Giveaway! 1 Year of Get Messy & Watercolor Set

To help me start off my year right as a Creative Team Member for the beautiful community that is Get Messy, I have been been granted the privilege to host a giveaway for an entire free year subscription of Get Messy to a lucky random winner! To make things even more fun, I’ve decided to also giveaway a set of Prima brand watercolors!! The watercolors that I discussed last blog post (click HERE to read) have made me so happy, and I really want to give another individual the opportunity to work with them! This giveaway is totally free and taking place on my Instagram. Details below!!!

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So how do you enter?
• Set 1: Go to my Instagram page.
• Step 2: Follow me @emmykait and @getmessyartjournal.
• Step 3: Like the photo that says GIVEAWAY! (It looks just like the one above.)
• Step 4: Comment on that photo by telling my your favorite art supply.
• Step 5: Wait until I announce a winner on Wednesday 25 January 2016.

This giveaway is located on my Instagram: @emmykait and admission will end 23 January 2017, 11:59pm EST.


PS: I am now an affiliate through Get Messy and am able to receive a small payment in return for you becoming a Get Messy annual member. By clicking the link above and purchasing an annual membership, you are supporting me and this blog—and I am beyond thankful if you choose to do so! That being said, I know that not everyone wants to jump into a whole year membership, so no hard feelings if you just want to try it out for a month. The community is awesome though, and I really think that if you enjoy art journaling, you’ll love being a Get Messy member too! Here is a review that I wrote about the community before becoming a Creative Team Member of affiliate. The site also offers a free class for you to get a taste of the things offered in the community. You can check out the Get Messy official Instagram, and see if that doesn’t get your creative spark…well..sparked!

 

Instagram Takeover!

This week is pretty cool for me, as I’m taking over the Get Messy Art Journal official Instagram, @getmessyartjournal. Until January 8th, I’ll be curating the Instagram with photos of my own art, re-posts of Insta photos that use the hashtag #getmessyartjournal, and be responding to questions and comments on any of the photos that I post! I’m still going to be active at @emmykait, my everyday Instagram home, but I’ve been hoarding photos of my art journal spreads specifically for the Get Messy takeover! Here’s a little taste of the photos I’ll be posting on the ‘gram:

This honor was bestowed upon me as a Get Messy Creative Team Member (which I totally posted about HERE), and I was so lucky to be the first to takeover in 2017 and I got to post the 1,000th Instagram photo for Get Messy! I know it’s not like I won a world series, but seeing as how my sports knowledge starts and ends with the fact that “World Series” is a sportsball term, this is way cooler to me!  I quit my 9 to 5 at the end of 2015 in order to pursue my passion of creating, and it seems like that choice was made with perfect timing! Working with Get Messy this year is a dream come true, and starting it off with this takeover is just the icing on the cake! I hope you come visit me there this week!!

Links!

Huge News! Art Journaling News!

I’ve finally taken a break from jumping up and down in excitement to write this post, so let me start out by saying I’m ecstatic to be telling you all my good news!! Are you ready? For 2017, I will be pushing myself to be as creative as possible for my new position as a Creative Team member! I’ve been chosen to be a part of the Get Messy Creative Team for next year, and will be creating videos, tutorial posts, and sharing images of my art work for a group of 1500+ beautiful people who share my biggest passion: art journaling!

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Art journaling is the one thing that has been with me for the majority of my life, before I knew that such a thing even had a name. I could not be happier to share my love of arting between the pages of a bound sketchbook, altering coffee table books, and getting my hands colorfully messy!  I feel like my artistic style has come such a long way in the past couple of years, and finally defining my method of creating—with certain techniques, supplies, and tons of emotion—has not only helped me find my artistic voice, but is now letting me share it with others. (It sounds goofy, I know, but I’m in happy-shock, so please bare with me.)

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A Sampling From My Art Journal Collection

When I was younger, before “art journaling” was defined to me, I called my art journals “my souls,” because that’s what it feels like: pouring my soul onto the pages of these once empty pages. While I may not be an emotional exhibitionist, I’ve always considered myself an open book, and oddly enough, it seems like sharing my “souls” is allowing me to prove it. So, let’s start with my most recently finished spread, one inspired by another Get Messy Creative Team member: Vanessa Oliver-Llyod, aka Dans Mon Crane!

