How to create a unique and artsy mandala for your journal

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Torrie Gass

I have been so inspired by all the mandalas that I've been noticing everywhere. I wanted to bring that into my own art journal after seeing a gorgeous tapestry recently. However, drawing mandalas is certainly not my strongest skill.

As I was playing around in my journal, with mandalas floating around my head, it struck me to use stamps. Perfect! I can't mess them up, and Roben-Marie's stamps sets go together so effortlessly.

Check out this unique and artsy mandala by Design Team member Torrie Gass. Follow along with her video tutorial as she creates this beautiful page in her art journal. She uses Art Pops™ and Paperbag Studios Stamps to create this gorgeous layout! @robenmarie @foxandhazel #robenmarie #robenmariedesignteam #paperbagstudios #artpops #mixedmedia #diy #artjournal #artjournaling

I started with a colorful but not too busy background in my altered book journal. Even though I wanted to use more color, I knew I had to tone it down in order for the mandala to really stand out. Then I got to stamping using the Mixed Media Essentials Stamp Sheet and Garden Muse Stamp Sheet, and just let myself figure out the design as I went.

Creating intuitively is very, well, intuitive for me! I typically don't have a plan going in and let my instincts make all the decisions. Tweet That!



Needless to say, the instincts that dictated the design of this mandala were spot on! I love the organic and messy nature of it, but also love the symmetry and balance as well. I know I'll be looking back on this page frequently for more mandala inspiration!

Going Deeper...

What's your top tip for dealing with blank page paralysis? 

Grab your favorite paints plus one adventurous pick, and just start pushing paint around. I start so many of my pages this way when I have no idea what I want to do. It helps loosen me up while I create a background that is incredibly flexible. 

What do you do with your art once you've finished it? 

I share about 90% of my artwork online, so I usually photograph it when I'm done so I can share it! Then it gets stored on a shelf or in a drawer. I don't display my art journals in my home, although I know lots of other artist's do! It just never occurred to me to do so.


More you might enjoy from the Design Team:


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Delightful word of the year frame to help you focus

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Kristi Nazzaro

Every December I choose a word to focus on for the upcoming new year. I have participated in Ali Edward’s One Little Word workshop for the last several years. Throughout the year I make my word visible in a variety of creative ways.

This year I chose the word “pace”. I want to work towards my personal and professional goals at a steady pace. I am looking for slow and steady as opposed to rush, rush, rush. 

Design Team member Krisit Nazzaro is sharing with us how she made her gorgeous altered mixed media frame for the word of the year. Follow along with her video tutorial as she creates this beautiful piece of unique art. She uses Art Pops™ and Paperbag Studios Stamps to create this gorgeous layout! @robenmarie @soulpositive #robenmarie #robenmariedesignteam #paperbagstudios #artpops #mixedmedia #diy #artjournal #visualjournaling

I knew that for my first Design Team Project for 2018 I wanted to incorporate my word. I thought a frame would be a wonderful way to keep my word present in my every day. 

I pick up frames from Marshall’s and Kohl’s throughout the year and keep them in my stash for future projects. You never know when inspiration will hit and I always want to be prepared. The funkier the color....the better. 

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the brand, new INKed Rubber Stamp Set. The Art Pops™ Collection cards are already beautiful by themselves but adding some stencils and marks gives the piece my own personal touch. 

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 "You never know when inspiration will hit and I always want to be prepared"  - tweet that

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After just a few small additions to the Art Pops™ Card I was able to add my word on a scrap piece of fabric and stitch it all together. I love how the stitching gives the piece a bit of my personality. I can’t stitch a straight line to save my life. I love the wonkiness of the lines. They truly show the curves of my own personal journey. 

This was such an easy project that will brighten my days and keep me on track to the goals I have set for myself for the year.



Going Deeper...

What's your top tip for dealing with blank page paralysis? 

When I am feeling especially uncreative or just not able to get anything going art wise - I put on some music and select only a few bottles of paint, maybe one or two small stencils and some collage papers. I find that with less products I’m able to start small and not be overwhelmed. Sometimes I can’t get started when I have so many products at my fingertips. Less is more for me when I am staring at a blank page. Some good music and a couple of supplies will usually start a nice flow of creativity.  

What do you do with your art once you've finished it? 

I give a fair amount of my art pieces away to friends and family. I sell some pieces periodically in my Etsy shop. And then there are plenty of pieces that I hoard here at my house. I make lots and lots of altered art tags so they are usually placed in my art journals. 

 


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Taking time for rest is essential to the creative process

During my adolescent years, Martha Stewart was in her prime.  She showed us how to make everything from pottery and herbal water to raising goats.  She taught us how to host elaborate dinner parties, organize and pack for vacations, all while looking fabulous and being the envy of our friends as we raised three kids in a spotless home with a glorious garden!

I wanted to do “all the things” but missed the part about taking time to rest and be still.  It has taken me decades to reach a point in my life where this is becoming more important and essential to my sanity.

I am self-aware enough now to know that productivity gives me a sense of worth. When that realization hit me, it was hard to accept.  After all, I am a child of God and I have worth and value in that alone. I love my work and the blessings it has brought to my life, but I also see that it was consuming me.  

