New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know about you, but the biggest hurdle for me at the beginning of a new year is figuring out if the nonsense of resolutions and lists is really all its cracked up to be. Are we all REALLY going to become this new amazing version of ourselves? Overnight? Seriously?!
I’ve drastically changed things in my life usually by default or by being fed up, or by some outside circumstance that nudged me along. I stopped drinking when I found out I was pregnant, moved from Philadelphia to L.A. after one too many years of feeling like it was Groundhog Day, and left Los Angeles after being nudged out of my retail space and feeling uninspired to carry on in the same way. I didn’t have the answers when the changes happened, but they just felt right. And one more thing...NONE of these things happened on January 1st. Aaaaaah. So really? How do we make these sudden shifts in our lives? By a bold resolution list? I don’t think so. But what I do believe is that we can visualize where we want our lives to go. In my most unsure and low moments, I somehow knew that there was a new way of living that I had envisioned for myself. I took back my power ... I knew how I wanted my life to look, and the images of it it usually started in an art journal. What an “aha” moment when my little sister, Blue gave me a basic black cover sketchbook years ago. I now had a single place to start putting all of my visions and thoughts into ... this became my first art journal. By working in the sketchbook as I had time, these shifts began to happen and I started steering my life in a new direction. The art journal is the beginning that leads to the work that leads to the change.
I’ve evolved and made many art journals over the years, but the “Intention Journal” that I just made (and am still working on) has become a new favorite. Goals and visions of my life are created as I put down images that appeal to me. As I work on the page and embellish them through doodling, or collage, or adding details, words and ideas tend to emerge. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quite quickly. And then a pattern emerges. And sometimes a single bold world to proclaim to the world. In my case, it’s two: Reach / Relax.
For my “Intention Journal” class, I created the curriculum as I did the art journal work myself and then was even more excited to share the vision with my students. It starts with a sketchbook. Then paint and pens plus tape & bits of paper. Throw in a sticker or two, create your own transparent image if you wish to add another layer on top. Then add some more. Or stop. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the experience and the fun and connection you felt with yourself while doing it. Some pages are complete right away. Others take time. You add to it. Then take a break, add to another page. Then come back to it. Embellish, remove and assess.
It was a ton of fun to teach the “Intention Art Journal” class at Great Art in London recently and I’m hoping to announce new classes and workshops in the near future.