My Art Journal Page Process: Carpe Diem

I'd like to share more of how I move through my process of creating an art journal page.  This spread in my art journal is one to take you through.  Often, I really have no idea what I'm going to art journal about—so I let the page become itself.

With this page, I started with a random, neutral background of torn text papers. Then I added a second layer of torn scrapbook paper. I chose this paper for the colors and bold lines—colors as my palette, and the bold, modern design also inspired the rest of the page, too.

Carpe Diem Art Journal Page start - mixed media

I wish I took more shots in between the beginning and the the almost end...I get so involved in the making that I forget to snap pictures. But I want to point out a couple of things about my process between starting the page and the point where I found myself below, almost finished.

Carpe Diem Art Journal Page mid-way completed - mixed media

First, you will notice several layers between layer two and this almost final page. I created a background with two-tone layers of red, using a stencil. Then I made my own stencils for the the square and triangle shapes and did a wash of that blue green. Now I had a background.

Next, I looked through magazines for colors and patterns in my palette of colors—and any images that caught my eye. The girl in teal glasses jumped out at me, and when I cut off her hair I knew she needed to be in water. In fact the journaling I added later says, "she just needed to be in water!"

From there, you see that I cut out shapes from the magazine papers I collected to create all the rest of the imagery: flowers, waves, her bathing cap...Teesha Moore, a wonderful art journalist, says that she uses magazine pages as paint—and I have come to adopt that process as well. As I always tell people, the images in magazines are created by OTHER (graphic design) artists—make all that rich color and imagery your own.

Here is my final page, below. As you can see, I added all kinds of embellishment to the page—doodling the flowers, edging all the collage elements...and of course journaling in white pen:

Carpe Diem Art Journal page - mixed media

Like I said, I often let the page tell me as I create it what it is about—and that surely happened here! As I created the page, it became very clear to me that I was thinking about spring and summer...and as I journaled I realized that I needed a reminder to enjoy these seasons—to stop and take in the flowers and definitely get into water often (my favorite). Thus, "carpe-diem" became the obvious title!

Lastly, you will note that the main difference between this photo and the one above it is that I added a bunch more flowers on the right side—and one nautical flower on her bathing cap. I thought I was about done when I got to the point in the picture above this one—but then it became obvious that I needed to balance the composition with—more collaged and doodled flowers!

I'm often asked: When do you know you're done?

For me, I know I'm done when there's not a single thing more I want to do.

With that said, too often I stop too soon. As I look at the page now, I see that I can and should go further! The background could use more layers...there's more I want to do so it's not finished!

I'll post a final, final shot on the Createful Studio Facebook Page soon!

I hope you enjoyed learning about my process—and I hope you're inspired to go do some art journaling of your own!