An Art Journal Q&A by Dawn DeVries Sokol
This month, Dawn explores the mixed media work of Amanda Hawkins—an art journaler from Mesa, Arizona.
I’ve been aware of Amanda Hawkins’ work for a couple years now. I love her clean, graphic style and her DIY planner templates. So when I realized she also art journals, I knew she’d be a great artist to feature here. Funny thing is, we live pretty close and have never met. I will have to remedy that soon! Here’s our spotlight on Amanda Hawkins:
Why art journaling?
When I was studying art in college, I would paint or draw on massive sheets of paper and canvas. Years later, as I was developing my style, my work was getting smaller and smaller and the pressure of completing the piece or it being perfect was much less. In a notebook I could scribble, be as messy as I wanted and quickly move on to the next page. I was also going through a lot emotionally, so my art was taking on more of a journal feel—with lots of text. I was slowly starting to create art for the process and therapeutic benefits rather than the final product. Art journaling is perfect for this.
What inspired you to start art journaling?
I’m not sure how it happened exactly—I had an old datebook that hadn’t been used and just started collaging over the top of it. When I finished I bought my first set of Cahier Moleskine notebooks and joined an online community of art journalers. I was hooked.
What art journalers are your faves? Other artists you look to for inspiration?
This is hard, there are so many. My favorite well-known artists are Mark Rothko, William Kentridge and Robert Frank. Others are David Fullarton, Julia Pott, Hollis Brown Thornton and Velleity Pie. I added them and others to a Pinterest board if you’d like to see!
What important bit of advice can you give to those wanting to start art journaling?
Don’t worry about having the right materials or tools. If you don’t know where to start—open up to the first page, grab a pencil, close your eyes and draw a line. Or write the first word that comes into your head and go from there. Make a mess!
Tell us a little about your process. What mediums do you like to use?
White conté is my absolute favorite. Tissue paper, fabric scraps, ribbons, crayons, dull pencils, stamps, ink pads, stencils, masking tape, and lots of glue sticks. I have a large container full of paper scraps. I start by pulling out a few things that look interesting and arranging them on the page, then glue them down and scribble over them. I type with my typewriter onto white tissue paper and glue that on so that it looks typed over whatever is underneath. I also work really fast so I don’t over think it.
Do you also have other ways you like to create, and if so, what are they?
I sew, make DIY planner templates and binders, design and build websites, take/edit photos of my daughter, play music, write songs, and am thinking of getting into scrapbooking.
You can follow Amanda’s creative ventures on her blog, Ahhh Design by Amanda Hawkins
Dawn DeVries Sokol is the author of 1,000 Artist Journal Pages, Doodle Diary and Doodle Sketchbook. Click here for Dawn’s blog—an endless source of inspiration.
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