An Art Journal Q&A by Dawn DeVries Sokol
This month, Dawn interviews Tammy Garcia, an artist from Texas.
I’ve been online friends with Tammy Garcia for a while now, reading her blog daily and interacting with her on Twitter. Her blog name, Daisy Yellow, obviously doesn’t fully describe her zestful artistic style since her dynamic art journal pages are infused with such a vibrant rainbow palette, movement, and texture. Her blog covers all matters of art journaling, but doesn’t stop there. She posts regularly about art activities with her children, and these lessons and experiments inspire even childless adults like myself. Recently, she’s gone small with her Index-Card-A-Day (ICAD) challenge, sparking a “tiny” art movement that’s rapidly canvassing the Internet. Without further ado, Tammy Garcia…
Why art journaling?
Art journaling is a magical sort of art where you are free to play on the page. I love that there are no rules, that you can keep layering and layering, enjoying the texture and color of the paint, the imagery, the words. There doesn’t need to be a goal or a plan or a color scheme.
What inspired you to start art journaling?
The art journal pages I saw on Flickr were so free, with a vivid and refreshing sort of chaos on the page; it was disorganized, organic, flowing. Art journaling brings together paper, paint, pens, and words—all of the things I love.
What art journalers are your faves? Other artists you look to for inspiration?
My favorite art journalists include:
And I am inspired by:
- Aimee of Artsyville
- Druga Szesnascie
- Emily Kobliska Christians
- Amy of The Creative Mom Podcast
What important bit of advice can you give to those wanting to start art journaling?
The art of art journaling is really that of focusing on the process rather than the end result. It’s difficult at the start to stare at a blank page and wonder what to do, scared. Skip this by using your first journal as a place for experimentation. Learn how to use the art supplies in your stash. Write notes. Test ideas. You can do whatever you want in your art journal. You can sit on a bench in Amsterdam and sketch architecture. You can use a water-brush to paint a stop sign in turquoise. Use alphabet stamps to stamp the song swirling in your head. Paint squares and circles and doodle or write messages inside. You can doodle on an index card containing your grocery list and staple it to the page. You can draw a map of an imaginary place. And you can gesso over all of it and start again. So get something, anything, on the page.
Tell us a little about your process. What mediums do you like to use?
I work on large pages of watercolor paper, in old books and in 5 in. x 8 in. watercolor moleskine and Exacompta journals. My journal pages start without a plan. Usually I paint with acrylics and scribble with (Caran d’Ache) Neocolors—whatever colors I’m into at the moment. I like to make abstract pages with watercolors or inks and cut them up and use them on my art journal pages. By the time a page is finished, you can barely see the earliest layers. Because it’s all about the paint, the page, the color, the creating, and I just get into it so I keep going! My art time is squeezed into the pockets of my days, so I rarely do an entire page in one sitting. Sometimes I stitch things to the page. I don’t follow any rules other than to enjoy the process.
Do you also have other ways you like to create, and if so, what are they?
It’s never-ending: I draw mandalas, doodle, sew little travel journals, watercolor, write, take photos—all of it is so engaging and fun.
What inspired you to do the index-card-a-day (ICAD) challenge?
I’d purchased index cards to use for a to-do list, to break the stuff I needed to do into small steps. Instead, I started drawing mandalas on them and figured that if I got a kick out of drawing on these little cards, others would too! What I didn’t realize is that love for this tiny canvas would spread like madness and so many people would get involved.
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