The Artist in You?

I was hoping to do a little survey ... it will help me decide on a potential future SpotLink.

Do you consider yourself someone who thinks or says "I am not artistic" ... or "I can't draw" ?

Do you journal regularly? If yes, do you consider that a creative outlet?

Thanks for helping me out...
If you were thinking about getting a new journal or sketchbook, I've been drooling HERE

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I did once

but not any more. Since I bought and read The Creative License, by Danny Gregory, and joined the Everyday Matters yahoo group. I am now drawing, not very good but it's fun. So for anyone else, if I can do it so can you.
And about sketchbooks: I have found a very nice one by Winsor and Newton, brown and leather bound and with a strap. I will take a picture if you can't find what I mean.


i would love to see a picture :)!

my artwork | my blog

here it is

Look here, and scroll down to 11 november. This is not my blog, but this is were I first saw it.
I have the A5 size.


that is beautiful.

I have an odd habit of abandoning sketchbooks for up to 5 years and then returning to them... I don't even want to guess how many I own...

Downside is trying to locate a piece to show ... Its like finding a needle in a haystack.

my artwork | my blog

Interesting question.

My gut reaction is "I'm not artistic at all." But I used to be a professional writer. Writing's an art, yes? And some of the things I've knitted deserve to be called art.

I would describe myself as very creative, but I wouldn't use the word "artistic." To me that's someone who can paint and draw. I can't do either. I used to draw for fun after reading Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, but I got frustrated with my inability to manage perspective.

I journal a lot, but it's not creative pieces. I have an extremely bad memory thanks to some medication I was on, and so I have to write things down if I want to remember them. I also get very introspective, and do a lot of exercises my therapist gives me. So that's what my journal's for.

Long-winded answer, but there ya go. :)

helpful answer

I find it very interesting that you distinguish creative and artistic... for many, I think it overlaps or has become synonymous.

Do you ever try to journal on a more "for fun" level? perhaps a doodle or a poem or ?

my artwork | my blog

Creative journaling

I... well, not to go into depressing stuff, but I had a mental breakdown when I was 25. I haven't been able to trust my own brain since. It's hard to write fiction when you can't believe in your characters, and after five years of struggling with hallucinations I couldn't believe anything my mind came up with. I'm still recovering from that. I love writing articles and essays and anything non-fiction, but I'm afraid to use my imagination that way again.

So I'm very limited in what I can write, in a journal or elsewhere. I frequently blog about things I read, or what I'm thinking about a given topic, but I'm not brave enough to let my imagination roam free.

Someday, though. Someday I'll get there again...

(Wow, I'm feeling expansive today...)


My breakdown (or breakout as I prefer to think of it) happened when I was 24... considering the range of what that can entail, I'm guessing we had different events.

sounds like your blogging is an extension of your journaling. You write about things that strike you as important... not just the day to day grind. :o) I like to write about things that bring up emotions in myself... like current events or recent activities.

I think you will get there too. Feeling good about yourself is a great start and you are an awesome person from what I've picked up through DIYPlanner :D

oh and don't think that fiber arts don't count... I know many quilters, knitters, crocheters that have "Fiber Artist" as a hobby. :)

my artwork | my blog


Thanks, Sara. You're pretty awesome, too.

My journal/blog is here... Almost all the posts are visible only to my friends list. So if you have a LiveJournal account, let me know what your username is and I'll add you to the list. (This goes for anyone else here who wants to read my babblings, too.)

Creative vs. artistic

I do think there is a difference, but how to qualify it? I know I'm not artistic, and a perusal of my photos on would prove it. ;-) But I do like to think that I have some sort of creative streak in me. ;-) Also, I know some people who are _very_ creative in areas that aren't and couldn't be considered artistic--think programming or sports.

Also, I think that one can be excellent in what he does, without being artistic, and artistic, without showing excellence in one's work. :-)

As to the two coming together, Sara, I immediately think of that bit of art you put up on Flickr the other day.... waay too artistic for me to grok, but the beauty of the execution--the excellence that it shows wowed me!

At least, this is how I view it, from a technical photographer's perspective.




I *was* an artist. I could draw, but I haven't done any serious drawing in about 13 years. So I'm not sure how well I still draw. :) Now my only doodling is to entertain the kids.

I am journaling regularly on the subject of my kids. Not on anything else at the moment, but I've had a craving to make my online blog my own again (for almost 3 years it's been almost exclusively kid-related).

I wasn't really considering picking up a sketchbook again, but I've been kind of wishing for the time to sketch my kids--now, before they get big and then again later too. Photographs can really highlight a subject, but somehow a detailed pencil sketch or painting can really show the love in an entirely different way. After so long without practice, though, I'm a little afraid of the mess I'd make of it. :)

I was looking at something the other day called SoulCollage and was tempted to try it--in a smaller size, maybe, than the 5x8 standard. I need a creative outlet that's mine alone so I can let out some feelings in a safe way. The deck sounds cool, though the tarot-like/mystical/spiritual atmosphere surrounding it doesn't really attract me that much.

