My favorite season, autumn, is right around the corner. And the new Artfest brochure is available to view on-line.
Once the new workshops are posted, a flurry of messages begin to pop up on the Artfest Yahoo group. There are numerous email questions and discussions covering topics such as class selections, travel arrangements, trading art, and must-have items to bring with you to the retreat. I especially love reading the responses from veteran Artfesters with advice for Newbies.
There is one piece of advise I would like to share with both old and new Artfest attendees. Make sure to tuck a journal somewhere in your suitcase, and DON'T FORGET TO USE IT!
I have to admit... my journaling habit is sporadic. I find myself journaling based on events rather than daily. However, I classify events as more than just a holiday, birthday, or vacation. I have journaled about the first snowfall, or the day I decorated my whole house for autumn. I even have pages and pages dedicated to spending time in nature. Although it might be days or weeks before I feel compelled to record my thoughts again, Artfest is the one event I have journaled about faithfully.
For each Artfest, I have recorded my thoughts, feelings, and art in a new 6x6 Li Lama book. Every year, I try to choose a different color for the cover. I like the 6x6 size because it is compact but not too small. And, I enjoy Li Lama journals because of their handmade paper pages.
I actually start each Artfest journal a day or two before leaving on my trip. This allows me to to capture the excitment and anticipation of my upcoming journey. Most of my journal entries consist of writing about the day, a particular incident, thought, idea, or feeling. However, I dedicate almost 1/4 of the journal to art.
The first year I attended Artfest, back in 2001, I was a sophomore art student in college. Looking back in book #1 and then looking forward at book #6, I can see how my technical skills as an artist had improved, and how my art had matured. As I moved along in my college education, I became more focused in the area of illustration. These journals inadvertently reflected that concentrated focus.
If I browse through book #2 (Artfest 2002), I am reminded about my feelings regarding 911. That Artfest would be the first time I would fly after this tragic event. I expressed my fears and anxieties regarding planes and even being in the airport.
I proudly display my treasures on the top shelf of a bookcase in my studio. From time to time, I pull a book down off the shelf to reflect on my experiences. Each journal is uniquely different, just like each Artfest. These six books are my most cherished souvenirs from my trips.
Scattered within this post are pictures of my favorite journal covers and pages. Most of the book covers consist of a collage of trades and/or goodies I received from other attendees. The inside pages, however, are mainly my illustrations.
I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I love sharing them with you!