Visual journals are a big part of my teaching. Every Friday is visual journal day, a free day for my students to use whatever material and subject matter they want to make pages in their books. This project was something I inherited from my fellow art teacher, and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw how much her students loved it.
One semester one of her students decided to make a visual journal as her final project. However, rather than create pages about herself, she passed out half sheets of books pages for other people to write, draw, collage, or do whatever they want. There was only one guideline; it had to express your definition of love.
She handed them out to other art students, friends, family, and one to me. I was excited, what a fun spin on our traditional project. I brainstormed, had some good ideas, and never got around to actually doing it. She did make her book, I loved flipping through it, but I was disappointed I didn’t get mine finished.
Later on, long after her project was complete, I found the half sheet of paper. I decided at that moment I was finally going to make my page. It would have to be put in my book rather than hers, but the important thing was it was getting done.
My definition of love is very simple. My definition of love is you, my husband, my Nick. He is my best friend, fellow homeowner, husband, confidant, Father of my puppies, and go to person. I don’t know what I would do without him, and can’t remember what it was like before I met him. He is my everything, and of course my definition of love.
- Visual journal
- Rubber cement
- Book page
- Printed photograph
This was an easy visual journal page to make because I had a topic to work with. I was excited when I ran across that small piece of paper. I didn’t entirely fail, because I would get the chance to turn it into something. Since I knew I wanted to make the page about Nick, all I had to do was find a picture to incorporate.
Since Nick and I have a little family, I decided to use a family picture. We had recently had an engagement picture session with our wedding photographer, Manuel Llaneras, and we had a few shots taken with Jacob and Kody Bear. Even though neither of the pups are actually looking at the camera, this is one of my favorites.
I glued the half book page down first, so the photograph would overlap it. I wanted to keep it simple. I only wanted to include the photograph and the piece of paper, but I didn’t want to simply glue down the rectangular print out of the photograph. Ripping up pieces of the picture immediately popped in my head. I had ripped paper on the brain, a lot of my pages incorporated ripped paper, and it was the perfect solution.
I carefully cut out our little family, making sure I cut right next to our bodies. I then took the leftover from the picture, ripped it up, and glued it down. I left space between the background and us, to bring even more focus to us. I made sure the background was properly placed, the trees lined up with where the trees where in the picture, and the same went for the grass.
I finished the page by writing my definition of love with sharpie. I kept it simple; love doesn’t always have to be complex, and my definition certainly wasn’t. I can sum up love in one word, you.
Let’s keep the project going. Take a book page, cut it in half, and write down your definition of love. You can decorate the page with images or write your definition down. Incorporate it in a journal page in your book.