Motif

Holly here. Like many others, when I make a homemade art journal or alter a book to create in, I like to devote the entire book to one theme or season in Get Messy. When the season is announced I begin to think about how that season’s theme speaks to me.

One example of this was the Season of Seasons. The Season of Seasons fell in the fall when many changes were occuring in my life. I am a teacher so school was beginning, I became an empty-nester as my youngest child left for college, and I turned fifty years old. That’s a lot of changes. I decided to devote my altered book in the Season of Seasons: Change and Transformation.

I began to think of a motif that could run through my art journal to represent this season. Change does not always have to be bad. Change can be seen as a transformation, or metamorphosis, if you will. A motif is defined as a distinctive feature or dominant idea in an artistic or literary composition. Motifs can bring a sense of cohesiveness into a journal that may have been missing before. For this book, I decided the butterfly was the perfect symbol of change.

Holly Janssen

Mom, wife, and middle school teacher, Holly Janssen recently rediscovered her love of creating mixed media art. Art journaling has brought her hours of joy, meditation, and friendship. Get Messy is the best community of unconditional friends she could have ever stumbled upon.

10 Comments

  1. Alyssa Rothwell

    I love doing this as well! I find it takes some of the pressure off also when you’re stuck for an idea, a motif can keep the ball rolling.

    Reply
    • Holly Janssen

      It sure does take the pressure off!

      Reply
  2. Kellye Crocker

    I love the journal you shared, Holly! It’s so inspiring! I’ve never done one journal on a theme. Excited to play with motifs! Thank you.

    Reply
    • Holly Janssen

      Thanks, Kellye! This journal was super meaningful for me. I usually work in a large Moleskine, but lately small altered books and homemade journals have been speaking to me. Enjoy motif!

      Reply
  3. Vanessa Oliver-lloyd

    I love this idea, like a thread that guides through a season. Your work inspires me so much!

    Reply
    • Holly Janssen

      Oh my goodness, Vanessa; thank you so much. You are my inspiration as well. I hope you know how much your work has encouraged and compelled me to create and dive within myself. Love to you.

      Reply
    • Holly Janssen

      Oh my goodness, Vanessa; thank you so much. I hope you know how much your work, your words, your vitality, your openness, your honesty, your art, how YOU have inspired me to create, dive within, and find my spirit. Thank YOU!!!

      Reply
  4. Maura Flood

    I love your idea of using a theme, and a motif to represent that theme. The theme would provide me with some direction, which I often need when staring at a blank page.

    Reply
    • Holly Janssen

      Yes! Blank page fear is much more manageable with a motif.

      Reply
  5. Michelle Ward

    That’s a great idea Holly, I never thought about doing that. Sometimes my pages strongly relate to the season, other times it is very, very loose. But I think using a motif might be a fun way to try and bring some cohesiveness to what is often the randomness that I feel like creating at the time.

    Thanks for sharing your lovely journal as well. It is so inspiring!!

    Reply

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