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!

 

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!

Instagram Update & InkTober Art Haul

Miss me? No? Because you have a life and don’t rely on this six month old blog for the majority of your entertainment? Fair enough. However, if that were in fact the case, I may have disappointed you with a lack of posting. Well, good news! I’ve got some pictures and a video to occupy your mind and delight your eyes. Hurrah!

So where have I been? Mostly, on Instagram. If you have an account on this social media giant, feel free to follow me or watch the hashtag #madebyemk, with which I tag 99% of my posts. If you haven’t yet clicked the link (or don’t plan to, because life is already hard enough) here’s a small preview of what you are missing…

Have I tempted you to check it out? If not, here is another great reason: IT’S INKTOBER, and I’m participating! Inktober is a drawing challenge, created by Jake Parker, in which artists dedicate themselves to drawing one image everyday of October. The creator releases a prompt list, but not all artists follow it; the point is to draw each day, and it doesn’t matter what, as long as it’s in ink. Anyone can participate in Inktober; the only thing you need is a piece of paper and a pen. If you’re a pen junkie like me, you may use this month as excuse to buy art supplies, and I have some suggestions. This Inktober, I’m using black Faber-Castell PITT pens and grey Faber-Castell brush tipped PITT pens in an Art-Plus Moleskine. The video below explains everything you need to know, including a quick review of the pens and notebook that I’m using for this month’s awesome drawing challenge. (You can also see this video HERE.)

The PITT pens I’ll be using are black and gray, and I purchased a set of each for this drawing challenge. The grey pack comes as a set of soft brush tips, including cold greys and warm grays, providing a huge range for shading and coloring. The first photo below is an example of the colors included. I strongly recommend some grays for shading, and the Faber-Castell PITT pens are all made with India ink, so they look pretty great with most drawing pens out there. The second photo below portrays a close up of each of the pen nibs from the black set. Most PITT pen users are comfortable with the smaller nibbed pens, but this set also included 3 larger tips that I had never used before. Both of these sets run about $25 USD, which isn’t a huge savings if you were to break the 8 pack down, so I don’t recommend purchasing the wallet sets if you only plan on using small nibs,  (XS, S, F, and M) as it’s worth it to purchase those pens individually.

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Pens Included In: PITT Pen Soft Brush 8 Pack of Assorted Greys

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Pens included In: PITT Pen 8 Pack of Black Assorted Tip Size

If you are participating in Inktober, please leave a comment below with a link we can all check out to your blog or Instagram. I’m so excited to see what creativity transpires over the next month! I’ll be updating with my drawings all October as I join in the fun!!

Update: Videos & “Tarot Spreads”

I had planned to share a new art journal video with you today, but yesterday something magical happened: my August Art Snacks box came in the mail! Okay, so that may not be magical per se, but it’s something that I get gasping, grinning, jumping and down excited about. What I’m trying to say is that getting new art supplies is awesome in a Christmas morning type of way, and Santa came yesterday! So, for two days, I have been working on my August Art Snacks unboxing video, and though finished, takes about 8 hours to upload to YouTube. While you wait for that, I’ve decided to share a recent idea that I’ve had…

I’ve always loved the idea of making my own tarot cards: a set of 76 cards, each with it’s own picture on the front and the same on the back. I’ve toyed with the idea of using note cards, drawing images on the blank side and glueing the same printed image over the lined side. However, using note cards—or any other handmade cards—will always have small tells for which card is which, as you can never make things perfect. I’ve decided to get them printed by whichever website offers me the ability to do this, with a price that doesn’t break the bank, of course.

In order to make this set of tarot cards, I will need related imagery for them.To achieve this, I have decided to work on art journal spreads using imagery that I can photograph and use as the pictures for my cards. Most tarot card sets are 76 cards, made up of 5 different suits. These suits five includes one which consists of the more well known cards (like “Death” or “The Fool”) called the major arcana. The major arcana is made up of 21 cards. For this personal goal, I will start with the major arcana, as 21 images seems so much more reasonable than 76.  Once I discover how long this takes me, then I will consider rather or not to make the remaining 65. I’ll be honest: 76 cards sounds like more than I’m really willing to do, but if it’s in the cards, then I guess I’ll find out when I get to it.

These art journal pages will be my “Tarot Spreads,” and I will be sharing them here, announcing which tarot cards the imagery will be for. I’m pretty excited about this, it being an idea that I’ve had for about 6 years!

Anyway, I’ll see you later this week with my Art Snack Unboxing: August video! Hopefully it gets up by tomorrow, but it may be Friday. Until then: happy arting!

Finished Spread: Space and Clusters

This is a spread that has been sitting quietly, half finished, in my art journal for about two months. The colors are great (pastel blues and greens paired with their more vibrant counterparts via india inks and transparent acrylics) but there is just something really off about the whole spread that kept me away. Honestly, I think that the biggest issue I have with this spread is how dense the right page appears as compared to how much negative space is seen on the left page. Understand: both pages are 100% my style…just not coupled together. To me, the pages on either side of this spread contrast so harshly that they may as well be different pieces entirely. But, good news: they’re just pages in art journal! Here I was able to be creative, explore a color palette, and lose myself in a world where the only thing that mattered was the time spent making something.

