Artist Spotlight

Camila Garcia knows that mistakes are important to creative growth

Camila Garcia

Camila is a self-taught mixed media artist with a passion for all things botanical. She explores floral motives using watercolours, inks, and pens, both in her art journals as well as in her layered collage bouquets. She believes that through art practice you can unleash your creative self and become a happier and more fulfilled person.

What journal do you use?

I am at the beginning of my art journal practice and therefore I am still experimenting with different types of journals. At the moment I am using a Fabriano Venezia, which is a little bigger than an A4 size and I have loved it. I have also been using a handmade journal made by a local artisan, but it is smaller, and I don’t feel as comfortable using small journals. I’ve already used ArtCreation’s sketchbooks, which are ok for when you’re starting out.

What is your one *must have* supply?

I can’t live without my watercolours and my pens. I love the fluidity and transparency of watercolours, and I try to explore them in different ways. My pens, especially gel and roller pens, are perhaps my number 1 tool, as drawing is a big part of my art.

What do you make when you don’t know what to make?

Usually, I always know what to do. I have a thousand ideas and projects planned that I want to put into practice. However, the few times I’m not sure what to do, I try to repeat an idea that I’ve already done and liked a lot. Repetition is key for improving skills.

What is the most important (non-tool) thing to your creative practice?

I think it’s observation and research. I like to observe my surroundings, and Lisbon, where I live, helps me a lot with that, with all its tiles, street art and views to admire. I also like to actively search for inspiration, whether it’s on Pinterest or botanical books.

Who are your favourite Messy artists?

I love the works of Wendy Brightbill and Laura Horn. I wouldn’t call them journalers, but they incorporate art journaling in their art practice in a way that is very appealing to me.

What’s the best art advice you’ve ever received?

Keep practising!

Camila is one of the incredible teachers at Get Messy. She shares her art and her heart in the Season of Enough.

You’re invited to embrace the messy middle and join the best art journaling community on the internet.

How do you live a creative life? How do you incorporate journaling into that?

I have a problem calling myself creative. I prefer the word maker. I am a maker, I like to make art. If possible, every day. I like to set projects, big projects as my book of flowers, and tackle them with small tasks every day. If this makes me a creative person also, good!

What does your creative space look like? Where do you journal?

I have a table in my home office which a use for my day job as engineering as well as for my art. It clearly looks a lot more like an art table than an office table. I’m happy with the current set-up, but a little more space would be nicer.

What is art journaling to you?

I’m still figuring it out. I would say it’s a way to express myself creatively with no strings attached. It’s how I can experiment with ideas and create beautiful things just for the sake of it, just to please myself.

What does community do for your art?

Art community is a positive and safe place where you can find support for your artistic practice. Since I started sharing my art on the internet and received support and admiration for my work, I have felt much more motivated to develop my art.

What is your favourite art journal page that you’ve ever made and why?

Is one of my journal sisters pages that I made for the Violas’ chapters of “My book of flowers”, a journal that I have been working on and is dedicated only to flowers.

What is your biggest barrier to creating? And how do you overcome that hurdle?

In the beginning, I was afraid of everything: to try watercolours, to draw flowers, to work on journals. I thought that everything I was making looks terrible. But I told myself that I need to keep practising and experimenting with all the things that appealed to me. And this seemed to work. I am much more confident now. However, nowadays my big barrier is time. I mean, lack of. As I work full-time, I can only practice my art few hours during the week. And this makes me frustrated.

Have you ever made something you don’t like? What did you do?

I have many art projects that I hated. But I believe that we had to do bad works in order to do good work. Practice in art is very important because you will only be mastering and developing your technique by doing and making mistakes.

How has Get Messy impacted your creativity?

Get messy has been a huge booster for my artistic practice. It introduced me to great artists and got me into the art journaling scene, even though I didn’t think I was a journaler. It’s been wonderful to collaborate with Get Messy.

Advice to new art journalers:

Just do it. Start now. Do what you feel like it even if you think you are not able to. You will only be sure if you tried it.