Thursday, February 10, 2011
my method of bookkeeping
i read my books with a pen -- that is, unless i check them out from the library, in which case i jot down my favorite quotes on loose scrap papers, which often get lost. for some time, i've wanted to keep them all in one notebook for easy reference, but as i've mentioned before, working in a bound journal gives me massive anxiety. blank books look so delectable on the shelf, but when i buy and bring them home, i try a few pages and then i freak out. they feel forced and wrong, they don't feel very "me", and so i abandon them. that's because the format doesn't reflect my thought process; linear progression is not my thing. i do like harnessing the chaos and putting some order to it, but within that structure, my work needs mobility, an escape hatch, the ability to shift around noncommittally the way mosaic pieces do before the grout arrives.
instead of continuing to beat myself over the head about this i simply decided to define an art journal as the way i need it to be. that is, it must conform to my own demands and illusions. armed with this revelation i took a hardback moleskine (barely touched of course) off the shelf and ripped all the pages out. immediately made me feel better. i inked the pages, thus ridding them of the white plague, which brightened my mood even more. then i took it one (crucial) step further. instead of lettering the words directly on the page (which of course i would want to change the moment it was irreversible), i made paper cutouts of other inked and stamped pages, lettered them just the way i wanted (and tossed the ones that didn't work) and then played with the quote pieces until i was ready to commit them to their spaces. and then i put all of the loose pages back between the binding and snapped the elastic shut. separate, but together.
some might say i should be doing just the opposite, and use a journal to work through my issues instead of encouraging them. even Cassandra herself from I Capture the Castle would frown on my approach ("i should rather like to tear these last pages out of the book. shall I? no-a journal ought not to cheat.") but i've found a combination that works for me, and for once i've made a journal page that might possibly lead into another and create some continuity in my bookkeeping. and for me that's a big step forward.
Posted by aimee