Monday, July 16, 2012

Welcome to An Artist's Daybook

     I started this blog in order to focus specifically on my practice of keeping an artist's daybook. A few years ago a good friend enlightened me to his practice of keeping an analog photo journal. It's a habit he's maintained for many years and the ease with which he builds his record is inspiring. As a pre-service art educator I intend to communicate to my students the importance of maintaining such a log. 
     Here I will be posting... anything I want to. This is the only rule I will give my students, that they can enter into their own artist's daybook anything they want to; from poetry to grocery lists, from thumbnail sketches or ideas for projects to doodles having no obvious relevance, from the heaviest thought to the lightest note about the seemingly least consequential of blips on their mental radar; mistakes included. I purposefully chose the term "daybook" as opposed to "journal" or "diary", first, because it's a term used less frequently to describe such things, and second, because those other terms carry specific connotations about their content. Again, anything can go into an artist's daybook. The minutia surrounding those things that would be expected in a journal is what lends context. For example, if I write in my daybook a short poem right after a list of needs for an upcoming trip, followed by a drawing of the view out an open window, I've created the potential for an interesting personally expressive project. If I had omitted the list in favor of the more structured or exclusive forms of a typical journal or sketch diary I might forget the surrounding context of the poem and drawing. Chances are, that trip I had prepared for in some way impacted the poem and drawing I later created.
     Now, I doubt I'll be posting grocery lists here but you get the idea. This is my way of making public my ideas about what an artist's daybook might include. My students will understand, if I achieve my goal, that the keeping of such a log is integral to their artistic practice; a habit whose value will be inestimable. By recording their experiences and perceptions they will create a recorded personal history which will enlighten their creative processes into their adult years. In short, their artist's daybooks will become storehouses of inspiration from which they may draw at will.
     Without further deliberation, let the fun begin...

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