It was the beginning of my second year teaching. I was excited and nervous; it felt like my first year all over again. However, I was determined to start the year off well. I was determined to put my foot down in the beginning, establish myself as the one in charge; I would not have a first semester like the previous year.
I was starting a brand new year, with new students, and a lot more knowledge tucked away. Since I had more time to prep my room, because I had a lot of my materials prepared from the previous year, I decided to focus on how to introduce art to my new students. I decided to choose a quote, something to be my mantra for the year. A way to explain what art is without having to open my mouth.
I did some research, found a few quotes I liked, and combined them to create this loose definition of art. Art: to find yourself and lose yourself all at once. This is how I feel about art. It gives me the ability to self reflect, express, vent, and face and deal with occurrences in life. However, while I am spending time creating and coping with the world and myself I am also escaping from everything. It’s an amazing balance, and nothing feels better than when you get to that point. It’s a sense of calm, a release of your problems without dwelling on them. This is one of the reasons I make art, and the main reason I visual journal.
Once I had my quote I decided the perfect place to display it was on my door. I wrote the words out, and glued them to the window of my door. I then created a design using ripped up paper and splattered paint to put behind it. I finished it off by writing: “enter here” above my door. Before my students walked into my room that first day, and for the rest of the year, they read “enter here to find yourself and lose yourself all at once”. That sounds like a class I would want to take.
After I finished my display I began thinking about the very first page of my new visual journal. It was a no brainer to start my journal with the same quote I was using to start my year. I already had the supplies ready to go, and it was another way to remind me what I wanted the year to be about.
- Visual journal
- Rubber cement
- India ink
- Calligraphy pen
- Book pages
- Construction paper
- Paint brush
- White paper
To create this page I used the leftover pieces from my window display. I ripped up book pages, blue construction paper, and newspaper to create the background. I used rubber cement to glue everything down. I then wrote the words on ripped up paper, using India ink and a calligraphy pen. If you don’t have a calligraphy pen you can use a pointy stick! I also used India ink to paint areas of the background black. I decided the page needed contrast, and the rich black color you get from India ink was just what I needed. I finished the page by adding the watercolor splatters around the page. To create a splatter, drip a blob of watercolor on a piece of paper and blow the blob quick and hard at an angle. I typically create splatters on a separate sheet of paper, and then cut them out. It is more time consuming but you get to choose which splatters look best.
Find a quote to represent the next year of your life. Think about your goals, what you want to achieve, and choose a quote that reflects that. Use it as a way to motivate you for the next year. Create a page for it to remind you of it.