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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Get Messy Art Journal: Season of Introspection

I recently signed up for the Get Messy Season of Introspection, and it has been such a whirlwind of ideas, inspiration, and insight. I was hesitant to join Get Messy at first because I wasn't sure what to expect, but I'm so glad that I decided to become a member. The weekly prompts have allowed me to tap into so many feelings I've dismissed and kept hidden, and I'm so grateful for the support and encouragement I've received from the Get Messy community. I've been posting most pages on my Instagram (@sweetashleyann), but I wanted to share my thoughts on this season here as well.

I decided to use a little pocket notebook (4.25" x 5.5") for my art journaling, because I love working on a smaller scale. Something about it feels more intimate which I figured was perfect for the theme of this season. For my first spread in Week 1, I created an introductory page, and didn't adhere strictly to the prompt. I found this gorgeous girl in a magazine and immediately felt like she belonged here. The way she gazes out into the distance gives me a feeling of hope, and hope is what I hold on to every day. The sentiment in the top corner is a lovely reminder that I am a work in progress. I am a canvas with layers upon layers, some good some bad, but all necessary in the creation of something beautiful. 

The next spread I tried the inkblot technique using some acrylic paint I had on hand. I did it a couple of times because I didn't like how it turned out, and then I covered parts of it using a flower stencil. I was stuck on this page for a long time until I finally decided to look through my magazine stash for an image to put in the center. 

I settled on the image of this horse, and pondered the symbolism behind it for quite a while. Then, I thought of the movie Black Beauty which lead to the journaling on the right. I must admit I find it a bit difficult to add journaling to my pages. I never quite know what to say, and I always feel like it needs to be poetic. This turned out to be a success, but I hope to be able to add more journaling to future pages. One of the things I love about Get Messy is that they provide journal prompts in addition to art prompts. There are no strict guidelines to follow the prompts exactly, but I feel like the journal prompts allow for deeper reflection which is something I struggle with and would like to explore more.

Right before the Week 2 prompts were posted, I came across this amazing quote by Audre Lorde. It immediately spoke to me, and once I read the prompts for the week I knew I had to include it in my art journal. As I mentioned, I don't normally do a lot of journaling, so I decided to do some scribble journaling. It's totally illegible, but it expresses all my innermost thoughts and feelings. I mainly wrote about the paralyzing effect of fear, and as I painted a wash of white over my own handwriting and stamped each letter in black, I felt a bit of that fear slip away.

Week 3 I had an interesting idea in my head that didn't translate exactly how I wanted it to on the page. I was listening to "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" by Hillsong United, and I felt moved to create a spread dedicated to the message I received. I found the image of the boat in a magazine, and I wanted to create something otherworldly. As the week went on, the deep, dark seascape and the galaxy of stars I imagined became much more simplified. Even though it's not what I originally had in mind, the message is much more important and quite dear to me.

Finally, I come to this page in my art journal. It's not based on any of the prompts, but I still wanted to share. It's kind of messy and not my favorite spread, but it sums up what the Season of Introspection means to me. It has given me the power to dig a little deeper, and the more I dig the more I uncover parts of myself that I buried long ago. On this journey of self-discovery I'm realizing to know myself, my true self, is to be more alive.

Are you a Get Messian? Have you started the Season of Introspection? What does introspection mean to you, and in what ways do you practice it?

Get Messy Art Journal is an art journaling program that is a school, art playground and family. We are a group of like-minded art journalers who have come together under this art form to learn, share, practice our skills, and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. Our community values consistent creating, encouragement and support, and trying new things. We would love to have you join us as a member of Get Messy Art Journal.