"Holy Spirit, think through me till your ideas are my ideas." ~Amy Carmichael

" Holy Spirit, think through me till your ideas are my ideas.”

~ Amy Carmichael

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Thoughts on joining an Online Art Journaling Group

Here's a page with closed flap of my Documented Life Journal
Currently I am participating in two online art journaling groups. The Documented Life Project and Identity: A Study in Ephesians. I have been posting about them, and will continue for a bit, back and forth. If you haven't ever been a part of an online art journaling group, I thought it might be helpful to know why people do it and how they decide which ones to join.

Some of the benefits of being in an online art journaling group are: 

  • Connecting with a community of likeminded people.
  • Inspiration from other participants
  • Opening up of one's imagination to new ways of looking at things and doing things.
  • It's fun to see all the different interpretations of a prompt or technique.
  • A defined focus that creates a loose sense of accountability
  • Being able to share your artwork and get encouraging feedback
  • At the end, there is a finished journal :0)

I am not much of a rule person, mostly some guidelines and even more outside the box freedom, especially regarding art and journaling. But there a few rules I hold myself to when joining an online Art Journaling group.  If the spirit of the group does not agree with these, I don't join. Art journaling should be fun, fresh, and encourage the journey I am on and/or want to be on. So here are the rules I set for myself when joining, or considering joining, an online art journaling group:

Before joining I ask myself:
  1. Does the spirit of group feel comfortable to me? Are these "my people"? Does it feel "safe"?
  2. Does how the group approach art journaling inspire me and work with my schedule and lifestyle?
  3. Am I interested in the content?

Once I join here are my two rules:
  1. DO NOT "Should" on myself. If I start thinking, "Oh I should do..." or "I need to catch up," I stop and ask myself why I am feeling that way. Then I consciously take the pressure off and do something else until I can come back to it without the pressure "to do" 
  2. NO COMPARISON ALLOWED. It robs the joy and any focus on creative possibilities.
Below is the open spread of the closed flap shown in the image above. The prompt that inspired the silhouette part of it is: be inspired by one of the artists from one of your boards on Pinterest, giving the artist credit for the inspiration (of course). I use a lot of silhouettes in my work so I'm always noticing them. I admire the figurative work of Jeanne Bessette. Her inspirational image is shown below the journal page with a link to her site.

Inspired by:
No Boundries by Jeanne Bessette. http://bessetteart.com
Actually, another prompt was also fulfilled with the page - repeating a shape and adding color. So, since I started a bit late, I feel good I got a two for one deal. Not that I am thinking I "should" do all the prompts. After all, that is not allowed :)

I like how when the flap is open, the pages preceding it show it to the right. For me, I made it my own by the message of us all being connected. It was important to me that the figures were touching each other to make that point. Then with the word "connected" I am reminded that throughout our days we really are connected to one another and make a difference in each other's lives.


  1. I receive inspiration daily while walking my dog and enjoying nature. Yesterday I thought of you and knew I had to thank you for your art journaling and let you know what it has meant to me. It is amazing to see and inspirational to read but everyone tells you that. I need to tell you that one particular statement has really made a difference in how I live. I don't know if it was your original quote but I saw it first when taking your mini class this summer. Faith in God includes faith in His timing. It is what I needed to hear at the perfect time. I have grown a deeper faith using that statement resulting in a more calm and secure way of living. THANK YOU.

  2. Valerie, I never would've thought someone with your talent would compare their work to someone else's and feel diminished somehow...An eye opener that maybe we all feel that way to some degree, always someone we want to emulate, thinking we could always be better? If only that energy could be focused to help us GROW! *sigh* I love love love your beautiful journals, such a delicious drink for the eyes :)

    1. Yep Dawn. I believe we all have areas of strengths and weaknesses and I have wrestled with that. I'm trying not to focus on the weaknesses as much but strengthen the strengths and rejoice when I am inspired by others. There's always the option to compare ourselves in some way and fall short. Thank you for sharing. It is encouraging.

  3. I always enjoy and love your work! And I really hope that one day I will make the choice to take the time for this kind of artwork instead of only running after all kinds of assigments. On the other hand I also need the money to be able to do this lovely work......choices....choices.....
    Have a lovely day and thanks for your inspiring work and words! Miranda

  4. Well said, and your work is gorgeous! I thank God that He directed my electronic path to your work. You always inspire me!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this with the group!! :)

  6. This is a very helpful post, Val. One advantage of attributing your inspiration for the page is that I was introduced to the work of Jeanne Bessette.

  7. I belong to several online journaling groups, I'm addicted, lol


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