Dear Wonderful Creative You:
Tomorrow I am off for my annual art retreat for the next several days, so I want to leave you brimming with ideas for YOUR creative life. Connection with other artists is one of the most nurturing things I do for my creativity. An art retreat or a workshop is an amazing way to do that, but a less expensive, more sustained way of doing that is to connect with someone and make collaborative art journals.
If you’ve hung around here for a while, you might remember that in early 2016 I started an art journal collaboration with artist Cait Sherwood. We both purchased the same Moleskine accordion journal, worked on it a bit, and then swapped. We continued this process for nearly 2 and a half years, until we finally met up in New York this summer. I’ve shared our progress all along the way. You can see the first marks here, see how the journals evolve and hear about my art fears here, and watch as I open Cait’s creation for the first time here.
This art journal collaboration was a ton of fun, and helped me stretch as an artist. When your style is similar, but also really different, it takes some time and trial and error to put the pieces together. Initially this felt like a challenge. I worried about upsetting her with something I did in the art – doing too much or too little. But as the collaboration continued, we found our groove, and things began to gel.
Cait had been the one to reach out to me on social media and suggest a collaboration. I didn’t know her. Over the last two years we have shared our art and some personal things too. I love the way that art has the power to connect us and make us better. Seeing Cait in person for the first time was such a beautiful way to complete this project. I also had no idea she was so tall! (And yes, I’m a bit short. But hey – not that short!)
So my hope in sharing some of the completed pages here is to inspire you. Cait has an AMAZING eye for color and texture. I love how everything feels so alive in these pages, and how our styles melded. YOU could do this too!
Aren’t these flowers that Cait made so loose and beautiful? They are a wonderful example of the beauty in imperfection.
See how they contrast with my slightly more neat plants, but still relate? This was part of the challenge initially, and then once I figured it out, the fun – going back and forth between these styles and building bridges between what each of us was saying in the art.
I made several of these birds throughout.
Cait made these fanciful cows. We also mimicked each others marks.
I punched holes all throughout this one, and we both took advantage of the different layering options that afforded us.
I love the loose lilies that Cait makes.
Cait introduced fish throughout, which were also a lot of fun to play with.
Inspired yet? What about doing your own art journal collaboration? You might have a friend nearby who is interested, or you might reach out to someone new and make an art penpal like I did. I have to tell you, getting a colorful journal in the mail takes fun mail to a whole new level. I’ve done a few other collaborations with other artists I didn’t know, and it’s always been such a rich experience. Not sure how to start your art journal? This post has tons of great ideas, or you can grab my e-book guide here, or take my intuitive art journaling class for beginners here.
P.S. Today I was featured on the Self-Care Soother Podcast with Suzanne Falter. We talked about the way I use art journaling to express and transform my feelings. She had some great questions for beginners and I think you’ll really love it. You can listen here.
P.P.S I’ve just added a free workshop for next Friday and I hope you can join me. We are going to build our creative muscles by playing creatively. You can RSVP here: Call Off the Art Police!
The links in this post are affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, if you decide to click on something and purchase, you will support the work of Mindful Art Studio to empower the artist in all of us.