- Story Prompts + Sidekick
- Storyboard Sunday: Using comic book panels to tell your tale
- Selfie Sketch: Creating a painted sketched self portrait of yourself
- Use vintage photos and found words to tell a familiar or fictional story in your journal
- Photographic Abstraction: Using Cropped Images to Focus on the Details
- Telling unconventional stories through abstract art
- Word windows: adding text without affecting your images
- Where to find your inspiration for art and stories
- Archetypes enhance the power of story: using the hero’s journey in our art
- Using a Traveler’s Notebook to Tell Your Story
- How to tell your story
Telling unconventional stories through abstract art
Hello! Alicia here for our first tutorial of the Season of Story. This season, I’m going to be thinking about stories in a very different way than most, and today, I’m going to share with you where I will be starting. In this tutorial, we will be thinking about stories in an unconventional way by expressing them through abstract art.
I recently saw a post on Facebook from a former teacher asking her former students to post an update on what has happened in their lives since leaving her classroom. I scrolled through the responses and quickly noticed a trend. The short stories people were sharing about their lives since leaving her high school English class consisted of most of the following things: the school they attended after high school, their degree, what they did for work, if they had kids, and where they lived now.
I immediately started thinking about how my life is more than those 5 things. Yes, they are important, but I wanted to share about how I am learning to play and create freely like a child again through art, how I discovered a love for hunting for the smallest unnoticed details of life, how much I loved the way Portland (the city I live in) smells in the mornings. I wanted to share my love for learning and the joy I feel from doing even the most mundane things with my family (from cleaning the house to riding our bikes up and down the streets in our neighborhood), how I’m in search of the secret to spending less time working and more time living, how I dream of traveling more and exploring the world. It also made me wonder what other important but not necessarily conventional stories I could tell about myself to someone I hadn’t seen in a long time or someone I was just meeting.
With it being the Season of Story, I have decided to dedicate this season to exploring the idea of my unconventional story, and abstract art seems most fitting to go with this exploration. Through this tutorial, I want you to consider how you might tell an unconventional story at a time when people usually share the standard stories about themselves and then express it in a non-representational way through abstract art. Consider what colors might represent the feelings of your story and what marks or shapes can represent the various important or unimportant elements.
Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes.
- Art Journal
- Acrylic paint
- 1-2 mark making tools (pens, markers, paint markers, colored pencils, oil pastels, etc.)
- A place to journal or make a list (optional)
- Reference photos of elements to inspire what you want to include in your abstract story (optional)
Abstract art making can seem really easy but turn out to be a bit challenging. My most important tip for you is to consider your non-traditional story through thought or journaling, and then let the story move you through the making. Consider the story as you create intuitively.
I can’t wait to see your stories through your abstract art journaling at #GMSeasonofStory and #getmessyartjournal. Also, if you have any resources or thoughts on the idea of unconventional story sharing about our own lives, please share with me in the comments below or reach out to me on Instagram (@vineandthistle).
Now it’s your turn:
- You may want to pick a limited color palette to start with or just start and see what colors speak to you as you create (consider the story, feeling you have in mind and what colors relate to the story).
- Don’t overthink this. Have fun. You can always cover and start over or turn the page and move on!
- Consider the technical terms I shared: composition, unity, and balance, but most of all, make the abstract art tell your story.
- Share your art journal spreads with the Get Messy community using #GMSeasonofStory and #getmessyartjournal.
Alicia lives in Portland, Oregon. She loves to create intuitively and freely and let the art come out without holding back. When it all comes together on a spread, it feels magical, meaningful, and like a deep breath for her soul.