Keep It Real

Some thoughts that emerged from my notebook this week:

A visual journal is not an end in itself.
It is a vehicle: for thanks - for grace - for memory - to see more clearly. It is a way of learning about yourself, nature, the world around you. A way of recording the brevity of life. For some, a journal is a key to staying sane in a time of depression, a journey back to wholeness. For others, a way out of the ordinary into flights of fancy, an escape. For the busy, finding the time to draw or write can be a lifeline. A visual journal is a vehicle for your own journey, physical or metaphorical. 
But of all these possibilities, a visual journal is not a vehicle for perfection.

Keep It Real

In the same way. a home is not an end in itself.
Yet shelter magazines and blogs love perfect images, devoid of people. An interior designer produces a home for a trade show or decorates for an article: perfect, gorgeous. We are bombarded with these untruths. 
A home, like a journal, should be a place where you can be your true self, lived in the real and the messy. 
We stumble when we measure ourselves against the false perfect of home. In the same way, measuring yourself against a working artist's sketchbook is not helpful. It's not real life.

And Don't Compare

For a professional artist, a visual journal can incorporate the working out of ideas, solving conundrums for a job in the works, a playful break from more serious work that in itself might become a published project.
But what about the rest of us who don't have a column in The New Yorker or a gig illustrating children's books?
Don't compare your product with that of an artist whose purpose is different. Be your real self, at home in your sketchbook and your life.