visual journaling: 1.1.2014

 |  January 6, 2014

“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.” -Barbara Kingsolver

Last January Courtney Putman invited me to do a visual journal prompt called Face Your Intentions, where you print out a photo of your face and then write your visions, intentions, etc. right on top of your face. It’s actually a very strange feeling to take a pen to your face! I decided to do it again, but this time I had my sister and her two daughters, ages 14 and 10, join me in my studio on the first day of the year.

I recommend this exercise for all ages, but if you have young people in your life, especially teens and pre-teens, I highly recommend doing this exercise. The whole process of taking the photo and choosing the photo and then the reflection part of the exercise were all an interesting experience with my nieces. And very enlightening. I really feel that not only is artwork revealing, but also observing how an individual approaches their own creative process. My nieces and my sister gave me permission to share their journal entires, which I think is pretty brave and awesome of them. I hope it inspires others to give it a try.

My niece's journal entry. 10 years old

My niece's journal entry. 14 years old.

My sister working on her journal. Face Your Intentions art journaling exercise


This last one is mine and I have two mantras that I want to focus on this year that I wrote on my face. They are both really different….so not sure what that says. The one is what I wrote on my eyelids, which is “follow my fear”. The other is what is written on my lips “weave me a peaceful world”. On the left side of my journal spread I wrote the word “tremble” over and over again. There’s a song called “Help I’m Alive” by Metric and it’s kind of become one of those songs that I listen to over and over in my studio. Especially when I’m working on something that has me pushing through or trying something new. In the art world, well, in the world in general, there is always going to be someone who is ready to eat you alive if you stumble, but you just have to keep going. You just do or there is no point. When your heart is beating, you’re taking a risk, you’re being vulnerable. And that’s when you know when you’re alive.

Since I’m on a sharing kick, here is a link on following your fear called setting creative goals for the new year? let fear be your guide that is just so good. Here is a morsel from the article that is just so true:

Some artjournaling time with my sister and her daughters. Good way to start the year.

Here we are contemplating our journals- it was a good way to start the year. Hoping there will be more of these gatherings.

“And yet the best creative work emerges from these sticky, aching vulnerable places.” -Michelle Aldredge


  1. by Lisa Graham Art on January 7, 2014  9:05 am Reply

    What a creative exercise and yes, I can see where young girls would enjoy it so much. And look at all your pretty faces. :)

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