Kelly Henson

Kelly is a veritable mash up of mother, teacher, skater and newbie art journaler. In previous creative incarnations she has been a digital scrapbooker and an overly snap-happy photographer. She is currently tapping toddler hands away from her rapidly multiplying stash of paints and markers.

Greetings from my art studio (AKA kitchen table)! I’m Kelly, a fresh Get Messian, and I’d like to share with you my experience in starting out in this wonderfully welcoming and fun-filled world of art journaling.

Being a beginner means there is zero pressure – nothing to prove and nothing to lose. But for me, it also meant having very little knowledge of how art journaling actually worked and where to even start. I’d see Instagram posts showcasing incredible Messian artwork and I wrongly assumed it was something I wouldn’t have the time or talent for. We absolutely can create art and we certainly can squeeze it in amongst the constant chaos of our own lives!

Joining Get Messy was making a commitment to immerse myself in creativity and inspiration every day. I was no longer going to accept the perception that my life was crammed so full of children, reports and dirty dishes that there was no room left for me. Delving deeper into the seasons and tutorials was giving myself the permission to be a learner and to try new things just. for. fun.

The Season of Failure gave me the nudge I needed to wholeheartedly embrace my newbie-status and to actually (gasp!) share my progress with others. It’s not about serving up a perfect final product; it’s simply about enjoying the process.

Not only have I discovered that gouache is not, in fact, a medical condition, and that gelli plates are not kids’ party food (ha ha), I’ve noticed that the very act of art journaling is proving to be a great stress reliever, a necessary creative outlet and a fast-track to connecting with like-minded people. I think I’ve found my tribe!

When making the move from merely admiring the art of others to actually trying it myself, I bought a three-pack of Moleskines. Knowing they’re comparatively cheap, and the fact there’s more than one of them, freed me from worry about making costly mistakes. I dug out old pens and pencils, and purchased gesso, a student’s set of acrylic paint and a heat tool (invaluable for the time-poor and the impatient!) I’ve used up leftover wrapping paper, and have already made a dent in the mountain of magazines I’ve hoarded for years.

In the pages I’ve made so far, there’s evidence of all the tutorials I’ve been binge watching. The dashes are 100% Messy Mark-inspired, the layered backgrounds began with ideas from Messy Pages, and the techniques for creating a night sky were taught in Painting Galaxies. I’ve now got a little bag of arty tricks I can dip into whenever a stubbornly blank page stares back at me. I rip edges, add marks, layer upon layer, and incorporate texture. I’ve come to know that gold is good for extra oomph and if I’m ever in doubt, to blot some ink!

I take the notion of Get Messy quite literally. I drip ink everywhere, smear paint with my fingers and my “studio” is no longer fit for eating food off, but honestly, I couldn’t be more content!

I’m so thankful to have stumbled across Get Messy and art journaling, because there is always something new to learn and to be excited about, and really, there’s nothing quite like unleashing your creativity and making some art!