Art Journal Inspirations – Effy Wild!

One thing that I get asked about A LOT is where I find my inspiration… how do I decide what to draw? There are so many things in this world that inspire me, if I were to include all of them here this post would take me days to write…. but I will share one with you right now.

Looking at the work of other artists is one of my favourite ways to find inspiration, or learn about methods and techniques I could try. Sometimes looking at the art of others will inspire me to use a particular colour, or an unusual tool, or maybe encourage me to try to draw something I would usually. But occasionally, other artist’s will inspire a complete piece of work. Here’s an example of an art journal page I created this week:

(Materials used: acrylic paint, black Sharpie, Paintastics brush pens and Papermania gold marker)

This piece, regretfully, did not spring out of my mind spontaneously, it was inspired by the fabulous Effy Wild… check out this video:

A lot of people harp on a lot about being completely original… but if you have to force it then it’s really no fun. Sometimes trying things others have tried is a great way to get yourself out of a creative rut. So if, like me, you ever feel a bit stuck, look through pictures on Flickr or Pinterest, search for painting videos on Youtube, read a new blog or two…. OR join Effy’s amaaazing artist’s network: Wild Soul Arts.

Hope you’ve all had a great week!

D x

P.S. Effy is also hosting a GIGANTIC giveaway to celebrate the opening of Wild Soul Arts. Click here for more information.


21 Secrets – Intuitive Painted Layers

So this week I’ve been working on another of my ’21 Secrets’ workshops, this one was called Intuitive Painted Layers, run by Dina Wakley. This one was completely not my thing, but I pushed through anyway. I really enjoyed the process of just not thinking too much, and slapping paint across the page. Here a few details of my page in progress:

(Adding scrawly journaling in black sharpie and correction pen)

(Simple monoprints create another layer)

(My reverse stencilling required a bit of help from nail-varnish remover after I accidentally let the paint dry…)

(I used white acrylic to add definition to the images I could see in my painty layers)

And here is the final spread:

Not too sure what I think about these pages. Definitetly not ‘me’, but I sort of like that….

Hope you’ve had an awesome week!

D x

21 Secrets – JournalQuest

The next workshop on my ’21 Secrets’ list is Journal Quest by Tracie Hanson (check out her blog- she does really cool paintings). The general idea is that you create a spontaneous background and then try to find suggestions of images in the shapes you’ve created.

So here is my background:

And here is what I ‘excavated’ from it:

I found this workshop quite challenging for a number of reasons:

-I’m not used to doing double spreads. For some reason it feels quite weird after only ever doing single page pieces.

-I don’t usually do a lot of ‘painty’ work- most of my pieces have some paint but I tend to rely more on  pens, pencils and collage materials. I couldn’t restrain myself completely- I had to crack open my Papermania Metallic Markers for a bit of doodly fun.

-The painting I created was not in my usual style AT ALL. By trying to find an image in the existing shapes I had to push myself out of my comfort zone… I couldn’t just paint what I feel comfortable painting. One big difference can be seen in the eyes… I usually do really detailed over-the-top eyes on my faces but here I’ve kept them simple. Not sure how keen I am?

Although Journal Quest tested my boundaries, I think I’ll be using some of the principles of the class in future artwork. I like that it made me paint something a bit different, as sometimes I worry that my work is a bit ‘samey’. And also, it will give me purpose when attacking those pages I’ve used to clean off my palette:

These will definitely give me something to play around with over the weekend!

D x

21 Secrets – Channel It Girl (Part 3)

Hello everybody and Happy Friday to you!

Today I’d like to share my final ‘Channel It’ journal pages with you. This has been such a fun and freeing little project, it takes a surprising amount of effort to just play around, and not worry about how things turn out. I couldn’t describe any of these pages as a work of art, but who cares? I’ve really enjoyed making them!

Materials used: A variety of felt tips, a pink biro and a black fineliner pen.

I love the page on the right; I think the layering of spontaneously patterned paper, random pink and turquoise doodles and simple black doodles creates a really interesting look. I like being able to see a bit from each of the layer… stops me from feeling like I’ve ‘wasted’ anything.

Materials used: Crayola Supertip felt tip pens and a silver gel pen. These last few pages were all completed at my desk at work, so I couldn’t really use anything wet and messy.

To see my previous ‘Channel It’ pages/the process of making my ‘Channel It’ journal, click on the following links:

21 Secrets – Channel It Girl – Part 1

21 Secrets – Channel It Girl – Part 2

And that concludes my first ’21 Secrets’ workshop, keep your eyes peeled for my next one (hint: it will be ‘JournalQuest’ by Tracie Hanson and it’s gonna be AWESOME)


D x

P.S. I’m linking this post up to Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s Art Journal Every Day.

21 Secrets – Channel It Girl (Part 2)

Remember the little journal I made for the ‘Channel It’ class with Kelly Barton? (If no, click here) Well I’ve been enjoying filling up my (slightly eccentric) painted pages this week… what I love about this journal is that it’s lightweight (so I can carry it around everywhere with ease), it’s already ‘raggy’ looking so I can just play around and don’t have to worry about ruining a neat white sketchbook (and it doesn’t suffer too much by being at the bottom of my bag), and it challenges me; I have to try to create something with the colours and shapes already there.