Thinking of collage, though, I started looking for some meaningful pictures in the magazines we have around the house, and I discovered that we don't have magazines that have appealing images. :) Time for a shopping trip!


Arts or Crafts

Where do you find these links? My poor credit card...

I don't know when a craft becomes and art or vis versa. My mother, a real live artist, definitely has her opinions :-)

I dabble in a lot of different craft projects. My favorite for the last two years has been jewelry making, especially working with wire and stones. I enjoy wearing the results. I enjoy drawing, cross stitch, and just random things dealing with tactual materials and colors. But I'm not "good enough" at any of this for my results to be considered "art," which is ok. It's my play time and I don't want to take it seriously. Somehow, "art" is serous stuff.

I journal a lot. At least once a day, usually more. Somehow, I don't release what I'm thinking until I write it down. Again, I don't think of it as art, but, at times, I can get pretty creative. I am also a writer (gulp, I admitted it). Nothing like a middle aged woman writing fantasy. I've got the draft of one novel done and am nearly done with the draft of a second. They are a mess and I have no idea how to get them out of draft stage, but I will figure that out.

I hope some of this babbling helps.

Lisa PT

Do you consider yourself

Do you consider yourself someone who thinks or says "I am not artistic" ... or "I can't draw"?

Took me a long time to realise that the designing and writing of computer software and systems were creative acts. There can a beauty in the design and the coding of computer programs that is as artistic as the execution of say Mona Lisa or the 'Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch'. Sadly for mefew people ever get to see my sort of artistry. However pretty much everyone knows when the design and execution of program code doesn't reflect art.

Advice about drooling

A word of thought about the page you link to and the drooling part. About 1-2 years ago I bought from this page, from Mister Art, the Canson blank cloth sketch book, because they were so beautiful. So, beautiful that it sits now on my desk right next to where I'm typing - untouched by any drawings. I simply can't bring myself to put any of my incompetent drawings on it. I continue to practice drawing on good ol' mundane spiral bound pads, like the recycled heavy weight pad or penny sketch - or even more often just pieces of paper. (The same hesitation occurs with me to a lesser degree with Moleskine sketchbooks, even though I have no hesitation about filling up numerous volumes of the writing journals with my notes.)

Just a thought, it's really a psychological thing - but I know from other postings elsewhere it's not just me. If you buy something cool, buy something you'll think you'll use - or force yourself to use it! Life is short. Hey, maybe I'll ...

[edited by innowen on 04/15/07: linkified]

Yes, yes, and no. I used to

Yes, yes, and no.

I used to feel I was creative until I met some REALLY creative people. People who can sit at a table in a restaurant and draw a squiggly mess on the paper tablecloth and have it look like art. I would never even THINK of making a squiggly mess, let alone be able to make it look like more than a squiggly mess. Amazing.

I do do some drawing and painting, but it never comes out very well. I can do very simple things, but throw me something complex and forget it. First-graders do better.

I do journal regularly...not every day like I used to, but usually at least once a week.

But I don't consider it a creative outlet. Mostly it's just a chronicle of what I do or stuff I want to remember, not stories or poetry or deep thoughts (I once thought, "I need to put in some of the things I think about" then realized I don't, apparently, think about much!).

I disagree

What you describe are not creative people, they're talented people. You can be very creative and yet, for instance, not be able to draw better than stick figures. Creativity is in the head. Talent is what allows you to get it out. Everyone's talent is different. For some, it's art. For others it's planner templates. It's still creation.

Thank you for saying that!!

I've always considered myself a creative wannabe but felt I wasn't REALLY creative because my great ideas didn't always look so perfect when I carried them out. Now if only some of us "head" people could get our ideas together with one of the "talent" people!


long ago

Long ago I was in a bowling league... our teams motto was "in theory... that was a beautiful" :)

my artwork | my blog

No, I don't even get the

No, I don't even get the good ideas...


Hi Sara,

I've been lurking here for not too long now and have really enjoyed your articles. Not to brag, (after all, you asked) but I'm artistic. I'm an artist and art teacher, so that comes in handy!
Are you thinking about doing something about mixed media artist journals? I'd love that! I have this idea the art could get me over the journaling block I can't seem to move through.


Mixed Media Art Journal

Hi Julie,
A little late to the conversation but . .

If you want a simple project to try out art journaling, consider buying one big sheet of watercolor paper ($6 US) and making "Teesha Moore's Amazing 16 Page Journal". She has youtube videos going thru all the steps SHE uses, but I watched it just to learn how to measure and tear the single watercolor sheet and do the simple binding with a piece of waxed linen. I was able to have a blank "book" in less than an hour. Note- try running a slightly damp sponge along the folds to assist with the tearing.

It was quite freeing to squirt my favorite acrylic and watercolor paints directly on the pages and smear colors around for backgrounds without worrying about form or design right away. I quickly finished up several pages with collage pictures plus doodles on some and lengthy journaling on others. Very creative, but artistic ?? well, it's definitely fun. If you google, you can find lots of people who have tried out this method of creating an art journal book.

