Category: General Musings

Children of Crisis

Today’s journal entry is about this book that I just recently started reading, Children of Crisis. This series of books is a social study of children in the United States written by child psychiatrist Robert Coles. The first few chapters focus on Ruby Bridges and talks about how children adapt to extreme changes in their environment. He wrote about Ruby’s drawings and his conversations with her and  her parents. Ruby Bridges, at the age of 6, was the first child to desegragate the all-white  William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana. Her parents did not expect such opposition towards a little girl going to school, and certainly did not expect that she would be alone in there due to the boycott.

I’ve only read a few chapters but it’s a very interesting and insightful read. I can’t wait to read more.

Each and every one of us is born with a clean heart. Our babies know nothing about hate or racism. But soon they begin to learn – and only from us. We keep racism alive. We pass it on to our children. We owe it to our children to help them keep their clean start. ~Ruby Bridges

Book Diving – Classic Finds

Last weekend, my husband and I visited Booksale at SM Southmall and was pleasantly surprised that they were on sale. I usually skip the classics because I have a copy (or multiple copies) of most of them but I found the Jules Verne collection and the Charles Dickens Christmas Books in this really beautiful hard cover. They reminded me of how books used to look in my childhood. The fabric in the hard covers was intact for both books, so that’s a plus. But my favorite find of the day is the Old Curiosity Shop, which my husband plucked out of this discard box in the corner. It’s a shame that the fabric of the hard cover is a bit worn, but you can still see the gold leaf letters, and some pages were beautifully illustrated.

I really love old books. I like the paper they use, the stitched binding, even the typeface. I like that they can lay down flat on a table too. This reminds me of the first hard bound book my mom gave me, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The fabric on that book is now pretty much worn out, but the binding is still intact, it still lays down flat. It uses the same typeface as this book.

I think I’ll reread some of my favorite classics for the next few weeks. It’s the literary equivalent of eating comfort food. <3

On Maintaining an Art Journal

Today’s art journal entry is more random things. I thought the colors of the inks in my pens for this week were so pretty and vibrant, they reminded me of the different colors of peppers (except for the blue ones, lol). The journal entry on the right side of the page is about maintaining an art journal.

I’ve been approached by people both online and IRL expressing their desire to start an art journal but they feel like their skill level isn’t “up there” yet. I get it, I feel the same way too sometimes, but the truth is that if I compare myself with the people I admire and refuse to make art because I think I’m not as good as them, my journals would be blank. The thing is, somebody will always be better than you are at what you do. If you’re always looking at other people’s output, you’ll miss the point of having an art journal.

For me, keeping an art journal is about self-care. My journal is an eclectic mix of handwritten journal entries, little watercolor paintings, pen and ink drawings, old photos, clippings of comic strips, washi tapes, etc. I write or draw my dreams so I don’t forget them. I mess pages up, I leave entries that I haven’t completed, I don’t check my grammar. My journal is my playground and my safe place on paper. None of the drawings I put in my journal are practiced outside of it, I just draw whatever I want. Sometimes it’s random things, sometimes it’s profound and expressive. Always, it’s honest.

If you want to start an art journal, pick up a journal and start on your first page. Use whatever you have on hand. Someday you’ll compare your first art journal to your tenth and you’ll see your efforts in a larger context.

I think that we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves when it comes to our own art journals. Of course you want to get better at it but here’s the thing, you have to practice to get better. In my experience, the more you practice and study and experiment with different techniques, the more your hand obeys your mind. You just can’t jump forward and get where you want to be without putting in the time and effort in honing your skill. Self-edit but don’t stop. Learn along the way. Own wherever you are in the process and most important of all, enjoy it.

 

Corn.

My husband  bought me a set of compressed charcoal sticks last Sunday. I’ve always been curious about using charcoal and I’ve tried it a few times before but I never really sat down and got into it before. It’s quite challenging but fun. I enjoyed doing this corn a lot because I learned from it. I am looking forward to learning more.