Finished Spread: Radioactive

This spread was created an in an altered book, Odysseys and Photographs (2007), and was specifically produced onto these pages due to the unsettling imagery that was already printed on the spread. Somehow these images, unaltered and bizarre, seemed to speak to me in a time of frustration. The photos on these pages originally displayed a restrained lab mouse being injected with a steel syringe, and a man controlling a robotic arm in order to place makeup onto a subject’s face—strange, right?  I took the liberty of adding my own peculiar imagery, paired with a color palette inspired by the word visible on that syringe: radioactive. Though it may appear a bit eerie, I actually really like how the spread turned out!

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“Radioactive” Art Journal Spread

As I’ve mentioned before, I often find that my art journal spreads are more chaotic and detailed whenever I create while angered or distressed. These types of emotions affect me strongly, but I am also able to pour out frustrations onto a journal spread more easily. It’s therapeutic for me, almost as if I’m removing the negativity—piece by piece—with every stroke and line. This spread has been halfway finished since the end of last year, but I somehow found the inspiration to complete it. I began this spread when I was overwhelmed by some feelings of anger, and the subject matter definitely does not hide this!

 

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Radioactive” Closeup, Left

Although this spread may not depict the most cheerful of illustrations, I was honestly pleased with line work that I created when drawing these skulls. These illustrations are studies of northern american rodent skulls, sketched with a soft lead (Faber Castell 8B lead, jumbo) and inked with a black brush pen (Kuretake No. 7). The original drawings were found in a vintage nature book, a gift to me, and my attempt at replicating them was almost perfect! I’m slowly advancing my drawing skills, and am always delighted whenever I discover that I’m making progress.

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“Radioactive” Closeup, Right Top

This spread was started in order to deal with intense negative feelings, but I was able to achieve a sense of accomplishment for the illustrations! The positive feeling of success in my abilities as an artist outweighed my anger. Although I don’t like to leave art journal spreads unfinished, my change in disposition was probably why I was able to close the book on this spread for so long. Creating in my art journal is always such a positive experience for me, and it’s one of the reasons that I love to share this niche hobby with others! I promise you, I haven’t been keeping an art journal for 13 years without benefiting from doing so!

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“Radioactive” Closeup, Right Bottom

This journal spread might be finished, but there are about 10 more in this altered book that are only just started! I’ll be working on some of them this weekend, but I’ll definitely be starting a new art journal spread during my Instagram live stream on Sunday at 8 pm EST. If you’ve got the time, don’t forget to join me! Until then, feel free to drop me a line in the comments below!

 


 

Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) All other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

 

Announcing: NEW Schedule & Freebies!

I’ve been gone from the blog, but only because I’ve been working SO hard to share more and better content with YOU! Yes, you. No, seriously, you. Okay, okay, I’ll stop being creepy and give you the specifics…

I’ve been recently doing live streaming on my Instagram (@emmykait) every Sunday, and the feedback has been so inspiring that I’ve re-realized my passion for sharing and encouraging others to create! Because of that, I’ve jumped back behind my desk, and developed a NEW schedule for this blog.

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Schedule for MadeByEmK.com

Here is the breakdown:

  • Sundays at 8pm EST, I’ll be live streaming the start of a new art journal spread; on rare occasions, I may also work on other (perhaps more impressive, even) art. Live streams will last for at least one hour.
  • Mondays, I’ll be HERE on the blog with a new post, recapping all of the lovely things that came out of the Sunday live stream. Monday’s post will include photos of the artwork and a quick discussion on the tools, techniques, and/or questions that I answered during the live stream.
  • Wednesday is the day that you definitely don’t want to miss!! I’ll be sharing an in depth discussion on my favorite tools, techniques, or supplies. I’ll also be giving you free printables for you to have and use! Which means: WEDNESDAY IS FREEBIE DAY! 
  • Thursdays will be art show and tell day here on the blog. I’ll be sharing with you one of my newly completed art journal spreads or other artwork! If you’re a fellow Get Messy member, then you’ll probably want to swing in on Thursday, because many of my pages are inspired by the prompts and tutorials created by my fellow Creative Team Members!

I’ll be working diligently in my studio on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Although I won’t be posting here on the blog, feel free to check Instagram and my Instagram story, because I am constantly updating my social media followers on my artistic happenings. I also LOVE to interact on Instagram, so feel free to say hello or drop me a line!

If you have questions about commissions, want me to come guest blog for you, or anything of the like, please use the “Contact” tab at the top of this website, or click HERE.

This post contains an affiliate link to the Get Messy website. If you click the link above and sign up for the Get Messy community for a year, then I will receive a small portion of the sale to help support my artistic journey, including the upkeep of this blog. However, it is available on a month-to-month basis, and even per season: if you choose to go that way, I receive no payment, but totally support your interest because I love Get Messy, and want you to enjoy its benefits the way as it best fits you!!

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!)

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!!

WIP and Business Cards

I don’t have much to share today: it seems that I’ve caught a bug that causes such incredible fatigue so as to have made it impossible not to sleep 20/24 hours a day. The good news is that, besides the fatigue, my only symptom is an itchy throat, which is easily calmed with a cough drop. I’m hoping that it does not progress.

So, for the mere purpose of content, I have two small things to share today:
1. A sneak-peak at a work in progress in my art journal, and
2. my NEW business cards.

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Detail of WIP Pink & Red AJP (1)

Here is the sneak-peak of my current work in progress. I’ll be keeping a fighter plane visible (above), which was already printed in the book that I’m altering. For the most part, I have only applied my usual base of acrylic paints, and have added  very few details atop. I have really high hopes for this spread, as it contains a new doodle that I’ve developed; it is a design of connecting circles formed only by stippling. Part of this new design can be seen in the photo below.

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Detail of WIP Pink & Red AJP (2)

Thursday, before the sickness hit, I ordered my very own business cards. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, and am finally pleased with a design. (Let’s be honest, what kind of an artist would I be if I didn’t design my own business cards?!) I went for front and back full color to show off some of my art. I expect them here in about a week, and it feels like Christmas! Low quality image can be seen below.

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New Made By EmK Business Card

Alright, guys…bed is calling my name, and I better go try to sleep this off. But on the bright side, when I wake up, my business cards will be closer to being in my hands! Woo!