Teaching Talia

Finding My Feet

Posted on: March 4, 2010

Day two of week one and I’m finding my feet. My plan of attack currently is to review forums on all subjects each night, and then focus on one subject each day of the week. This could change as tasks and assignments happen, but at the moment, it’s working. :-)

Tuesday- Cross Disciplinary Art & Design (core subject) time.

Visual Journal:

These books, filled with drawings, photos, collage, charts, and detritus taped or folded into pages, provide a window into the creative process.

They provide a roadmap for how a person moved from one creative step to the next

Dan Eldon- his visual journal are inspiring

Dan Eldon website.

The best journals of observation tend to be compulsively kept with an exactitude and patience few people possess. (definitely not me!) The payoffs are large, however, as such observation trains the eye – of scientists and artists alike – and also serves as a sort of meditative practice.

If you’re an artist, you take them (the visual journal records) to the next step and reflect on their meaning to you and to others.

If we work with the broadest possible definition of a journal being a place where we record personal reflections, observations of our world, playful meanderings, and plans, then date books, notebooks, sketchbooks, wall calendars, letters, and address books can all serve as journals.

One thing agreed upon by many visual journal keepers is their adherence to paper and pen. Projects like Umali’s (Renato Umali) are increasingly common, as are Palm Pilots and other devices that allow us to do electronically what we’ve long done in bound books. But many of these people, while not Luddites, maintain a strong attachment to the lessons that can be learned via pen and paper.

Talking Point – post your thoughts in the Message Board in the thread ‘Jennifer New Lecture – Talking Points’

1. Have you used journals for yourself in the past?

Yes, I first used visual journals in high school art- they were a major form of our assessment, but I didn’t really ‘get’ them.

I realise now that I have kept many different visual journals over my life- just notebooks full of doodles, school diaries, written diaries, and blogs. Blogs for me are amazing visual journals- collecting so much more then what you can with pen and paper.

I currently have a physical visual journal  which I use to plan our my art projects- this is physical pen and paper. I have a few different blogs (1, 2, 3)which, in different ways, have a similar outcome to a visual journal- collating thoughts and showing a process. I also scrapbook to record memories. Do people consider scrapbooking a visual journal? Example of one of my pages here (example 1) (example 2).

2. If so, what did the journal mean to you in terms of documenting a process or pattern of thought?

My visual journal is VITAL to my thought process. It’s a great record of what’s happening, particularly as I experiment with different features or areas, and then want to come back to a differnet artwork. It’s also important as I reflect. I try to make sure that I make notes of what did/didn’t work, and what I want to try after doing that.

3. How could you use visual journals to document your creative processes?

For reflection on the different experiements, and for collating all the ideas, and recording the random trains of thought that pass through my mind. Most my diary consists of pen drawings and text, and then other samples or experimentations stabled or slotted in.

4. Find your own example of a creative journal and describe how the author has used it in their creative process.

Mary Ann Moss

I’ve chosen to look at Mary Ann Moss’ visual journal. I really like how Mary Ann has collected photos and papers to represent her thoughts. She has given extra descriptions and details to the photos, and added chunks of text to record her thoughts.

You can see in her text, and with her layers that these pages have developed as she’s written them. I like that. Mary Ann Moss uses this visual journal as a reflection and record keeping tool. A chance to express herself creatively and to make beauty.

You can see more of Mary Ann Moss’ visual journal pages here.


Mary Ann Moss. (2008, October 26). Dispatch From LA. Blog, . Retrieved March 1, 2010, from http://dispatchfromla.typepad.com/dispatch_from_la/2008/10/inside-the-kooky-covers.html.

Dan Eldon. (19??). Dan Eldon. Blog,.Retrieved March 1, 2010, from http://www.daneldon.org


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Just finished my Graduate Certificate in Cross Disciplinary Art and Design with UNSW.




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