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“Altered Dimension” Art Journal Spread

Vanessa hosted an hour long live event on the private Get Messy Facebook page last week, and while I wasn’t able to participate in the fun during the event, I happily re-watched the video at my desk, following along with her process. I can’t say that this spread turned out looking even remotely close to Vanessa’s beautiful journal pages, (which you should totally check out HERE) but I’m still very happy with my end product! It was so odd to not begin my spread with blocking in shapes of acrylic paint, but starting as Vanessa did instead. I stuck true to all of the suggestions made during the live event, but I just couldn’t stop myself from making all of the wild doodles and drippys that I so love to add to my journal spreads! Her ideas plus my ideas turned up making a pretty unique spread.

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Bottom Left

My spread ended up featuring a poker card, the queen of diamonds, which was altered to be far creepier than originally intended; her skin was painted green, her hood turned into a homage to The Bride of Frankenstein, and a third eye added to her chakra point. I’m not complaining by any means, as I fan-girl over weird and creepy pretty frequently, but the contrast of theme from that which was created during the live event is pretty extreme. The photo below is a close up of this altered card, presented next to a queen of hearts from the same deck for a better understanding of how much altering occurred.

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“Altered Dimension” Comparison to Unaltered Playing Card

I had so much fun with this exercise, switching up my process, and doing new things in my art journal that I would have never done without Vanessa’s input! I wasn’t alone either, as this exercise got a lot of the Get Messy community members in the mood to create. Seeing everyone’s pages was pretty awesome, as each member applied the suggestions to art journal spreads while guided by intuition and staying true to their style! As you can see in the close up’s below, I also didn’t stray too far from my usual aesthetic.

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Top Left

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Top Right

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Bottom Right

I’m so excited to not only work with Vanessa, but continue learning from her—and my new team members—over the course of this next year! If you haven’t joined this group, feel free to visit the Get Messy website and check out the FREE class, so that you can see if it’s right for you. I’d LOVE to see you there!! (Note: Even if you decide not to join, I’ll still be sharing a lot of stuff here, and I’m not going anywhere!)

Art Journal Speed Process: “Enlighten the Untransformed”

I (finally!) got around to finishing a spread that I’m currently recording the process of, and I’m sharing it with you today! I don’t know how excited about this you are, I’m pretty stoked, because it’s a rarity that I can focus myself long enough to make sure all aspects of a page get recorded. If you’re like me and leave your art laying out, you probably find yourself stepping past, only to double back in order to make a mark or two. I often can’t cram everything onto a page in one sitting, simply because a completely detailed art journal spread usually takes about six or more hours to finish. I know many other artists can bang pages out in just an hour or less, but my aesthetic is all about clutter and chaos, so I love lots of little designs and details…which can take a LOT of time.

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This journal page, which is all about trying to enlighten those who are unwilling, is both a statement about myself and others. I think that everyone should strive to have an open mind and an open heart, and even though many people believe themselves to be ‘open minded,’ I’m not quite sure they’re correct. The Socratic paradox says that a wise man knows that he knows nothing, and to accept that you have ignorance is to accept that there is always more to learn and understand. This page speaks both to my personal beliefs and to my political beliefs. As an American, I think that this message is especially relevant right now, during the 2016 presidential election.

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Although this page was not specifically created in response to anything, this is one of those spreads in which the meaning developed as it took form. I’m a strong believer that inspiration comes most often when we aren’t looking for it, and sometimes my muse doesn’t speak until I’ve already started working; this was one of those times.

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Anyways, lets get past the heavy stuff and enjoy how our minds can take the ugly and form into something beautiful, which, in this case, is providing me with reason to reflect and create! Being able to create another art journal spread (where I can meditate and breathe easy for a while) is great comfort for my anxious mind. I invite you to watch this process video, take a moment to unwind, and even play in your own journal! Enjoy! (If the video below doesn’t work for you, click HERE.)

 

My Experience in Get Messy: A Review

The photos included in this post are all close ups of art journal spreads that I have created during my time involved in the Get Messy art journaling group. Most of them are not seen elsewhere, and I consider to be unfinished or in progress.

It has been five months (how?!?) since I’ve joined the online art journaling group that is Get Messy. Now that I’ve spent some time there, I can finally tell you: I am so glad that I found this lovely little community! At first, I wasn’t exactly sure what the $10/month membership fee was getting me, or that it was worth it, but I’m sure now—about both the fee and the worth! If you’ve been visiting my blog since May, when I first posted about Get Messy, then you’ve probably also seen my two art journal spreads, “Ink Blot Buffalo” and “Catcher of Dreams,” which were inspired by Get Messy prompts and tutorials.

