Saturday, July 31, 2010

30 Journals 30 Days: Kim Switzer

The wonderful Connie at Dirty Footprints Studio has been doing the coolest series of posts all through July.  The series is called 30 Journals 30 Days, and for each day from July 1-30 she's showcased an art journaler.  And today, on the 31st?  She's showcasing the rest of us who wanted to join in!  Isn't that the most awesome thing?

Here's my art journal interview:

How long have you been Art Journaling?

My first art journal

This is a little hard to pinpoint, actually. I have been a sporadic journal keeper since I was a child.  In high school and college especially, I filled countless notebooks with my writings, quotes, song lyrics, poems (sadly, I have none of those notebooks left--the hazards of being disorganized plus moving several times I guess). 

In the late 90s, I wandered into the scrapbooking craze.  I got bored with the sedate layouts pretty quickly and started doing things a little more loosely and adding more writing, and I think that's where my art journaling started, except I didn't know that name for it back then.  The first journal I can point to that I created with the intent of art journaling is from 2003, so maybe that can count as my starting point.

How has Art Journaling impacted, changed, or enhanced your life?

I see my writing and journaling differently now--I see how they can enhance each other and work together.  And I see myself as an artist now (okay, sometimes). Art journaling is helping me finally break out of a belief I developed in grade school that I don't have artistic talent. I used to paint (oil), draw occasionally, embroider, dabble in crafts of all sorts, but I remembered those proclamations from teachers that I was painting wrong, doing things wrong, and the placating, "Not everyone has artistic talent.  Not everyone is an artist."  I wanted to be a writer and an artist, but I could never think of myself as an artist.  I couldn't find anything to point to in my life that was a consistent, ongoing sign of "I'm an artist."  Until I started art journaling and meeting lots of other artists and doing swaps with them and seeing their blogs with pictures of their journals.  I could look at them and call them artists, and then I realized that I was doing some things similar to what they were doing, and finally I could say, "Me, too, I'm an artist!" 

Page in process

What are a few of your favorite Art Journaling materials?

Pens and markers!  In lots and lots of colors.  I love gel pens, especially the sparkly ones.  I also love patterned papers.  And lately I'm really liking working with darker backgrounds and writing in white.  I used to think white was boring, but recently I got a white gel pen and a white ink pad for my rubber stamps, and I found out that white is pretty exciting when it's popping out from a dark background.  I also love Aleene's Tacky Glue.  I like to water it down a bit and use it to create collaged backgrounds.  I put it on the page and then on top of the collage pieces I stick down, and when it dries it makes this really great, smooth surface that's really nice to write on.  And it's not sticky after it dries which I also love.

All of my art journals

Who are some of your favorite Art Journalers?

A favorite journal.  It's made from a magazine with pages tipped in

I guess this means besides Connie, right? ;)   There are so many people whose journals I love to look at!  Here's a short list and not at all complete:
I just know there are tons more I can't think of right now.  They'll all come to me five minutes after I hit publish, I just know it!  But this list at least gives you a good idea of the sorts of things I like to look at, so I think it will do.

What kind words of encouragement would you say to an Art Journal newbie?

Take it slowly.  You don't have to try every technique at once.  And you can start simply and build up to the more layered techniques if those are what you like.  Enjoy playing at each stage instead of aiming for your idea of what you want your pages to look like (trust me, I speak from experience).  And don't be afraid to cover things up, start over, and even leave things unfinished.  It's a journal, so not every page can be or even should be a finished piece. Sometimes your thoughts are unfinished, and sometimes so are your journal pages.  That's not only okay, it's great!  It means you're following the flow rather than just looking to the final product.

An early collage from my newbie days

Where can we contact you...give us some link LOVE!!

MuseCraft (my website)
WordColors (my personal creativity blog)
MuseCraft News (my newsletter)
On Facebook: fan page

Short Bio

I’m a professional muse, practitioner of whimsy, writer, teacher, embroiderer, photographer, experimental cook and all around creative indulger.  I’ve worked in a bank, been an English teacher, worked as a stockbroker.  Now, I’m just starting out as a creativity coach (although I do prefer “professional muse” because it’s just better!), and I'm loving it because I can tell I’ve finally found my place.


*megula* said...

Very cool! Do you read the "Art Journaling" edition of the Somerset Studio / Stampington magazines?

Connie said...

Very, very cool Kim!! I LOVE how you incorporate collage into everything--it works so beautifully.

I'm so happy that you shared!!!

Big hugs,

ABCcreativity said...

great interview kim!

Kim Switzer said...


Can you believe I *just* found out they have an Art Journal magazine? I actually found out by following a link in one of Connie's interviews. So, I haven't read it yet, but I'm going to!

Thanks for the note!

Kim Switzer said...

Thank you, Connie! It was really fun choosing what pages to include. I got to go back through my journals and revisit things I had completely forgotten.

Kim Switzer said...

Thank you, Andrea!

Jeniffer said...

So happy to hear that you have over come other people's issues and can call yourself an ARTIST. You definitely have earned the title!

I love the idea of "creativity coaching." What a fabulous concept. I checked out your other site too. Apparently we have similar tastes in web design. I've got the same template : )

TopazPearleGirl said...

Great stuff, thanks for sharing. I love the pic of all the journals...

Kim Switzer said...


Great minds, huh? :) Love the gallery on your home page. Thanks for the link!

Kim Switzer said...


Thank you! I love the shadows on that one. Wish I could say that was on purpose, but they just sort of showed up. But I'll take it! :)

Natasha said...

YOU are TOTALLY an artist! AND I'm happy you agree because your work is terrific! I LOVE the pages with the envelope that says, "To the Artist".

And sparly gel pens are AWESOME! Tracy Carlton who was also a part of this series loves them too... Sparkly things make me happy ;)

Sarah Whitmire said...

YAY! Great Job Kim. So nice to read your story.



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