The second week of the Visual Journaling workshop was about adding visual elements to our backgrounds - still without an idea or concept of the finished piece. This feels like collage to me, though this process is more fluid, less planned. More spontaneous. It certainly is uncovering my difficulty in altering my approach to a project or process.
I started off by sifting through images for elements that looked 'right' together because of color or theme, without giving much thought to how they relate to each other. Then a theme of sorts started to emerge and I felt a bit more comfortable. I haven't begun to think about actually writing on these pages. Aack. All of this work only to mess it up with words?
I didn't realize that I had a comfort zone when it came to art, since it's relatively new in my creative career; I can see that my trepidation at stepping outside the box, my rigidity is in place, and that's why I love this workshop. All the time I've been experimenting with processes and techniques and feeling like I've been so open, only to realize how set in my ways I really am. That the way we approach other areas of life carries over to working in the studio - like gravitating toward the familiar, over-thinking and letting the monkey mind have its way.
I have read a number of articles about how little of our brain we actually use, how we're all artists as children and slowly deprogrammed over the years by the school system, that our early perceptions of self are firmly molded - until broken open and rediscovered. That I have been so stumped by doing a journal page without any concept or plan for the finished piece tells me that there is a lot of truth in those theories.
I didn't grow up in an environment with an abundance of art and literature, though my mother has always been an avid reader. My father was an international sales executive so my parents traveled extensively and though they brought cultures from around the world into our home, it was mostly about business. A strong work ethic. Getting the job done. Not so much about play, experiment, discovery. I thought I had given myself full permission to be an artist as well as a business person, but my creative license obviously has a conditional clause or two, which I fully intend on eliminating. So, I have my work cut out for me. Bring it on Week Three.