Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Writing in the Journal

Some people have trouble writing in an "art" journal, but we feel that the writting is a key component of the visual journal. It is this merger of the image and the word that gives the visual journal its power. Many visual journalists use writing and words as the final layer of their pages, but often times, writing can be used as a beginning layer. In this page, Dave began with a stream of consciousness writing in pencil using the prompt "I need..." He then used ink and metallic marker to highlight key words, and then used watersoluble graphite and watercolor pencil on top of the writting. This obscured some of the writing, but it is not importanat that the writing stays legible. It is important that it was written. He finished off this page with a packaging tape transfer of a photocopied photograph that I had taken of him.

The stream of consciousness wrtiting is a great creative writing technique, and it is a good way to "brain dump" all the stuff that floats around in our minds. We use a timed, 7 minute writing that seems to be long enough to get at the heart of an issue, idea, or concern.

Try allowing a spontaneous writing to be the spark for a page.


wonderlost said...

I love that you have started posting visual journaling ideas as well as describing your process more often- it's really helpful to me- I am a journaler but I frequently have trouble breaking away from using my sketchbook as a place to take notes during meetings or while developing new lessons- it's hard for me to think of a way to start writing or using images without writing extremely personal things. I feel the need to keep two separate journals- one for home and one for work, and neither seems complete. Your posts help me think of ways to mesh the two together, either by adding visual images and techniques to my work journal, or text to my personal journal.
I like it.

Eric said...

Some people almost have a split personality when it comes to the visual journal - the public and the private. Many visual journalists are really intimidated by getting personal in the journal afraid that someone will see it. I know some who keep a purely private visual journal where they can go deep and dark and personal. While others keep two or even more journals for different reasons. And each person needs to figure out for him or herself how that will work out. I personally don't mind putting the personal in my journal. If it's something that I don't want others to see, I think of ways to hide, obscure, or cover it.

Try writing with different media - like watercolor pencil, water-soluble graphite, or water-based marker and washing over it with water. The writing gets blurred and obscured. And then layering on top can obscure the writing even more.