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!


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!


“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.


“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.


“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!)

Art Supply Haul 2: Unboxed, Tested, & Art Journaling

In this post, I’ll be sharing a video in which you can watch the unboxing of four different art supplies and see them at work. I will also be using these new art supplies in order to work on one of my art journal pages. (If you’d like to skip the unboxing and testing of theses supplies in order to go directly to the art journaling section of this video, that part begins at 10:57. You can click the time stamp in this paragraph to skip to that portion of the video on YouTube, or you can fast forward the video on this page.)


Art Supply Haul 2 Items: Graphite and Colored Pencils, Pencil Sharpener, & India Ink

New Supplies (seen above):
5 Pack Jumbo Pencils 9000 Series by Faber-Castell (5/10 ★s)
24 Pack Premier Colored Pencils by Prismacolor (7/10 ★s)
Triple Hole Pencil Sharpener by Faber-Castell (4/10 ★s)
12 Pack Bombay India Ink by Dr. Ph. Martin (10/10 ★s)

As seems to be the theme for my latest art supply videos, these items were purchased using a gift card that I received for my birthday. Unlike the Art Snacks box or the Uni-Posca paint pens, these art supplies were of my own choosing. Purchasing $50 worth of supplies required much deliberation, hence why it’s been a month since the gift card was given to me; my indecisiveness, however, was crushed by the thrill that can only come with online shopping. I ended up spending slightly over the card’s amount, but the excess was for the sharpener: it’s silly to have pencils if you can’t use them! (Or so I told myself, splurging on a $7 name brand sharpener.)

So, without further ado, here is the video you’ve skipped through the text to get to..

Final Thoughts: The pencils were an awesome size, and exactly what pencils should be, but the graphite was shinier and lighter in color than I’d like, which isn’t exactly artist quality in my opinion…and are pretty expensive for pencils. The Prismacolor colored pencils have amazing pigmentation, but are going to dwindle to nothing soon because the lead is so soft; that being said, I knew this would be the case upon purchase. Thirdly, the pencil sharpener sharpens all the pencils I personally own, including other brands; unfortunately, it opens up on a thin plastic hinge (that I see snapping in the near future), and it leaks shaving everywhere when opened. Finally, Dr. Ph. Martin’s India inks are expensive, but I was lucky and found the 12 set on Amazon for $12 less than for what the official website sells this 12 pack. At a little over $3 per bottle, it’s almost half the price of purchasing each color individually. In my opinion, these Bombay inks were worth every penny!!

Related Posts: Art Supply Haul 1: Unboxed & Tested and Art Supply Haul 1: Challenge

New Endeavors: Arting on Records & ‘Get Messy’

The big artsy thing I began this weekend was a new way to display my art: painting directly on vinyl records. Below is a photo of my current work in progress. I’d be lying if I said it was a new idea, but I plan to create art that is similar to my art journaling style, so I know that will be original! Acrylic paint is holding exceptionally well to the record, and I’ve been pleased with the way my Uni-Posca paint pens are handling on the vinyl as well. I’m still in process of painting my first record, but I’m having tons of fun with it, so I’m sure more will follow. I was lucky enough to have a friend with a collection large enough to contain duplicate records, which I was given specifically with the intention of crafting with; things took only a small turn, and my attempt at crafting with the records have turned to arting on them!


Painted Vinyl, WIP, Unnamed

This weekend, I also placed it upon myself to discover what the hubbub on Instagram is about involving this whole ‘Get Messy‘ organization. Many of my art journaling peers are #hashtaging about this group. After a little googling, I discovered that this is a very private community for art journalers. It involves prompts, a lot of art sharing, some videos, and a private blog. It’s only $10/month (or $100/year), so I decided to give in and kill the cat. (In the curiosity way, not the animal abuse way. I’ll have you know I donate to animal shelters.) I chose the the monthly route to make sure it was going to be worth my time, but I honestly don’t know yet; it’s going to take more than a weekend to be sure that ‘Get Messy’ is for me.

