Artist Spotlight

Karen Price finds freedom to play in her art journal

Karen discovered the wonderful world of art journaling and Get Messy in late 2016 and hasn’t looked back since! Being curious and willing to “try it all” keeps her busy and downright messy. She has a crazy love for all things vintage, which you will often find featured in her art.

What is art journaling to you?

It’s my creative outlet where there are no rules or perfection, just expression. Art journaling is a way to work through whatever is going on in my busy mind and express my emotions. It gives me the freedom to play, be spontaneous, and see what shows up on the page. I often combine words or quotes with images and in the back of my mind, I often think I’m recording words of wisdom and encouragement to impart to my children or grandchildren when I am no longer here.

What does community do for your art?

I love having access to a group of like-minded people who share a passion for creating and learning together. I have found my tribe within the Get Messy community where I can cheer others on, or be cheered, learn from, and build relationships.

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

I intentionally set aside a bit of time each day to create. I am very lucky to have a dedicated room in my home where I can leave my work in progress and pick up where I left off without having to pack it all away.

I also try to daily connect with other artists through Instagram and often find inspiration from these artists. Apart from my daily art practice, I create my own greeting cards for birthdays, special events and “thinking of you”. I’m always looking out for interesting junk mail, packaging and other “throwaway” items I come across in my day-to-day activities, thinking how I might be able to incorporate these items into my art practice.

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

Usually, my dedicated art room just looks like a hot mess. When I am in the flow, I pile things up on my desk or floor, not wanting to stop to put things away, but I can only work in a mess for so long.

Do you have creative routines?

Not really, although I will often listen to podcasts while I create.

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

I don’t really have a favourite but I’ve chosen one that represents what art journaling is to me; it’s in an altered book that I used for the Season of Steven.

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

Two things: A busy mind, or being tired (whether that be physically or mentally.) On those days it’s very tempting to take on a passive role, and just scroll through Instagram or watch Youtube process videos instead of making art. I recognize that it’s ok to need some downtime on occasion, but usually, that only happens for 1 or 2 days. Otherwise, to overcome the barrier, I remind myself that I can just go into my art room and spend a few minutes “tidying up” which might lead me to take a few creative steps, whether that’s pulling together a bunch of papers I can use for a collage, stamping on tissue paper, or breaking out my gelli-plate to create a few background papers.

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

Most definitely! If I can’t rip it out of the book and tear it up for collage, I will just cover it up with paper or gesso and start again.

Have you ever been through artist block? How did you return to your work?

While there are some days I feel uninspired, I’m not sure that I have gone through an extended period of artist block. Perhaps that’s because I dabble in so many different mediums and so I’m not pigeonholed into one style?

How has Get Messy impacted your creativity?

This community inspires me to continually create and try new things daily.

✨ Free class for creatives ✨

In How to Start Art Journaling, we’ll walk you through the art of art journaling, including how to start doing (🙌) and make your very first art journal page (even if you’ve never even opened an art journal before).

What journal do you use?

I prefer to work in an art journal that I make myself, consisting of a mixture of watercolour paper, card stock, scrapbooking paper, old book pages (whether it be text or illustrations) etc.

What is your one *must have* supply?

Oh, don’t make me choose just one! It’s hard to choose just one! I do a lot of collage, so if I have to choose just 1 supply, that would be Liquitex Matte Medium (but I do love my glue stick, almost as much)!

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

My go-to technique is collage, so if I am stumped about what to make, I will often look through my box of ephemera and gelli-printed pages which usually sparks some sort of creativity.

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

Listening to podcasts and/or attending a Get Messy hangout!

Who are your favourite Messy artists?

Such a tough question to answer because I derive so much inspiration from so many different artists within the Get Messy community, and I certainly wouldn’t want to overlook anyone. That said, I will say that when I was first starting out I took much inspiration from Tanyalee Kahler. I’d also like to give a shout-out to @sasha_zeen not only for her beautiful art but also for her beautiful heart. She is a cheerleader extraordinaire!

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

Enjoy the process of creativity; do not focus or place too much importance on the end result.

Advice to new art journalers:

Just start! Don’t overthink it, just try. Get in touch with the “kindergarten you”, who was not self-conscious, who took on any task with a can-do attitude, with no fear of failure. Start slow and easy … make marks on a page, and build from there.

Karen Price

Karen discovered the wonderful world of art journaling and Get Messy in late 2016 and hasn’t looked back since! Being curious and willing to “try it all” keeps her busy and downright messy. She has a crazy love for all things vintage, which you will often find featured in her art.

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