Pushing Mixed Media and Finding Your Style

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As I continue my passion for mixed media I have discovered I want to push the different mediums and the pages, testing them to find interesting images. I am into layering, texture, colour and movement at the moment and these have become part of my overall style.

I want to see how much the paper can take with sprays, water, paint, collage and now with a modelling paste that dries to a stone texture. What elements does this add to the piece? How does it pull together or push apart the overall page? How does it relate to the subject of the page?

These are some questions I am musing over as I create, allowing myself the freedom to be messy.  Even if some things don’t appear to work or could be considered a mistake, I work with it and keep going, seeing how I can incorporate these into the page. This is what I am passionate about. Keep going, keep working on the piece, building up layers, finding something new that is an extension of your own styles and pushes you out of your comfort zone.

For a long time I would concentrate on sketches and paintings, feeling frustrated that my technical abilities were not to the same level as the ideas I wanted to express. two years ago I would sketch in my moleskin nearly every day, with different pens and pencils. This was good in terms of becoming more disciplined about my art, but I didn’t feel like I was giving myself any freedom to be expressive. I was still contained, thinking more about what other people considered ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and not about what I enjoyed, experienced and allowing myself to enjoy the process with the materials.

One day at home I started a sketch in my moleskin which I quickly begin to paint over. I used stamps and wrote over the whole image with words. I had started applying my interest in my altered projects to my journal and found it liberating. It felt like a breakthrough. I had changed the whole nature of my art journaling by just going with something, not being too precise or over thinking it.

When I got my current journal for my birthday – Dylusions Creative Journal – I was so excited by the endless possibilities and my new art things I sprayed loads of ink onto a page and then went blank. What am I making? It took me a while to find myself through mixed media. I was still used to a more controlled way of drawing and creating images. I decided to just go with whatever I felt like on the page. After a few pages I began to feel more confident.

My mind is like a sponge and I find inspiration everywhere and actively seek it out, on Pinterest, youtube, outside looking at trees and wildlife, books, talking to friends. It amazes me sometimes just how much there is out in the world to be inspired by and yet people say life is boring! Some elements are just inevitably going to be dull, like washing up – but, there is such a wealth of interesting, strange and obscure things in the world it would make my mind implode trying to list them all!

As I’ve progressed through this journal, I’ve really enjoyed making use of the whole page, experimenting with different elements and treating it like a puzzle where different techniques and mediums are moved around to see where they fit. I do this a lot in my videos.

If I were to give any advice on art journaling this would be it:

  • Don’t be afraid to experiment – it is the best way to find yourself as an artist
  • Challenge yourself – try things that push your abilities, set yourself goals,
  • Actively seek out inspiration – pick a subject you know nothing about – space for example – and do some research. Look for images, articles, videos, talk to people. Your own take on something is always going to original and feed your creativity and art.
  • Banish any notions of perfection – that isn’t the goal of an art journal, and from my own experience, is highly crippling to any creative process. Instead, enjoy the idea of freedom to create whatever the hell you like!
  • Find like-minded people – whether they are online, close friends, people you work with. Having creative and arty people to bounce ideas and questions with is key to growing, developing your own style and immersing yourself in the process.

2 comments on “Pushing Mixed Media and Finding Your Style

  1. pjgservices says:

    This is a very inspiring and powerful article. I like that you have given clear advice at the end. I can clearly see your passion and your talent in your videos and other posts. This ‘behind the scenes’ view of your thought processes as an artist is invaluable.

    Keep up the good work! 🙂

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