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“Ink Blot Buffalo” Art Journal Spread (Close Up, Center)

Since I’ve been art journaling for so many years, have my own studio space, and even budget for art supplies, I consider myself very dedicated to making art on a regular basis. All of that being said, I’m someone who suffers from extreme lethargy, and even the tasks that I enjoy doing can often seem like a chore. The Get Messy group emphasizes accountability to creating, and encourages those who love to create to do just that! Get Messy allows me access to a source of specialized information, which motivates me to get off of the sofa and into the studio, and that can be a blessing!

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Close Up from a Work-In-Progress (EmK Wright)

So besides the motivation, what else does Get Messy provide? The member’s only site provides one short list of prompts, one tutorial, and one “inspirational” post per week, with six week per one “season.” Because a “season” lasts for 6 weeks, and there are 6 seasons per year, you’re looking at about $100 for 108 posts—excluding a few additional posts, such as interviews. Get Messy also provides a place for like-minded people to share their work, which is probably my favorite part of the group. I follow so many more blogs and Instagram users now, many of which I discovered through Get Messy; while the Get Messy blog may be a great source of inspiration, my fellow members are just as much (if not more) inspiring, and I’m so thankful to have found them!

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“Drowning Out” Art Journal Spread (Close Up, Top Right)

Now, for those of you with doubts, let me say this: I know that anyone could google “journal prompts,” look up art tutorials on YouTube, and find artist interviews on a few dozen websites, but Get Messy does more than just do that work for us. The Get Messy group also 1) provides access to unique prompts and tutorials, 2) organizes the material, 3) provides the information in a spaced out manner, as to not overwhelm the members, and 4) uses a ‘creative team‘ (aka a group of year-round teachers) who are dedicated to this niche. As someone who hungers for information and inspiration about such a specific art form, Get Messy posts never leave me disappointed by the kind of prompts/tutorials that are presented.

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“Shots & Stars” Art Journal Spread (Close Up, Top Left)

So, in my opinion, who is Get Messy good for? Anyone who wants to learn more about art journaling, anyone who is just starting out on their art journaling adventure, and anyone who is an art journaling veteran. It’s also perfect for those of us who need an extra push to get in front of our art and away from the couch. Get Messy is prefect for those who like prompts, because even though prompts seem to hinder me, I know a lot of artists question not how to create but what to create.

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“Divination: Destination” Art Journal Spread (Close Up, Top Right)

Get Messy is not the place for anyone who has tried and hates to make art. (You’ll never know if you never try!) This sounds CRAZY to me, but my husband doesn’t understand the appeal, so I know these types of people must exist. Neither of my parents are painters or sketchers, and my mother has said on multiple occasions, “I hate to color,” so if you also hate arting, this might not be the best investment for you…even if it is only $10 a month. (I mean if you hate to art, we can still be friends, but don’t get mad at me if I try to trick you into a craft store at some point.) In summation: art good, Get Messy good, you good, me good! That’s late night babble for: Yes, I totally love being a part of Get Messy and endorse it 100%!

If you discovered this blog and my work because of Get Messy PLEASE feel free to leave me a comment, a link to you blog, and a link to your Instagram. (Heck, even if not, feel free to link up in the comments!) I’d love to connect with you!

DISCLAIMER: In no way have I, EmK Wright, been paid to review or discuss the Get Messy art journal group. At the creation of this post, I am paying a membership fee and have not been approached by anyone, including those associated with the Get Messy group, to review or discuss the Get Messy art journal group. I discovered Get Messy, pay for Get Messy, and am involved in Get Messy by choice, and without reimbursement or encouragment. (And happily so!)

Finished Spread: Catcher of Dreams

For a week, I’ve been out of arting commission, babying a bruised hand. Thankfully, none of my knuckles retained any of that lovely plum hue that both inspired and impaired. I’m not at full capacity, but I decided to take a peek at the Get Messy blog, and couldn’t help myself from shifting from computer to art journal. One of the many lovely prompts from this past week recommended using the imagery of a dream catcher, and while I’m not one to interpret prompts too literally, I decided to have a go at it. Little did I know, my inability to think in geometric shapes would cause me to spend hours trying to figure out how to draw the netting of the catcher. That being said: I’m 99.9% happy with the finished net design of my dream catcher! (My favorite dream catcher, a heart shaped frame wrapped in teal leather, was the only one that followed me into my teenage years; after this drawing experience, I thank myself for not attempting to draw it and it’s complicated net work!)