Every Monday ‘Get Messy’ posts prompts, Wednesdays feature techniques, and each Friday there is new “inspiration,” though I’m not quite sure what that means yet. This happens for 6 weeks with a 2 week break, and of course I joined during a break, so I’ll have to browse through all of the archives for my information. (I won’t actually get to see the site in action for about a week and a half.) It doesn’t have 1000’s of videos, or anything like you’d find in an online class—but I didn’t expect that after seeing the price tag. That being said, if you’re curious, I think it’s worth checking out for $10.

Note: You must have or create a PayPal account, which you can do on-site, to purchase even a month of ‘Get Messy.’

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.


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!

WIP: It’s No Mona Lisa.

Portraits! Oh my do I struggle with portraits. I can draw flora and fauna to my heart’s desire, but the second I want to create a face, my artistic abilities pack up and take a vaca. Being an avid acrylic user, I love mixing paints for light and darker hues, and find it so much easier than perfecting shades with graphic or water color, however shading is still far easier than line work! It’s still a work in progress, of course, but I’m at the point where things are starting to feel cohesive. I’ve always considered my style cartoony, as my drawings imply the proper shapes but never quite capture them. I chalk this up to my horrendous hand-eye coordination. My eyes can see the lines and shadows but my hands just won’t comply.


Orange & Black WIP Spread

For my current spread, I’ve decided to paint a portrait, though it may not be my forte. I was over eager in creating my background, and while I made some amazing texture, it became far too messy to use small imagery  as the foreground—it simply would be lost in the chaos. Choosing something large and mostly opaque seemed to be the best option. I’m still in love with my background, and am leaving the most interesting elements alone. These elements include: paint that has dried raised, multicolored paint drips, stamped lettering, and circles created with my (new from the clearance) Tim Holtz paint dabbler.


Orange & Black WIP Spread

The imagery that I’m most excited about came by accident, and not by the purposeful application of tools. The left page, which is currently dominated by a long paint drip that runs horizontally as well as vertically, was created with supplies I had not previously mixed. I used watered-down tan acrylic paint to make a very fluid mixture, which dripped down the page with ease. The amount I used was in excess, and when I turned the page sideways, it poured to the left from the original drip. I had done this before, but next I did something different: I used white India ink to add to the tan paint’s original drip. I then turned the journal on its right side, mirroring the tan lines with white ones. The India ink and paint mixed independently, making an unexpected marbled effect. It’s beautiful! I will definitely be trying to recreate that effect in later spreads.


Orange & Black WIP Spread

The portrait needs line work to create facial features, but I’m 99% sure that the left page will stay just as it is. The only way I can think it may be necessary to alter the left page is if I find myself using other colors on my portrait. If other colors come into play, I may choose to incorporate them on the opposite page in order to keep my color scheme cohesive.

I’ll keep you updated on this portrait…as long as it doesn’t turn out too terribly. That being said, I’ve already accepted that it’s no Mona Lisa. (It is orange, after all.)

Working on Multiple Spreads

This past week, I just can’t seem to keep my hands off of my acrylic paints! Because these paints are usually my go to for creating backgrounds, I’ve been starting multiple spreads without getting very far on them. This has made me question the pros and cons for having multiple spreads started, and I’ve decided to share my logic with you.


Orange & Blue WIP Spread, and Green & Purple WIP Spread

1. The ability to travel with just journal and pen, always having something to draw on.
2. Having established pages for my “off” days when creating feels difficult.
3. Being able to just doodle for when I’m on a roll with my pen.
4. Having extra pages for art classes and challenges that are image oriented and not background oriented.

1. Being forced to work with color palettes that no longer resonate with me.
2. Having fewer pages to start fresh on.
3. Feeling like I might ruin something I’ve already created that I don’t remember how to recreate.
4. Being without the same paint or not remembering which ones I’ve used if I want to add to the background.