 
Taking time for rest is essential to the creative process with Roben-Marie Smith @robenmarie #creativity #robenmarie #robenmariesmith #artjournal
Taking time for rest is essential to the creative process with Roben-Marie Smith @robenmarie #creativity #robenmarie #robenmariesmith #artjournal

After times of intentional rest, I am more creative and at peace with myself and my work.

The need to create is a big part of who I am and I don’t want to lose that spark, that joy, that overwhelming sense of excitement because I did not make time to slow down.

Over the last couple of months, I worked less and rested more.  How does it feel, you ask?  At first, it was weird because I was going from high-speed rail to horse-drawn carriage.  While the view from the train is quite lovely, things whiz by so fast you miss a lot.  The fresh air and sunshine are splendid from atop the carriage.

Recently, a friend told me that I am looking softer around the edges, less like I am going to jump out of my skin. I am certainly feeling better and in no small part to my discovery of Lush bath bombs.  

What’s my plan for the new year?

•This year, I will make time for rest.  
•This year, I will make time for self-care.
•This year, I will be present in each moment.

Beyond that, I will take things one day at a time, perhaps relaxing on occasion with a glass of lavender and mint infused water!

Have a blessed day!

Roben-Marie

 
Taking time for rest is essential to the creative process with Roben-Marie Smith @robenmarie #creativity #robenmarie #robenmariesmith #artjournal
Taking time for rest is essential to the creative process with Roben-Marie Smith @robenmarie #creativity #robenmarie #robenmariesmith #artjournal
Taking time for rest is essential to the creative process with Roben-Marie Smith @robenmarie #creativity #robenmarie #robenmariesmith #artjournal
 
 
Taking time for rest is essential to the creative process with Roben-Marie Smith @robenmarie #creativity #robenmarie #robenmariesmith #artjournal
 

How to make ultimate layers in your art journal the easy way

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Ashli Oliver

I was so inspired by the whimsical faces in the Woodland Fairies collection when I first saw them! I love drawing faces, and I love that these are so different than mine.

Design Team member Ashli Oliver is sharing with us how she made her junque journal style spread. Follow along with her video tutorial as she creates beautiful layers in her art journal. She uses Art Pops™ and Paperbag Studio Stamps to create this gorgeous piece of Art! @robenmarie @soaphousemama #robenmarie #robenmariedesignteam #paperbagstudios #artpops #mixedmedia #diy

I couldn't help but think of the juxtaposition of one of my girls along with these little fairies... a bit like her muses, or perhaps some feathered friends.

The thought of feathers and nests prompted me to grab Natural Elements stamps and incorporate those into this fun and wild spread. I hope you have as much fun watching the video as I did putting it together!

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 "I love drawing faces, and I love that these are so different than mine."  - tweet that

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Going Deeper...

What's your top tip for dealing with blank page paralysis? 

Just glue something down, the first scrap you see on your desk... use that as a jumping off point for design themes and colors! 

What do you do with your art once you've finished it? 

Since I mostly do scrapbooking and art journaling, they stay in their respective books. If I've jumped "off the page" then it's usually for giving away :)

 


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This is what happens when you merge file folders with paint and paper

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Jenni Zmuda

I really enjoy working in smaller journals. These journals in particular are not big and the pages do not take a lot of time. Plus I make them, so they are very cost efficient. I’m a big proponent of using what you have where you are at. Don’t wait. Just get started.

Design Team member Jenni Zmuda is sharing with us how she made her her quirky file folder art journal. Follow along with her video tutorial as she creates this beautiful and unique art journal. She uses Art Pops™ and Paperbag Studios Stamps to create this gorgeous journal! @robenmarie @jennizmuda #robenmarie #robenmariedesignteam #paperbagstudios #artpops #mixedmedia #diy

When I start a journal page, and I know this probably sounds bad, but I really do not put a lot of thought into it. I just start adding paint and inks and stamps and layers, whatever I want. With this one in particular, I knew I wanted to incorporate an Art Pops™ card and the Woodland Fairies stamps. And that is about as deep as my thought process got. As you can see in the video I try the ArtPops card in various positions until I found where I liked best. Then I just added layers from there until I liked the end result.

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 "Art journaling, for me, is not about copying someone else’s style...It's my time to be free of rules."  - tweet that

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Art journaling, for me, is not about copying someone else’s style or making it look perfect. It's my time to be free of rules and expectations of what someone else thinks I should be doing and just let it flow. This is really the basis of my ‘method’. There are certain things I almost always add, like book text and teal paint, but for the most part I just let whatever happens happen. I think this is a great way to create, there is less pressure this way.



Going Deeper...

What's your top tip for dealing with blank page paralysis? 

My tip is a messy (maybe applied with a palette knife) layer of gesso or white acrylic paint. Let that dry, then add ink spray! Just pick and color and spray. The spray sinks down into the texture of the paint and makes great texture. No more blank page!

What do you do with your art once you've finished it? 

I hoard it of course! lol Most of what I do is in journals. I have a stack of journals under my work table. They are stuffed and gloriously chubby. I love the way it looks.


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