The journal is definitely a place for ideas to develop and grow, and I often pay attention to the things that keep popping up on my pages — images, colors, words, themes. There are always new ideas to discover, and over the past couple of weeks, I have been discovering something new.
And it started with my monsters. For the past three years, I have been drawing, painting, collaging, and sculpting cute, grumpy, sad, and silly monsters. I was inspired by a fourth grader my last year of teaching, and since then, monsters have been a line of inquiry that I’ve explored, often separate from my journal and my other work. However, over the past couple of weeks another idea or line of inquiry has been taking root.
Looking for new directions for these little beasts, I looked at the work of Danish artist John Kenn Mortensen. He draws monsters that are definitely creepier and scarier than mine, and he often draws them on sticky notes. Has has even published a book of these monsters called sticky Monsters. There is a quality about his work that fascinates me. But I don’t want to simply copy another’s work, so as I was looking through images of his work, and idea struck me. I noticed that some of his monsters didn’t seem scary or threatening, but rather more protective, as if they were guardians of sorts.
That notion of guardians got my creative juices flowing, and I began to doodle and draw, eventually adding these guardians to my journal. I don’t see these as monsters, but as spirits, and yesterday, I solidified some of these ideas as I added to my pages.
I’m not certain where these ideas will go, but I’m enjoying taking my art in a new direction.