Journal Fresh: Anna-Maria Wolniak

An Art Journal Q&A by Dawn Sokol

In this first of a six-part monthly series, artist and writer Dawn Sokol will be introducing us to fresh faces in the world of art journaling. This month, meet Anna-Maria Wolniak of Poland.


Why do you art journal?
I perceive art journaling as an instant form of spreading my thoughts, emotions on paper. It is the only form of art that involves no planning, no wondering. Everything is being created instinctively, rapidly. Every page of my art journal is the outcome of an impulse that I am always surprised by.

What inspired you to start art journaling?
Turn on your favorite music, grab a pencil or a color pen, close your eyes and let the music draw your emotions… That was my first time. The sounds lead my hand, the melodies build lines, ornaments and other shapes. I try not to think too much while I’m drawing—I try just to feel it, let myself be driven by my emotions, by the feelings evoked by any poem or simply any sentence. I try to make them forever written in this original, artistic way, a way that is exclusively mine. All these colors and shapes contain my emotions—my personal, subjective feelings. This is a unique possibility of preserving something I don’t want to forget. Or, on the contrary, of immediately getting rid of something I have kept inside my mind—I spread it on paper and forget.

What art journalers are your faves? Other artists you look to for inspiration?
My favorite journalers are Erin Kenepp and Bea Mahan.

What important bit of advice can you give to those wanting to start art journaling?
This form of expression needs an “immediate” tool, which you are very well acquainted with, which comes up to your expectations and is capable of conveying your thoughts instantly so that you can instantly clear yourself of these thoughts and get rid of them.

Tell us a little about your process. What mediums do you like to use?
My multiple attempts of creating either collages or art journals in the form of scrap album used to fizzle. I was never satisfied with any of them. These forms of expression never fulfilled my emotional expectations —until the time when I decided to use watercolor. The basis of watercolor painting will enable you to create an unusually attractive background for your art journals in a quick and amusing way. What’s next? Well, everything depends on you! You may add pieces and shreds of papers, napkins, fabric, clothing labels, newspaper parts, pictures.

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Do you also have other ways you like to create, and if so, what are they?
I also create scrapbook layouts (12×12 pages) and take photos— that’s my addiction. I pay tribute to classical photography, I am a big fan of lomography. I also collect vintage cameras. The Kodak cameras produced in the ’50s and ’60s of the past century are my favorite ones. Pictures taken with these cameras are incredibly mysterious, they have that distinct aura and keep you in a kind of pleasant suspense as to the results of your “clicking” until the moment the film has been developed. I like painting, crafts — I am amused by practically all forms of art.

Click here to follow Anna-Maria Wolniak at her blog.

Click here to visit Anna-Maria’s Flickr site.

Click here to follow Dawn Sokol on her blog.

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