THE DISHES. Even if for now it is just a stick figure. :-)
    Thanks for the permission I've been needing!

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  8. Angi B says…
    07/02/2005

    thank you Ali! i've been taking a little break from all my creative endeavors and have been wanting to dive back in but didn't have a clear view of how to do just that - then I read this post and it all makes sense. Sometimes art has no reason. Thanks for the inspiration (again!)

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