Artist Spotlight

Melanie Theriault escapes and processes her reality through art journaling

Melanie is a Messy mixed media artist and is perpetually on the lookout for napkins and tissue papers to use in her collages. She’s on a mission to incorporate creativity, learning and community in her every day.

What is art journaling to you?

Art journaling is a healing liminal space that allows me to both escape my reality as well as process it. It is my self care at its best. Art journaling feels like home, it feels like personal growth, it also feels like community.

What does community do for your art?

Community is everything. It is a soothing balm for feelings of isolation, particularly true through the toughest parts of the pandemic. Through the art journaling community I am motivated to grow my art and share my knowledge. It is an opportunity to celebrate others too. It is a space of exchange, support and friendship.

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

My creative space is as mall rag-tag room that feels like my heart-home. It has houseplants and a bookshelf for my journals and other curio. It houses a grungy old couch, a colourful weaved rug and an antique side table passed down through four generations. The walls are adorned with accidental paint splatters and art created by friends and collected though travels. The floor is typically littered with paper scraps and my snoring pup, Leo. On my desk, next to the mess of supplies there is almost always music, coffee and dark chocolate.

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

Yes, I have. In the past I have reacted to a page I disliked by covering it up. These days I embrace the process. I may come back to it later or simply leave it as a page that marked my passing, with the knowledge that tomorrow is an opportunity to create again.

How has Get Messy impacted your creativity?

GM was a catalyst to my budding art journaling practice in 2021. I have learned tremendously from the community, featured artists and the amazing amount of resources available on the GM platform, but most importantly I have learnt to embrace the process and to create everyday. That cannot be emphasized enough!

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

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

What journal do you use?

I tend to craft my journals from old book covers and scraps of papers scavenged from various sources, such as, packaging, book pages, mixed media paper. I also add fabric, tissue paper and wrapping paper and whatever else I can get my hands on! I like to add tatty ribbons to enclose my journalsonce I have completedworking in them. I also love the simple adornment of accumulated splatters and stains on their covers from our time together. 

What is your one *must have* supply?

White gesso. 

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

When I am not in the mood to create a journal page I like to putter around in my studio. I tend to tidy my creative space,organize supplies, make collage papers or fussy cut images. These acts typically generate creative ideas for future projects.

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

Equal parts music, snoring dog, coffee and community. 

Who are your favourite Messy artists?

I love this question. I thrive on the richness provided by all artists in the virtual art journaling community and could easily fill this entire blog post with all of them! Here are a few Instagram art journalers who have inspired me in the past year: @thistleandthimbles @lissagoddart@monaschreibt @flo_herethere @prpaints18 and of course the wonderful @getmessyartjournal account.


Advice to new art journalers:

The most valuable advice I have for new art journallers is to get into the habit of creating everyday. This will help shed perfectionism and get you familiar with your supplies. It will evolve your personal style, and have you thinking creatively in and out of your art journal.

I would also advise to take note of other artists’ art that you like. Try to understand why you like their style and play around with those ideas, techniques, colours, textures, etc..

Also, get a colour wheel, make you own collage papers, use what you have and connect to community!

Embrace the process and create everyday

Join the community