It had been three years since I started my first visual journal, and here I was, once again staring at a blank canvas. The first page in a book is the most overwhelming. Thinking about filling all of the pages, trying to decide where to start, and realizing I was once again at stage one, momentarily distracted me from the excitement of the beginning of something new. After allowing the doubts and fears to wash over me momentarily, I began brainstorming my first page and the tone of this new book.
I like to start my visual journals off with a quote. The quote becomes my theme for the book and mantra for the year. I already had a concrete idea for the theme after completing my cover, and I decided to continue the imagery on the first page. New growth, change, setting and accomplishing big goals, became the core of this book. For years I have loved the quote, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself,” and this was the perfect book and year to use that quote. It was going to be the year that I create myself and develop my future. It was my personal challenge for the year.
The tree imagery and quote became so inspirational to me, I continued to use them in my classes and art club. I designed art club t-shirts using the quote on the back, and designed the “create” tree for the front. Creating is the foundation of my life. Creating helps me express myself, explore new avenues, and grow as an artist and person. After creating the t-shirt design, I decided it was the perfect tie to the first page of my book. I grabbed one of the test screen prints, which was on a lovely blue color construction paper, and began formatting my design.
In the end I was very satisfied with the way the quote and image came together. This was going to be the year of change for me, and this page truly reflected that intent.
- Visual journal
- Rubber cement
- Xacto Knife
- Bleeding tissue paper
- Book pages
To create this visual journal page, I started with the screen print tester. I carefully cut around the tree branches using scissors, and in between the word “create” using an Xacto knife. Once the tree was ready, I began brainstorming how everything would come together.
I loved the pattern on the page, and didn’t want to cover it up, but still wanted to include some color. Since I was already reflecting the cover of the book in the imagery, I decided to go ahead and use some of the same materials. I had leftover bleeding tissue paper strips from the cover, and knew it would be the perfect addition. Next, I glued a strip of the green bleeding tissue paper to the bottom, to create a ground. I decided to leave a little space, to show the pattern in the actual book, then glued three bleeding tissue paper strips down to create a sense of a sky.
Next, I glued my tree print cut out on the right side page. I love the look of overlapping layers and decided to add another strip of green bleeding tissue paper on top of the tree. This created a nice space to include my quote. To help the quote stand out I glued down ripped-up pieces of old, discolored book pages. Finally, I added the quote on top using a sharpie. Check out my visual journal lesson plan here and bundle pack here.
Create a visual journal page about your mantra for the year. What do you want to accomplish? What quote best represents that?
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