One note -writing on mixed media backgrounds is a little challenging, so you may want to pick up one of those copic pens Teesha raves about in the videos.

Not a sponsor for Ms Moore, just a fan.
Alice S.

no, no, yes, yes (that grew quite incredibly long)

This actually touches on one of my soapboxes! One of my dearest friends is one of the best artists I've ever met, and her paintings ... I dream of being that good! But she doesn't consider herself to be an artist -- she's been told over and over by several "artists" that she's an "illustrator," and what she does is not art. As you might imagine, she doesn't pick up her paintbox as often as she'd like, because of that external (and now internalized) judgment that what she does isn't art, and the pressure that that puts on her.

I believe that art is a way of processing the world, rather than limited to a particular type of output. Am I artistic? I think so. Can I draw? Yes, though frequently not particularly well! Some of my more spectacular failures are purely due to lack of talent (I will be the first to say I am NOT a brilliant artist), but most are probably a combination of not enough practice (not enough failures to learn from?!) and avoiding risk (of stepping outside the box with techniques, and creating yet more spectacular failures to learn from?!). The big breakthrough for me, though, was separating process from product ... that the important thing (usually) for me was to translate what I was seeing (and hearing and feeling), regardless of how that product looked in the end.

Do I journal regularly? Yes, and some of them are creative outlets. My professional journals, not so much, I'd guess (I have somehow found myself with a bunch of concurrently kept journals for different aspects of my life -- sometimes I think about combining all but my official field journal into a more cohesive whole, but I kind of enjoy all the fragments right now, so I haven't yet). For my personal journals, I do have periods of low activity, which I used to use to beat myself up with, and thereby not journal at all! Now, though, it's ok. One of my favorite of my multitudinous journals is my 9x12 sketch diary, with a month (usually) per page -- basically each day (or if I fall behind and a couple of days can be summarized in one sketch) a thumbnail sketch of something I want to carry with me (a sparrow feeding a fledgling, the dim view of my feet on the gravel as I run in the dark, my computer screen with red radiating spirals of frustration as yet another day of data analysis goes by without solving my freaking question -- ok, yes, this was a recent entry!), cartoons of my friends at a recent party, the apples on my tree with enormous bird-pecked craters... Sometimes they're elaborate and colored, and I actually spend time on them, sometimes they're really just a 1-2 minute thumbnail sketch. Something that can be rapid, without pressure, that allows me to feel that I AM artistic and not a drone, and that captures something about my day. And because I allow myself the unvarnished thumbnail, I have no excuses for myself when I don't complete it ... I mean, regardless of how crazy work and life are, I can surely spare 1 minute to sketch something! Of course, realistically, I do have times where I fall behind, and will encapsulate several days with one sketch, and even a time or two that I've fallen REALLY far behind, and some day has vanished without remark, and get's a big "?". Usually after I put one of those in bright red marker, I have a flurry of being oh-so-good! As someone who is capable of cudgeling herself (figuratively) for her failures, my breakthrough was treating this as a source of joy I was committed to and not a commitment in and of itself, so that when I don't keep up as much as I'd like, I don't beat myself up, I just remind myself how much I love this, and ask why I'm depriving myself of that.

My favorite writing (though I do sketch in them, too -- even apply some light watercolor washes) journals are handbound in Port Townsend, Washington. I'd never checked out their website until just now! Beautiful paper, and gorgeous covers ... Every time I go the Edmonds bookshop, I appear to be constitutionally unable to leave without buying one! [sigh] Do I write a lot? Yes, but not THAT much, as my stack of blank notebooks grows taller and taller. Of course, part of the pile comes from early on suffering the angst that comes from having beautiful journals -- aren't they too beautiful to write my crap in them? But when the pile grew tall enough I thought I might have to apply for a building permit (ok, slight exaggeration), the angst somehow dribbled away!

Wow, this turned out a whole lot longer than I'd thought!

Happy writing, sketching, painting, quilting, etc,

good prices, but shipping?

The prices look too good to be true. How much is shipping, and whats the minimum?

I'm trying to re-start sketching. And painting. Im a hoarder, more than a user. I buy what I need, then never finish the project.... yep, thats me.

One of the nice side effects

One of the nice side effects of our tinned-meat visitors reviving old threads is getting to see a conversation I missed first time around.

I consider myself to be an amateur crafter of words and certainly not artistic. As for drawing in a journal, well my stick figures are laughably bad and that's about my limit.

An artist to me is someone who creates individual items with a message that transends the item itself.

While an artisan is someone who uses their tools to create multiples of something that are practical, often high quality and sometimes beautiful - like a skilled carpenter creating beautiful doors for homes, a chef, or a very talented craftsperson following a pattern who makes something that seems better than the pattern intended.

To me a crafter is someone who has a go at doing something for the fun doing it, they want to create something but don't care about it having a message or to be bigger than it's parts. They may end up with a success or a failure or abandon it - but often don't care too much as it's the fun of the journey that counts.