Tuesday 15 November 2011

AEDM & NaNoWriMo Day 15 - A Personal Post for Me Today: My Inner Voice

Today's creation for AEDM is:
First journal this month I have made for my Etsy shop, created from recycled goodies.
The basis is three office dividers that I salvaged from going to the landfill at my old 'world be damned' workplace.
Then covered in found paper scraps, stitched and covered in gems, broken jewellery and vintage ephemera decoration:
I've been pretty neglectful of bookbinding one journal, after another, after another, to refresh stock in my shop the past couple of months, but creativity has taken me in another direction; and I think it's always important to listen to that inner voice.

For this reason I have till now tried to avoid taking online art classes. I have only ever taken one 
class with one person, and then never finished it because I worry that I will not channel my own work, but the work of the artist who taught the class. However there are two classes I wish to take next year, and literally feel broken down the middle trying to decide what to do - one side is screaming "do not miss such great opportunities", the other is saying that "if you do the classes you will get caught up going down the creative path they have carved out for you, and fail to see your own (and what if that path had your masterpiece on it in your own, uniquely found style?)".

Finding my creativity has never been an issue for me, I have never misplaced a muse, so it is just technical skill I need (and feel I don't always have) to be able meet the muse and produce something great. Lets just say I feel like I have ideas/imagination at 100%, but can never produce GREAT work because my skills are at 20% and it leaves me frustrated, feeling like I have not expressed myself to my fullest potential.
This is my art journal page today and this is the most personal I have ever gotten in a post but perhaps all artists feel something like this at some point do they? From what I read they do. And I guess art, like life, is a learning process, which means I'll only be at my fullest potential on the day I die - for that will be the day I have learnt most. Sorry if this sounds terribly morbid or like I am ranting, this is the first time my inner voice has failed to give me an answer so I am trying to do it through a blog post. Shall I take these classes or not?........Still silence. I guess I shall just have to see on the day.

Day 14's final word count for NaNoWriMo was: 1,033

Totalling: 16,251, by today I should be on 25,000 as this is the halfway point. I cannot see my writing nearly 9,000 words today alone, but hopefully if I am feeling better today I plan on making a decent dent in that figure. Fingers crossed.

Jennibellie x


  1. Your journal page is beautiful and if that is your portrait, you do look worried. Don't worry!
    take the art classes.
    You CANNOT take a path carved for you.

    You are creative in your own right and will therefore only take the path you carve for yourself.

    The only way these classes will influence you is to give you ispiration and ideas which you will take FORWARD in your own way and the resulting art will be your own.

    Go on, just do it:) Big grin:) Just do it.

    You won't regret it, but you might regret the indecision and miss out on a golden opportunity to take your art forward.

    Gwen xx

  2. I think your work is beautiful and notice no "lack" of technical skill. If you take the class, maybe you've already said it, you're just taking it to gain technical skills and inspiration. Plus, if it's something that looks fun, I think it's nice to support fellow artist's that like to teach...I feel like I help them live their dream by being a student. Just some thoughts. I know you will make the right decision for you and you're perfect right where you are.

  3. I started out by taking workshops...every chance I got...and I'm so glad I did. I feel like I do my own thing...and so does any teacher I've ever worked with. :) I was always the rebel in the class. I learned lots of technical stuff and techniques but never came home and did any more of the same. I just added what I learned to what I knew...and now...I'm in a place where there are no workshops and taking them online doesn't necessarily appeal to me...except for one journaling workshop coming up. Anyway dear Jennibellie...Keep asking yourself why, what then and simply follow your heart.

  4. I so agree with @bohemiannie! art. I took a lot of classes in different things - framing, marbling, polymer clay etc... and each one added to my work and made me think so outside the box. I was also the "rebel" in the class, using the materials and techniques in unexpected ways. Take as many classes that interest you, and take the new techniques/concepts that you learn and make them your own. Love your videos, posts and blog. I find them all very inspiring.

  5. Wonderful work Jenny!!! I love these pages...and that girl....she has some attitude!!! wonderful work!

  6. I've never observed a lack of talent or skill in your work, honestly. One of the reasons I keep coming back here, besides the fact that you're a sweet person, is that I'm always amazed at the things you do.

    But! If you want to learn a new technique, I think it's possible to take a class without getting caught up in the instructor's style, especially if you go into the class with the mindset that this is what you want to do. You have the awareness, so I doubt you'll end up compromising yourself.

    I haven't taken an art class in ages, but I take jewelry classes all the time, and the teachers always seem to encourage my style, even though it's so different from theirs.


  7. I think you express yourself beautifully! I do know what you mean about being sidetracked onto other people's paths, tho--but I don't think that has happened with the few classes I've taken. I sometimes practice for a short time afterwards with the instructors' styles, but what sticks long-term are the techniques I've learned. And that's been invaluable :)

  8. Another wonderful journal!! I agree with the girls above about the classes...I think such a fabulously creative artist like yourself will take the technique & inspiration - and use them to enrich your own work. I think YOU need to teach a class!! :) xo

  9. Jenni;
    You are very similar to many artists I'm sure. I feel the same fears that you do, the online classes are good as far as sparking your creativity... if you don't want to get completely involved in everything you can just pick up the techniques and then not follow the rest of the classes. Everything is completely in your hands with online classes, you watch or do the lessons you want to do and then you don't do what you don't want to do ~ Easy-peezy!
    I have found it great for picking up techniques as I am a self-taught artist and I have the same fears as you. Good luck Jenni.
    Hugs and many blessings to you on your creative journey.

  10. Your journal is colorful and lovely! Your journal page is unique, too. You already have your own style. I wouldn't worry about becoming lost in someone else's. When I've taken classes I find I glean away the techniques and hints and helpful supplies, but I use them my own way. If you have a teacher who demands that everyone copy them exactly...that's poor teacher indeed. I would judge the classes by the techniques offered. If there is something you want to learn--go for it! Absorb and keep what you like and forget the rest. ;)

  11. Take the classes and stop fretting!

    Seriously, I've been to many a workshop, from card making to painting, and the work that comes out is always my own. Any decent teacher will teach you the techniques but leave to decide how to apply them.

    You already have your style, and it's a good one, so go and enjoy the classes :)

  12. Your journals are divine! Do not worry about incorporating other styles as your own when you take the classes online..YOU will prevail with your own uniqueness.

  13. A good teacher will encourage you to follow your own style and just benefit from the techniques he/she teaches. You honestly have a fantastic style of your own anyway and I think classes would only help you advance further in your own style.

    I learned a lot from art books over the years and, only this past year, took some watercolour and sketch classes to enhance my journaling skills. I found the classes to be fun and very beneficial. I say GO FOR IT!

    Btw, your journal and art for today are beautiful!!

  14. Thanks so much for discovering & commenting on my blog - I have so enjoyed hopping around and visiting different bits of your blog. Left a comment here just cos I so love the butterflies, and all the colourful ephemera you've put together here. I LOVE your BEAUTIFUL journals. Hope to 'see' you again soon :-)

  15. So did you end up taking any classes? Also I read the story snippet you posted later than this date (on your NaNoWriMo story) and now I want to know what happens!


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