Tamara Egem practices self-love in her art journals
Tamara worked as fashion designer over 10 years in various cites in Germany. After the birth of her son she rediscovered her passion for painting, sketching and collage-making. She left the fashion industry to work independently without limitations. Now she teaches her very own way of art out of her little winter garden studio in her hometown. Inspired by nature and the endless possibilities of abstract mixed media art, she found joy in the process and a way to let go her perfectionism.
What is art journaling to you?
Pure Joy & Creative Freedom without limitations. Letting go of perfectionism and being just myself. Art Journaling nourishes my soul when everything around me feels hard and stressful. It´s a place where I can calm down and practice self-love.
What does community do for your art?
Without the community, I would not be here for sure. Feeling not alone with my passion for art journaling means the world to me. I am lucky to experienced encouragement and a lot of support from others, which I did not expect at all. Making art together in workshops, online courses or challenges gains so much inspiration, that I would not miss it anymore.
How do you live a creative life? How do you incorporate journaling into that?
I think I live a creative life since I could hold a pen in my hands. I always made creative stuff but also had a long period in my life almost working on the computer. I felt more and more unhappy with this situation and realized that working with my hands, paint and paper is the key to my personal wellbeing.
I´m always working on “something”, but I don´t have a daily structured routine. Since I have my own studio it’s easy for me to put some paint in my journal and leave it for the rest of the day. On some days I just make little steps and on others, I finish 5 pages in one session. I learned that I do not have to put so much pressure on myself…I have many different journals and always choose the ones, which bring me the most joy in daily life.
What does your creative space look like? Where do you journal?
My creative space is a studio in a converted winter garden next to our house. There´s a lot of daylight, but in summer it can get too hot to work in it. As the room is very high, we built the 2nd floor for my computer and all the office stuff. With a staircase, I reach the creative zone at the bottom with a big table for art journaling, 2 old Singer sewing machines and antique furniture, which my husband and I saved & refined from his grandparents. I love to combine old stuff that has a kind of history with new furniture.
Do you have creative routines?
Minimum 2-3 times a week I make space in my planner dedicated to art journaling. But I don’t have a specific date, it depends on how I feel. On the other days, I follow my other creative projects.
What is your favourite art journal page that you’ve ever made?
It´s a page wich has all the elements I love: a photo of a flowers, writing, my favorite colors, abstract elements and a photo of a woman from a magazine. I love combining everything I have and building a connection of these elements. I totally fell in love with the process of this page.
Have you ever made something you don’t like? What did you do?
Yes a lot. I always paint over it with gesso or acrylics and often it became something i really like.
What is your biggest barrier to creating? And how do you overcome that hurdle?
When I have an idea, want to start creating and already knew, that I will not have enough time to finish. Sometimes this keeps me away from starting a new page.
I can overcome it by taking a step back and thinking about workflow to realize my idea. I start with a single step, to prevent me from getting into a hurry and leaving my studio frustrated and in bad mood.
Have you ever been through a creative block?
Yes, I was blocked beginning of the year, overwhelmed by the possibilities of creating and not knowing what I really want to do. I started making other stuff like blueprinting and bookbinding. After that, I knew that I wanted to return to art journaling again.
How has Get Messy impacted your creativity?
When I discovered Get Messy I was fascinated by the variety of art people show there. It encouraged me a lot to make my own thing and I realised more and more that I have not to be a perfect painter to be an artist.
Tamara is one of the incredible teachers at Get Messy. She shares her art and her heart in the Season of Flow.
You’re invited to embrace the messy middle and join the best art journaling community on the internet.
What journal do you use?
I use only handmade, stitched journals or old book covers.
What is your one *must have* supply?
Posca Pen 0,7 in black for writing and scribbling onto my finished pages
What do you make when you don’t know what to make?
A collage made out of paper scraps found on my table is always a good starting point.
What is the most important (non-tool) thing to your creative practice?
A clean desk with inspirational things around to get me in the right mood for creating something new
Who are your favourite Messy artists?
Michelle Schratz from @raspberrybluesky & Mona from @monaschreibt. They are both living in Germany and belong to that group of very special persons, who followed me when I started art journaling on Instagram at the beginning of 2020.
Advice to new art journalers:
You don´t need the perfect result to start art making. Take the first step before you´re ready and follow your heart, not what others do or not do.