This is my favorite page from my gothic arch journal (titled “Word Painting” after the cover page now). I don’t know why it’s my favorite, except perhaps that I like peacocks, and I like the color combination.
My favorite image is actually the bird-headed woman here:
Besides being the most daring I’ve gotten with collage, it is also resonates very strongly with the story I’ve been working on, which is something I’d like to see happen more and more in my journals.
However, the page as a whole leaves me cold. I had set it up to use as a demo for a shading technique at last week’s art journal workshop, but it was kind of a disaster. The first mistake was putting the tree in the forefront of the page, when the woman should have been the main focus. I also had a strong border around the edges, further distracting from the image. My efforts to fix the composition flaw with shading, stamped texture, and text just made the whole thing a mess. You couldn’t focus on the woman at all. So I colored over nearly everything with a watercolor crayon, added a unobtrusive dot border and a narrow band of text. I wouldn’t say it “saved” the page, but it did allow the woman to show up more prominently, and that is the thing I want to remember when I look back at this page!
The lesson in this is two-fold. One: if you don’t like what happens on a page, don’t give up. Keep working at it, adding layers, covering parts up. I know the temptation to rip pages out of your journal is strong but resist it. You can always salvage something!
Two: You’re not going to love every page of your journal, and that’s okay. Creative journaling is about the process, not the product. Sometimes the process is frustrating, but it is still teaching you something. Each time you look back at the page you don’t like, you’ll remember what it was you learned when you made it. Keep those unlikeable pages in your journal, so you remember your whole journey.
You can view the rest of the pages of the journal in my flickr stream, if you so desire. And here’s hoping you are having a great Sunday/Valentine’s Day/Chinese New Year!