The Happy Medium

I made reference to not over thinking things when sitting down to create an art journal style page in a previous post and AussieDeb mentioned that this was ironic for her, when she starts a page she either ends up staring at it for ever with a blank mind or she does the complete opposite and over think things, then she can’t seem to make anything work on the page. She asked please, please if you can, tell us how to achieve that happy medium?!!

The transition from digital scrapbooking to digital art journaling can be a tough one. In scrapbooking we are used to all sorts of rules, and yet when it comes to art journaling rules disappear and we have a blank canvas to fill. Not overthinking things is a skill that's gained with practice. The more you do something the more natural it will feel to you, so if you're wanting to take the leap into digital art journaling practice does make the process easier, don't give up at the first hurdle. 

Captivating Sista Joanne says . .
"I'm relatively new to scrapping 'artsy' but since scrapping in this way on a regular basis I've truly been able to 'let myself go'. Sometimes it is a colour that speaks to me, a quote or just how I am feeling that day. When I 'try' to make a page a certain way I find I struggle.

During these moments changing papers, and adding brushes to experiment with blending usually gets me on my way. When I stop forcing a certain 'look' and start to 'feel' the page I am much happier and like what I have created much more. I also go in fits and starts, I must be in the mood or it just doesn't work for me.

I find that I really enjoy art journaling, there doesn't seem to be 'rules' if that makes sense. It's scrapping for me as opposed for others, I can't draw a stick person but all the possibilites within art journaling allow me to feel creative and tap into whatever I am feeling at any given time."

Often, less is more when it comes to art journaling which why not overthinking things was one of my suggestions. I'd love you to approach your next page as an experiment, start by creating visual interest in your background by blending different layers of paint or elements, or different background papers together and take it from there and see where it leads you.

Here are some things that I do to work through that feeling of not knowing where to start or fixing the issue of making things work on my page. I hope they might help you past a stumbling block too and that with practice you find your happy medium!

A brief goal helps It really helps me to start out with a goal in mind.  Have a think about where you are with things right now, is there something specific you want to document about the way you’re currently feeling? Do you just want to get artsy for a creative release? Think about your current mood and the message you want to communicate to yourself and others. Are there certain symbols or colours that match your current mood or message that you want to convey?

Having a vision in mind (even if it’s a loose idea) can help you start making initial decisions and a get a little start on your page. Look through your supplies to find something you'd like to work with that will fit with your theme and tone of your message. Check out my post with tips on telling your story visually and here for working with mixed media backgrounds.

You'll never look at a template the same way again
Heather recently wrote a fantastic article for you about how to create an Art Journal Page from scratch using a regular digital scrapbooking template! I bet you have at least one layered template in your stash that you could experiment with. You can find lots oftemplates in my shop. If you haven’t already read this tutorial I highly recommend it!

Captivating Sista Ellen says . . .
"I almost always start with a template. It gives me a good starting point, but before long my creative juices start to kick in. I will move things around until I like the look and sometimes it is hard to see the original template once I've finished!"

Think outside of the box Look at the supplies you have at hand in new ways, study the shape of edges, borders or Mats, can you clip photos or papers to them and blend them into things? Could you layer blocks of paint side by side and create a collaged look by clipping paper or ephemera to them? Could you re-purpose your elements by creating transfers out of them? Could you blend papers together to create a new paper?

Be open to experimentation Every time I sit down to create a page I always like to try and experiment somehow and that’s often how I get past the creative block, the experiments don’t always work out but that’s ok, I like trying new things and sometimes the unexpected happens!

Refresh yourself with the other tutorials on my blog, maybe there is a technique or blending mode you haven’t tried before that you’d like to try or a layout that's been deconstructed that will inspire you to start or finish a page.

I hope these ideas have inspired and not overwhelmed! Next time you are stuck on a page try just one or two of these suggestions, I'd love to hear how you get on and what method helped you to find a happy medium!

Do you already have a process you work through that helps you to find a happy medium, or maybe you have some other thoughts? Please leave us a comment below.

Rachel