A note on the text- as you’ll probably have noticed, I love adding words to my artwork. In this journal my words have come from various sources (overheard snatches of conversation, memories from dreams, song lyrics, quotes, single words that seem fitting, journalling, personal mantras… but nothing too deep!)

Without further ado, here are the pages I’ve done so far:

A combo of acrylic paint, watercolour pencil and glitter glue.

Text reads: My mascot, my everything.

A selection of pens, pencils and markers.

Text reads: A face warped by fear * doubt * mood * opinion * insecurity * worries * truth

All felt tip (occasionally blurred with water).

Text (on the left) reads: Lost for words and praying for inspiration to appear in the clouds and stars (and on the left) Part of a whole/much better together.

My new Crayola Supertips and a bit of black fineliner.

Text reads: Release your inner cool.

Felt tip, collaged paper, acrylic paint and a Papermania Metallic Marker (in gold)

Text: Various lyrics from 99 Red Balloons by Nena

Crayola Supertips, black biro and a white-out pen. The glitter glue from the following page has leaked through (on the right), but I kind of like how it looks…

Text (on the left) reads: Every rainbow has a touch of pink (and on the right) Wilderness

Felt tip, pencil crayon and glitter glue.

Text reads: Three things cannot be hidden for long: the sun, the moon and the truth (this is a slight variation on a quote from Buddha).

I only have three pages left until my ‘Channel It’ journal is completely full ( I will share these with you early next week), but I have enjoyed the process so much that I will be making another at some point soon…

Hope you’ve all had a great week,

D x

P.S. I’m linking this post up to Julie’s AJED post.

21 Secrets – Channel It Girl (Part 1)

I’ve done very little art journaling this week… I’ve spent most of my spare minutes trying to race through my set books.

I did however, make myself this little journal for the ‘Channel It’ class, another mini-workshop from 21 Secrets, this one is run by Kelly Barton, check out her blog here.


I quite like that each page is different, but it might present a bit of a challenge for me… I’m a fan of starting out with a nice white sheet of paper so this is completely out of my comfort zone!

‘How did I make it?’ I hear you ask…

Whenever I’m using stencils, stamps or spray paint, I put a huge sheet of white paper underneath my piece of work to

a)      Protect my carpet or workspace from errant drops of paint

b)      Test out any stamps that look a bit dubious

c)      Clean the paint off any stamps, stencils, brushes or fingers

And this is what I used for my pages- I simply tore it up using a plastic ruler (to get a semi-straight edge), folded the pieces in half, stabbed a few holes in the spine and stitched through them to hold it all together.

I like the random selection of colours and patterns, it’s so wonderfully haphazard it should yield some interesting experiments.

Hope you’ve all had a great week…

D x

P.S. Linking up to Art Journal Every Day over at Julie’s.

21 Secrets – Frolicaholic (Part 1)

As you know I’m taking part in the ‘21 Secrets’ Workshop hosted by the Dirty Footprints Studio. So this week, I thought I’d share some of my scribblings.

21 Secrets is divided into 21 mini-workshops each run by a different artist, so it’s great variety-wise. The first workshop I’ve taken part in is Frolicaholic (aka Draw Happy 2) by the wonderful Jane Davenport (check out her gorgeous blog  here).

The ideas behind Frolicaholic are:

  • You can choose to be happy.
  • ENJOY the process of drawing.
  • Stop criticizing your own work.
  • Accept your own style.
  • Develop your Frolicaholic symbology (or the images that consistently pop up into your artwork)

This seemed like a great place for me to start as I ALWAYS point out the negative aspects of my own artwork, and I sometimes forget to relish the process of creating art.

The first step was to make our own little journal. I made mine out of pastel paper because of the sherbet-y colours, but that was a mistake. Apparently pastel paper doesn’t hold ink or paint, so everything just seeps through to the other side. That’s why most of my stuff is in pencil.

So here are my first few pages, I hope you enjoy!


Text reads: A Frolicaholic is a person who untangles and expresses emotion through drawing on the positive into their journal, into the words, and into their minds. To put it simply a Frolicaholic is happy.

Text reads:  I choose to be happy. I choose to lead a life filled with love and art and music. If believing is really half the battle then my war is half over. Positivity can only make your world a shinier place. To live, to laugh and to love are all we can ask for. And these will find their way to us through our art, our experiments and our experiences.

Text (around mandala) reads: Just start your art. Make lines, make marks, make patterns, swirls, shapes, doodles and designs. Not everything you create needs to be a masterpiece – as long as you love it, who cares?


Text reads: My Frolicaholic symbols * flowers and leaves * faces with big eyes and wild hair * circles and swirls * hearts, stars and squares * words-quotes and lyrics * mandalas * russian dolls * mythical creatures * totem poles * trees

Text (in petals) reads: luck * chance * fortune * pray

I’ve really enjoyed this class, but I’m really missing my paints and other messy art supplies, so I think I’ll be making myself another Frolicaholic art journal with sturdier paper.

Enjoy your weekend everyone,

D x

P.S. Also linking up to Julie’s AJED post.