Blue & Yellow WIP Spread, and Green/Pink/Yellow Pastel WIP Spread

I’m not in fear of running out of pages to work on, though I’ll admit that this is my favorite journal. Luckily, it’s a 200 page book that I’m altering, so the number of pages left to work on is still not easily counted. That being said, I have already run into the problem of not remembering which paint I’ve used (namely the blue and yellow bone spread above), which did cause me some irritation. However, it’s been fun playing with my paint, so at least I’ve accomplished the task of enjoyably creating art…and that’s what is most important to me!

Let me know if you can think of any pros or cons for having too many spreads started. Also, feel free to comment a link to any or your work in progress art journal pages, I’d love to see what’s out there!!


WIP: Creating a Chaotic Background

I’m one of those people who thinks they’re going to “ruin” an unfinished piece; it sounds crazy because how can you ruin something that may as well not even exsist, but I know I’m not alone in this fear. One of the things that I’ve discovered to help me overcome this fear is to create wild and chaotic backgrounds that include little or no details. This way, I can cover up any part of the page and not feel like I am giving up some great part of my spread to make room for something that might turn out mediocre. If the page has multiple points of interest, removing just one of them is not so hard for me.

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WIP Chaotic Background, 4/13/2016

Creating chaos is also one of my prefered methods because it doesn’t force me into a corner. Chaos begins (and can end up) as abstract forms. If I imediately create coherent imagry, I can become preoccupied with making sure that the rest of the page matches. Chaos gives me the ability to tell myself that things don’t need to make sense or look orderly. For example, if I painted an elephant on a plain page in my art journal, I’d begin to ask my self, “Should I draw a circus tent next?” or, “How do I fill in the space around it’s legs without obscuring them?” Thoughts like that disrupt my creative process so harshly that they often force me to step away from the art.

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Chaotc Background 4/13/2016 Details

The following video shows you one of the ways that I create chaos for my spreads. I use 5 different colors of acrylic paint, two paint brushes, and a credit card to fill an entire spread with abstract shapes, paterns, and lines. This page is in no way finished, but will provide me with a wonderful base to add imagry, details, and if I so choose, words. Enjoy!

WIP ‘Head in the Stars’

The spread I’m sharing  with you today is a work in progress in my art-art journal.

Art outside of my journals is unlikely to occur off of a canvas, but every now and again I want to create without the dedication that either of those two projects demands. When I turn to a sketchbook, it’s usually for making small drawings that end up on my ATCs. However, sometimes I’ll use my sketchbook if I want to create with watercolor and believe the imagery to be too impersonal for my daily journal. Last week, I sketched a cartoon-esque face some in my sketchbook. The line art was incredibly basic, but the coloring required 3 different types of paint: watercolor crayons; water brushes, pre-filled with pigment; and diluted acrylic paint.  The portrait ended up so colorful and fun, but was created as a time killer and went hidden between the pages of that sketchbook.

My art-art journal has a few spreads that are nothing more than colorful backgrounds, which I’ve painted on whims. When I rediscovered my portrait, I decided that it belonged someplace more treasured than just my sketchbook. I lined the image with a large black marker to create a line for cutting, and trimmed her down to size. I tested the face against blue, yellow, and gray-scale backgrounds, but discovered the piece looked best on a vibrant backdrop of pinks, purples and teals! Securing the portrait came as a struggle, though, and I found some of the face pealing away as I used my paintbrush on the sticky surface of drying Modge Podge. (Invest in brand name gel medium, kids!)


It was an unfortunate accident, but I was able to creatively hide the tearing of my poor vibrant lady. The first thing I decided to do was actually cover up the blemish with other imagery. I dug out an old star shaped hole punch, some hand painted paper, and went to work! I punched out enough stars to not only cover the tear, but also enough to scatter around the art journal spread. After adhering all of the stars in clusters around my pages, I then diluted white craft paint and let it drip from the top of my journal. just to make sure all accidents were covered.

I’ll keep you updated on this whimsical spread. Until then, happy arting!