The one where I share my process

2 Mar

Good afternoon and happy Saturday.

It’s been snowing all day here but luckily it’s not sticking. Nashville gets a bit crazy when there’s snow on the ground. I was lucky to find milk and bread at the grocery store today!

So, today, I’m going to share something from my work life….kinda. One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is designing new programs ( we focus on ethics, morality and leadership). For the last year, I have been part of a team of women who gather regularly to design a women’s leadership group. We are working to create spaces where women can form small group relationships to encounter different life experiences and foster honest conversation. One focus of our group is to re-imagine the relationship between creativity and the ways we lead. (If you are interested in more about our group, click here.)

During one of our Core meetings (formally called the steering committee), my friend Nancy shared that because I introduced them to art journaling over the summer, she wanted to  start one her very own (which she did and we now have art journal dates!). She then went on to walk them through my creative process. It was fascinating to hear it in someone else’s words. I’m not sure I would have been able to capture it as well as she did. She shared my process as an example of how what we are doing in our group can be used in our  work lives or wherever we are leaders. The rest of the Core thought we should present it to our larger group (our Circles). Since I work with paint, I had to do it cooking show style; that is to say, I prepared the pages ahead of time to show while she narrated my process.

Except that now, I have 4 layouts that have the potential to end up very similar. So, I’ve challenged myself to end up with 4 completely different layouts. I haven’t had a chance to work on them, but I thought I would share them so you could see how they started out. I will be sure to post them when I finish.

journal 1

At our meeting, Nancy explained that I start with a blank page (or in this case, cover over a page of doodles) and put down my first layer of gesso (but you all knew that!).

journal 2

She shared that the next layer is often times a layer of color and can sometimes inspire the whole layout.

journal 3

Sometimes I get to the next layer with an idea (in this case, using news print and wrapping paper) and sometimes I don’t. When I don’t have a clear vision, I will look for outside inspiration. I love to scroll through Pinterest or go to the blog of an artist I love (Donna Downey and Jennibellie are who I usually go to first).

journal 4

She loves that I used found objects in my art (peanut butter lids, starbucks cup holders etc) – like here I used a few different size lids for the circle details on the edge of the layout.

journal 6

Sometimes, I find the inspiration I need and I end up with a great idea. Other times, that’s not quite the case. Anyhow, the idea is that if you’re using this model at work, for example, you start with an idea. Sometimes, you work on it on your own, other times you need to call on your team or experts outside your team. Sometimes, you need to be creative with your ideas, resolutions, etc. I’m sure I’m not conveying it as well as she did, but then, I’m just the visual artist. She’s the wordsmith!

journal 5

So there you have it; 4 layouts that started out basically the same. The challenge begins! I haven’t had that spark of inspiration just yet, so it may take a while, but keep checking back for the reveal!

Till next week,
Cheers!
Michelle

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