So, I’m sure you’re curious to see this monstrosity, no? Well, it’s really not that bad, so I’ll share. (Insert winking emoji here.)

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“Space and CLusters” Art Journal Spread

And, while the spread itself may be lacking, the individual elements are pretty fun. Here are some closeups for your viewing pleasure:

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Center Close Up of “Space and Clusters” Art Journal Spread

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Left Close Up of “Space and Clusters” Art Journal Spread

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Right Close Up of “Space and Clusters” Art Journal Spread

Thanks so much for blinding yourself on this spread (joking…kind of) and don’t forget to visit me here again Wednesday! I’m in the process of editing a new speed process art journaling video, which is of a page that I actually think is pretty cool! For a sneak peak, you can visit my instagram by clicking this link: EmK’s Instagram.

Finished Spread “Internal Tide”

It took me about a week, but I’m finally motivating myself away from Murder She Wrote (I’m judging me, too) and back to the paint splattered  beauty that is my desk. I’ve had a gorgeous mess of dried Bombay India ink sitting in my journal for five days, waiting to be transformed from colorful anarchy to repurposed chaos; today, I obliged.

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“Internal Tide” Art Journal Spread Close Up: Center

Working with the India ink was a lot different that my usual acrylics. The thin ink moved more freely than what I’m used to, creating organic shapes and colors, whereas my usual paint needs more guidance. Painting with acrylics provides the artist with a substance that requires manipulation, but letting a drop of India ink flow freely next to a drop of a different color will create unexpected swirls or patterns that the user cannot control. Of course, this could be avoided with precision, paint brushes, and plentiful drying time, but where’s the fun in that?

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“Internal Tide” Art Journal Close Up: Left Page

Working with a more controllable substance has taught me to cause chaos that looks accidental, so being provided with a medium that does most of the hard work for me is both exciting and a little baffling. When I create splatters or blocks of paint, I already have a mental arsenal of the designs and patterns I can add to these acrylic arrangements of colors; when I lay inks down and let them move across my page, motivated only by gravity and surface tension, the movement of color is unique, which pushes me to find new ways to create atop it. Which is great…if I’m not in a slump.

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“Internal Tide” Art Journal Spread Close Up: Right Page

Well, luckily I decided my fingers needed a little busy work today, and working on art outweighs dish washing any day of the week. For those of you who have never worked on dried puddles of India ink, there is a gloss to the transparent ink that you will not find with inexpensive acrylics. I’ve discovered the matte white ink dries much chalkier, and as seen above, can even crack slightly after drying.

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“Internal Tide” Art Journal Page

 

I used Faber-Castell Pitt pens, Sakura of America gelly roll pens, and UniPosca Paint pens (my review is HERE) on this spread, accenting only slightly with tan acrylic craft paint. I’m not quite sure that I’ll flood my journal page the next time I work with India ink, but I was pleasantly surprised by the results of it. If you didn’t see the post where in which I talked about the set of Dr. Ph. Martin’s India ink that I purchased, which was used in the creation of this spread, you can find it HERE coupled with a YouTube video!

Art Journal Speed Process: “Ink Blot Buffalo”

Forgive the tardiness of this post, as I was involved in a pretty intense car accident that left me so shaken and exhausted that I collapsed on my sofa upon return instead of blogging to you, dear follower. (I have a feeling you might be understanding in realizing that the situation was an unexpected incident which could alter anyone’s schedule.) But I thank you for your patience and present you with almost 20 minutes of an art journal speed process video!

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“Ink Blot Buffalo” Art Journal Spread

I created the above spread as my first week’s participation in the Get Messy group (discussed in this blog post), which offered multiple prompts as part of the current week for this six week season. The theme for these six weeks is introspection, and I chose to do an inkblot type design with my acrylic paint. The Get Messy prompt inspired a great many of us to see what we would find in our homemade “inkblots,” which mimics the famous Rorschach test.  I’ve done this before, as you can see in the photo below, but it’s been a long time since!

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“Not All That Bites Is Bad” Art Journal Spread

This video took me quite a bit of time to put together, as it not only shows an entire start-to-finish process for my newest art journal page, “Ink Blot Buffalo,” but I also took the time to add commentary though out the video. This commentary provides you with my rationale during the creation of this spread, detail of the art supplies used, and gives you a little insight on how it is that I create my spreads. The video is sped up to four times the original, so there is a lot of content crammed into it! Enjoy!

 

More photos of the “Ink Blot Buffalo” art journal spread can be seen below.

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“Ink Blot Buffalo” Close-Up: Bottom

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“Ink Blot Buffalo” Close-Up: Right Page

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“Ink Blot Buffalo” Close-Up: Right Page

I hope you gained a little insight and a lot of inspiration, and I will see you Friday with a new post! Feel free to contact me before then by leaving me a comment below; I’d love to hear your thoughts!!!