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“Catcher of Dreams” Art Journal Spread: Upper Left

As someone who doesn’t include a lot of text within the spread of my journals, I can be pretty picky with the imagery that ends up on my pages, but a dream catcher does speak to the memories of my youth. Living in an area where sacred burial mounds and beautiful Native American earthworks speckle the landscape, I was always aware of native culture, especially because of the the annual festival of Native culture that is held in my hometown. I was afflicted with night terrors as a child, and the ceiling above my bed held as many dream catchers —mostly from that festival—as I could ration for the thumbtack holes, like constellations, above my head. For this reason, my spread also portrays an eye (on of my favorite images) crying, the coloring mimicking the dream catcher and its blue dangling strings, a representation of the fear and panic that sleep can cause me.

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“Catcher of Dreams” Art Journal Spread: Upper Right

I also liked that using a dream catcher in this spread would date it for me, as the Dakota Access Pipeline protest continues to dominate the news. With the beautiful people of Flint, MI still struggling with ruined water pipelines, and now the Natives in the Dakotas struggling to guard their water sources, my heart aches for those who must fight for their freedom to drink clean water. I don’t usually get political when it comes to art journaling, but sometimes your subconscious speaks before you can censor it.

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“Catcher of Dreams” Art Journal Spread.

Now that I’ve been a part of the Get Messy art journaling group, I have a lot to say, and say I will next post. Thank you guys for hanging out with me! Feel free to drop me a line via comment below; I’m thrilled to be back in business and painting away!

I can’t believe it: I was INTERVIEWED?!

In recent news, I was interviewed by the ah-may-zing Caylee Grey, in which I answered all of her questions through photographs. She titled this interview A Visual Guide To Expressing Yourself With Art Journaling. Honestly, it’s such an honor to be somewhere outside of this blog, and I’m still in happy-shock that someone so talented thinks my art is good enough to feature in an interview! You’re probably wondering, “How did this even happen?” Earlier this year, Caylee asked creative readers to apply for the opportunity of guest poster, and somehow I was chosen to be featured with 8 other lovely artists on her blog this autumn. (I’m genuinely blown away by these other ladies, too!) I happily took photos of my art for Caylee’s post, including one journal spread that I specifically created for this interview, as seen below, titled How Do I Start. The photo featured on Caylee’s blog is slightly different and has more creative guidance, so don’t think I’m just giving away my secrets. (Wink, wink.)

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“How Do I Start” Art Journal Spread

Anyways, enough about me, go check out Caylee’s blog! Caylee offers her readers beautiful posts, which are packed with content on everything from organization to art journaling; it’s good enough to read twice! After all, this is a co-founder of the Get Messy art journaling community, co-founder of the podcast How She Creates, and an artist who offers her own online courses! (See why I feel so honored?!)

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My Art, Featured at the Blog of Caylee Grey

I first came across Caylee’s blog via Googling “art journal.” (I know, creative of me, right?) But it wasn’t long before I was in awe of her blog, combing the archives and lost between posts about photography, creativity, and the  glimpses into her journals. While my personal aesthetic is loud and colorful, her’s seems to celebrate negative space and soft pastels. It’s dreamy, it’s clean, and it’s easy on the eyes! No, I’m not just saying this because she accepted me as an interviewee—Caylee Grey has a style I could never master! If you’re visiting me because you like art journaling, you should know that there is another side to the palette, which is just as charming, and that Caylee is an expert in it!

So, here is your homework: go see/read my interview, listen to How She Creates, try out  Caylee’s free online course on Art Journaling, and, if you can, invest $10 this month in finding out if Get Messy is right for you, because that’s how I found out that it is right for me!!

Art Journal Speed Process: “Making Shadows”

I have a certain love for hanging lanterns. Honestly, all party supplies stir something inside me that just gets me in a good mood, whether it be streamers, balloons…presents. I have a bad habit of leaving decorations up far beyond a reasonable time frame, and in fact, have a string of green paper lanterns dangling from the ceiling in my studio; as of now, there are no plans to remove them. It’s should be no surprise that hanging lanterns would eventually find themselves layered into the artwork of my journal.

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“Making Shadows” Art Journal Spread

Unlike most of my journal pages, which are created impromptu, this spread had a moment of conception when the muse struck me outside of my studio. I had this strange urge to use a wet paint technique to create red, multi-hued hanging lanterns. I wasn’t quite sure what this journal spread would be about (other than my affinity for celebratory ephemera) but I got to my desk ASAP, and started gluing down collage material to get my creative juices flowing. It wasn’t long before I had thick circles of red paint adorning my pages! For this spread, I also brought out my inks, KRINK paint tools, pens, and markers and let the magic happen.

