Because I am ever interested in illustration and storytelling, I tend toward drawing. And keeping journals. So I often doodle and record thoughts on paper. Like so many folks, journals became a big a part of my creative life. But I could never make them useful as thought catchers, for my new work. They became objects in themselves and I hardly noticed how limiting that was. The following thoughts are drawn from older blog posts (2010) when I began reinventing my methods for catching thoughts on paper. We must decide what's useful, it's personal really. And it needs to change with us.
The Loose (Real) Journal
Let's Get Real
All my life I have kept notebooks. Visual journals filled with sketches and clippings and sources of inspiration. Plans. So many plans. Then, a while back, I began what I called the real journal project. A series of shared pages on the blog. The sharing made them useful within the context of the day and the blogging freed them from the books they were in. They became Loose Pages. The biggest change, though, has been the random record keeping style that evolved, just notes in a shoebox (or a bowl or a basket or even in a pocket), raw and unrefined rather than arranged artistically in page form. At any moment a few of those random notes might collide and form a new order. This has been a step in the right direction for me. This has helped me understand context as a component for my making. But really what I am trying to express here goes beyond that. It has to do with hoarding ideas. And how useless that became for me over time. It is, for me, a form of entrapment . An illusion of creative potential. And at times, even a fashionable artistic facade.
I am not against the book as an expressive form. Or doodling as a meditative and useful activity. Or collecting and scrap booking as a tool. Or a hobby.
I just think.........have thought......... am now much more sure.........
that acting on an idea in its original form, is the only way for me to absorb it, digest it, turn it into some personal and useful form. A way to transform my thought process and evolve. So yes, I have pages and pages, but I no longer find myself referring back to them in any formal way. If a thought meant anything at all, it is probably right there in the pages of my mind.
It is the act of catching thought, in real-time, and using it, acting on it...recording it... but not the record itself that allows my work to grow. I now prefer the Loose format because it has more potential for change.
Lately I find myself ripping those pages into smaller pieces. To get them back to their original form.