Keeping a Creative Journal – is it really worth it?

Becoming a textile artist didn’t just happen.  There were so many things to learn, about myself, about how I work, my style, what excites me and most importantly, what doesn’t excite me!  So many questions requiring answers, only I could answer.  Answers that eventually led me in the right directions for me.

Make it beautiful and make it yours!  Presentation is integral to me.
2009 Creative Journal Cover, Cathy Jack Coupland

I designed this cover specifically for my Creative Journal.

Keeping a Creative Journal became my ‘safe haven’, consolidating ideas as well as honing the habits of routine and consistency.

I began keeping this journal in 2009 and worked on it over the next year or so.  It became my ‘safe haven’, where I consolidated ideas and inspiration, as well as forging routine and consistency.  The huge plus for me with this Journal, was that everything was kept in one place. There are inspiring quotes, magazine clippings, workshop notes, colour swatches, new design ideas, research, stitch samples and just to make it personal, a few family photos too.  I love looking back through what I did all those years ago.  It’s very me and so it should be.

Design Drawing, Journal Cover, Cathy Jack Coupland

This is my initial design for my 2009 Journal Cover, above.  Lots of changes were made, but the essence is there.

So the answer to my opening question, is keeping a Creative Journal really worth it?
It’s a resounding yes.

It’s a commitment to what you want/need to do.  It takes time, but that time, in my opinion, is well spent.  So join me as I share a short journey through my Creative Journal of 2009.

I love words and quotes…..They have such power….

Inspiring words, 2009 Creative Journal, Cathy Jack Coupland

Inspiring words relating to colour.

Researching Robert Southey and his epic poem Madoc, led me to a paper by Virginia MacKenny entitled Blue – A Shifting Horizon.  If you have time, grab a coffee and enjoy.

Inspiring words, Creative Journal 2009, Cathy Jack Coupland

Beautiful, inspiring words.

Sample, sample, sample…..It’s the only way to learn.  Stitch samples are an endless resource….

Sample, Creative Journal 2009, Cathy Jack Coupland

This small sample eventually led to to much larger works. It was a beginning.

Sample with stitch notation, Creative Journal 2009, Cathy Jack Coupland

Trialling stitch ideas and mixing threads.

Showing the process from sketch to stitch….

Original drawing. Cathy Jack Coupland

Ideas begin with a drawing.

Design idea stitched out. Creative Journal 2009. Cathy Jack Coupland.

And here’s the design above stitched out.

Learning to work with colour in thread….

Creative Journal 2009. Colour blending exercise. Cathy Jack Coupland

Blending colour.

Stitch Sample. Creative Journal. Cathy Jack Coupland

Working with green.

Looking back on this journal ten years later is tantalising.  It’s definitely me and there are designs I want to revisit, but I’m still working towards that elusive goal.  I think that’s the secret.  To always have that hunger, to want to keep going, do better and try to achieve that quest!