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“Making Shadows” Close Up (Left)

Some of these collage images came from my purchase of a coffee table book about National Geographic photographers, which will be my next altered book. Before I begin altering a book, I always remove some pages from it to alleviate stress from the binding, as my altered pages thicken the book quite a bit. The pages removed from my NatGeo book had some pretty interesting images, so I kept them for collage material. If you have interest in this book, you can find it on Amazon.com HERE. At his time, a new version of this book is available for $3.24 (plus shipping), which is an awesome price for the amount of beautiful images this large hardcover holds.

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“Making Shadows” Close Up (Right)

To see the creation of the journal spread “Making Shadows,” you can watch the video below or click HERE.

As always, if you have any questions about supplies used, applied techniques, or just want to drop me a line, feel free to connect with me in the comments below!

“Creatures” Spread

About 5 months ago, an artist who specializes in art journaling, Roxanne Coble, released her first solo online art class called Creatures. I had previously taken a class from this individual from a group course that she was involved in, and was very interested in taking another class with her. She’s had professional training in art, meaning she knows what she’s talking about, her illustration style is cute and quirky, and she has great eye for detail. After months of thinking, “Should I, shouldn’t I?” Roxanne released her second solo online class, Lyrical, and began selling the two as a package deal; I finally broke down and spent the cash. When it comes to the new dual course from Coble, I have only taken the time to sit down and work while watching the set of Creatures videos, and today I’m sharing with you my first (and so far, only) spread from this course.

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For those of you who have never taken an online art class, let me explain the basics. The first thing you do is give someone your monies, usually $25-$75, via paypal through etsy or another similar website. This cash gets you a PDF, which usually contains a supply list, some words from your instructor, and instructions on how you can view the how-to videos that pertain to the course. These videos are either emailed to you or online and accessible via a password, which may be included in the PDF file. I’ve purchased about 4 online art classes now from different instructors, and it has always worked this way for me.

The Creatures course is available on etsy HERE for $55, and the Creatures and Lyrical course bundle is HERE for $95.

“Ugly” Journal Pages & How To Deal With Them

I am struggling with an art journal spread right now. Unfortunately, it’s the first one in my newest journal, which is not the best way to start! I purchased the Dylusions brand Creative Journal a while ago from a craft store, and while it’s a well known art journal book now, I had never heard of the item upon purchase. When I saw the journal, I was in complete awe of it’s thick pages, hard cover, handy inner pouch, and it’s unique horizontal elastic closure band; I had to own it! Well…now we’re fighting, and I hate to abandon it. Because of this current situation, I wanted to discuss how I “fix” my “ugly” journal spreads, and what that even means to me.

In my opinion, an “ugly” art journal spread is not necessarily ugly to look at, but causes it’s creator to become stumped and ultimately abandon the journal spread. Do you find yourself thinking, “I don’t know what to do next!” because you don’t want to ruin what you’ve already created? The moment that happens, my page becomes an unfinished and lackluster piece. I sometimes believe that abandoning a piece that’s almost finished helps to tell my story, but other times, there’s not enough imagery to even call it “good enough.” When that happens, and I feel like I can go no further, I know it’s time to cover up and create something fresh. I’ve had to start telling myself, “If I don’t want to ruin my journal spread, then it’s time to ruin my journal spread.”

I would like to share with you some techniques that I use to purposefully alter a stumping  journal spread instead of abandoning it:
1. Take a XL paint brush, cover most of the spread in a dark colored (blue, purple, red, etc.) india ink, so that only hints of old shapes peak through.
2. Adhere collage material sporadically on the pages, covering the parts that originally controlled the spread.
3. Paint chunks of the page with a completely different color of opaque acrylic paint. (The change in color is always a huge inspiration!)
4. Drip inks and paints from the top of the page to the bottom, so as to hide some of the old imagery.
5. Use a large tipped marker (usually my black Big Brush Pitt Pen by Faber-Castell) and make huge doodles, creating new imagery or a new background to work on.
6. Find (or make) new imagery in a sketchbook that can be cut out and adhered to the spread as a new jumping off point.

I know that a lot of people will gesso an art journal page that they perceive as hopeless, but I don’t (always) mind if some of my original page peeks through; it makes for good background fodder. Also, unless you prefer to start with a stark white page, gessoing a page already thick with previous paint and collage material can be wasteful. If I plan to use acrylic paint or collage material in moving forward with a spread, then I know that the opacity of those items will be enough to hide my old pages, and there is no need to waste expensive thick gesso. If not using gesso to cover a spread, an artist does not need to step away for drying time, and the continuation of working on a piece will keep the artistic energy flowing. That being said, if you feel like you’re ready to just rip out your pages and throw them away, sometimes gessoing your piece and taking a breather is required!