Art Journal New Beginnings

Happy Monday!  Most of you know that I filled up my old art journal and needed a new one.  I made this one out of materials laying around the house.  My employer threw out a stack of perfectly good manila file folders because they were flooded.  Rather than risk handing a potential customer a water damaged folder, they tossed them.  Since water damage doesn’t really offend me, I collected them and have a couple hundred of the things lying around.  That, some old cardboard boxes, some newspaper, string and masking tape and voilà: A Brand Spanking New Art Journal!

The stitching is a method I picked up from Samantha Kira and the binding I picked up from Leslie Herger.

It’s a great size and I’ve already started playing in it onThe Artistic Biker Live! Be sure and join us every Thursday night from 7-9p U.S. Central time to see what happens next! It’s a crazy good time for everyone.

The video for the new Art Journal can be found at The YouTube, or you can just watch it in the embedded player below:

A week or two ago I mentioned a time saving system I had discovered that might win me the Nobel Prize.  Most of that was sarcasm as I have desperately been struggling with ways to balance art, work, and family.   However, since I received a couple of e-mails on it from other people struggling with the EXACT same issues, I thought I would share with you what I’ve learned.

As artists we all face a two-headed demon.  We love the simplicity and elegance of lines and design and composition; but we hate being squished into structure.  I am a list maker.  I have been a compulsive list maker my entire life.  If there were a List Maker’s Anonymous group, I would be the charter member.  Maybe I’ll add that to the list.  I am probably the world’s worst list follower, doubly so because I’m a man.  Once I’ve made the list, the problem is solved and we can all go about our business, right?  Wrong.  Making the list is only half the problem.  That’s key so I’ll say it again in man language, it’s only HALF of the problem.  If you are going to solve the problem, which is what we men pride ourselves on*, then you have to address the second half, the follow through!  That’s the bit I’m working on now.

The two biggest breakthroughs I have made recently are to right down my to-do list and keep it in front of me, and to learn to say no.  The first part, the list and keeping it in front of me, that was easy.  As I said earlier, I’m a list maker.  However, I found a video from Erika Douglas a couple of weeks ago that showed me how much of an amateur I am at making lists.  She’s almost half my age and a self made millionaire.  I hate her.  :)  But the little cute-heart made a video and a blog post that really hit home for us list makers.  In her post, “Getting Things Done,” she not only outlines the way she makes and keeps her list, but she explains that if you go several days without addressing something then you should recognize you either don’t have the time, knowledge, or desire to do that something and should outsource it.  That’s brilliance.

The saying NO is the harder part.  I was brought up to always say yes to my parents and school teachers when they asked me to do something.  That works when you only have one or three people asking you.  But then you hit the real world and you have spouses, children, neighbors, city officials, employers, coworkers, and yes even your parents and teachers for some.   At some point you have to learn to say no to some of the requests, no matter how reasonable they may seem.  I have been saying no to some things like watching TV and working on Saturdays and it has freed up TONS of time to do more of the things I love.  Try saying no to some of the time eaters in your life and see if it gives you more freedom.

Do any of you have any tips for getting things done?  I would love to hear them and I know I’m not the only one.

*I really don’t mean to be offensive to the ladies here, I’m just trying to get the men’s attention.  I don’t have a pork chop or a picture of a scantily clad young lady so I have to sort of challenge them.  You know how they are.)

6 thoughts on “Art Journal New Beginnings

  1. Hi, my name is Andree, and I’m a list maker. Sometimes I tell myself it’s only going to be a small list, a little reminder to get me through the day – but the lists turn into major problems that affect everyone in my life. Lately I have been dealing with this using the Half-Hour Method (TM.) This consists of tackling the list in small, manageable chunks where I do as much as I can do in a 1/2 hour, before moving on to my regularly scheduled programming (scantily-clad people and pork chops with a dash of Law & Order.) Without the Half Hour Method (TM) my lists seemed very daunting. But now I often find that once I get started, I keep going past that 1/2 hour. One chunk at a time…

  2. I too am a list maker and I am horrible at following them.

    I have learned how to say no the hard way. I like you no longer watch much TV and when I do it’s with my art making on the laptop. we don’t even have cable or a functioning TV anymore.

    But to learn to say no… I learned the hard way that sometimes I have to say no. I used to do a lot of commission work with handmade books. It got to a point where I couldn’t fulfill all the orders, a good problem to have except it was stressing me out.

    I finally said no to custom book orders, unless I’ve worked with a person before and know them I won’t take an order. That list is short. as much as I enjoyed working on books having someone ask me to make a sparkly pink, rhinestone studded, pink leather journal with hot pink pages was more than I could handle.(I kid you not that was an actual request.) So I said no, it was hard and weird for me to take down my custom order page on etsy, but I feel better and I’m able to focus on what I love- my art, not what other people want from me,

  3. I’m not a list maker and maybe that explains a lot. *LOL*

    I tried the bookbinding and although I like the way my book turned out, the binding is a bit more loose than I thought it was before glueing the first page to the .. umm.. I just realised I don’t know what to call that first page of a book where you’ve ripped the textblock out of but kept the pretty paper on the inside of the cover… well.. you know what I mean, right? Anyway.. now it’s slightly too loose, but will make it work!

  4. Artistic Biker: You Rock!!!!!!! I love your site and you give me a lot of inspiration to work in my own art journals!!!!!!!! A friend and fellow art journaler in New York . . . Tom

  5. Well – I’m not a boy – sorry about that – instead of saying no to things, I say yes instead. It seems easier. I got rid of my television because I wanted to be free of the numbness that comes with watching it. Instead of saying “no more tv” – I said – I’m going to give myself this gift of time and energy – I’ll get rid of my tv! Instead of looking at my list as the enemy – the things that must get done, I think of them as things I can do to alleviate my stress and free up my time and attention. Subtle mind games I know – but it works for me!

  6. I just stumbled across your site and I’m so glad!! It’s great and makes me want to dig up that art journal I haven’t played in in MONTHS! thanks ;)

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