The prompt for Week 2 in the 2015 Art Project was “Loving Yourself”. Just looking at the theme, I knew this week was going to be a tough one. I am awful at self love. I feel guilty nurturing myself. Lately, in order to improve the state of my mental health, I have been taking me-time. It’s definitely not without guilt, but I find if I do something I enjoy, like art, then I get distracted and the guilt of not working or cleaning the house doesn’t get to me so much.
This week’s exercise was one I am familiar with. It’s similar to one of the staple activities of cognitive behaviour therapy. The idea is to re-frame negative thoughts about yourself into positive ones. I find it helpful. It can also be applied to other things. I normally use this activity to deal with my anxiety or perfectionist tendencies. I write down my worries and rationalize the hell out of them. Here is my exercise from this week.
It was recommended to a double page spread this week, so that’s what I have done. We were to interpret the exercise and the loving yourself theme. When I think of love, I think of hearts, pinks and reds, so I’ve incorporated those into my spread. Loving myself is something I am working on and finding difficult, so I doodled a cartoon of myself looking skeptical and pasted that in surrounding it with question marks. You can’t really see it, but I used a stencil full of gears in the background. The gears represent the hard work that has to be put in learning to love yourself when it doesn’t come naturally. I filled the rest of the space with other methods you can use to learn to love yourself.
For the art folk out there, I started with a layer of white gesso, then scribbled all over it with gelatos. The big heart is also gelato. I used white acrylic paint to stencil in the gears. The smaller red hearts are stamped with ink. The writing was done using a Uni-ball Signo gel pen. Letters were coloured in using Sharpie paint markers. The same was used to draw the question marks and the white ruffles around the big heart. The figure was coloured with regular old pencil crayons and outlined in a Sharpie fine liner. I used Modge Podge to glue the figure in.
Does anyone have an opinion on Modge Podge? I got a whole bottle from my sister-in-law, but I’ve heard it’s no good for art journaling and I should be using gel medium. What do you think?