Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Creanouk - Making the most of limited creating time

Hi beautiful artist, Anouk here today with another blogpost about art journaling. A couple of blogpost back I shared a page that I made in my naptime journal. Today I wanted to talk a little bit more about this journal and how I have different approaches for it.

My naptime journal has been born out of the need to journal when my baby is napping. I actually thought that once my baby would be older it would be easier to art journaling while he was awake. But truth to be told I just can't concentrate while he's playing on the floor besides me. He's also very cute and funny so it's quite distracting.

My naptime journal has had many names over the years. But it always has the same purpose: A place to create in when I don't have lot of energy or time. I keep my journals for this purpose small. They are passport size (A6ish) filled with different kind of papers. I want them to be filled easy so I don't make them too thick. Five papers in each journal max. I get so discouraged when a journal takes forever to fill, so I've learned that ten to twenty pages are my magical number.

The first edition of this type of journal started as a travel journal of sorts.
I took with me to my parents house where I was puppy sitting my dog three times a week. I couldn't bring my whole collection of art supplies so most of the time I just did some collaged, made some sketches or add marks to my pages. I discovered that, for me, this journal had the perfect size for the moments when I couldn't spend a lot of time to be creative. Whenever that would be time wise or health wise.

With that realisation I started using this journal as a 5-minute-art journal. Every morning I would spend just five minutes to create an art journal spread. It really helped me to start the day with a positive mindset. It made me realize that 5 minutes of making art is enough for my brain to feel more relaxed.

Making art is something that I know is good for my soul. But sometimes life happens and even 5 minutes of art can feel like a lot. And that's okay too. I'm currently in a season of my life where it's hard to find the time to do something that's just for me. Having a chronicle illness and taking care of a baby is a lot. Some days I'm very good in taking those wonderful minutes of art journaling. Other days I'm just walking around like a robot changing diapers and doing laundry. Ha! Cutest laundry and the best diaper changing giggles from my son if I may add. So it's all good.

In the last trimester of my pregnancy I quickly make another small junk journal that I planned to use for when our baby was sleeping. And that's how the naptime journal was born!

When our son was over a week old my husband encouraged me to spend some time in my journal. I knew I wouldn't have energy to create something in my larger journals, so I was very happy that I made my tiny little journal before our son arrived! I was the most magical moment almost feeling like myself again after an intense week of getting used to the new situation. After that I didn't touched the journal for at least a month. Ha! I just enjoyed napping with our son on my chest too much for the first two months.

Anyways, our son is currently six months old and I just started working in my second naptime journal! He doesn't even want to sleep on my chest anymore so that means that my naptime journals are getting used as planned. Every now and then when I have a tiny bit of energy left during one of his naps I sneak in my art room to play in my journal.

There are three different approach that I like when it comes to my naptime journal. When I have time and energy to art journal in his 'long' nap I like to work on one 'big' spread. Making it from start to finish. To be completely honest when this happens I just use my naptime journal on the side as a second 'leftover' journal. So I would create the page with leftover paint and scraps from a bigger piece in a larger journal.

For the shorter naps I like to work on a few different pages in my journal at the same time. This way I'm not focusing on finishing the page and I don't get frustrated when my baby wakes up while the page isn't finished. It's also a very mindful and intuitive way of creating. Building up the page day after day until it feels complete. This is also great for when you know you only have a few minutes to spare. Just add a sprinkle of ink, glue a piece of paper, using a stencil or spread some watercolour.

And the last approach is to go back to five minutes of art and make a more minimal page. Just set yourself a time limit and create within those minutes. You'll be amazed in what you can accomplish in those precious minutes.

For this blogpost I wanted to show you two pages that I made in a couple naptime moments. I worked on them side by side, not focusing on the outcome but the process of creating them. I used my heath gun a lot to dry the wet pages in between. Going back and forth until they felt completed. In total I worked on them for three days. Building up the pages with each session.

Day 01 - Building up the background

The first step of my art journaling process is often building the background with some collage. These pages are no exception. After the collage was done I started to pick out my stencils. For the first page I used Monet's Foyer (S927) by Cathy Nichols with a purple acrylic paint. The whole colour scheme of this pages matched perfectly with a floral image that was lying on my desk so I prepped it with some Matt Medium and a tea bag to do an image transfer the next day.

For the second page I really wanted to use Garden Botanical Mask (L912) by Rae Missigman, because it's such a gorgeous stencil and especially to use as a focal point. Just a few minutes before my son woke up I decided to use a dark blue acrylic paint and I wasn't so happy about it. But duty called so I left it for the next time.
Day 02 - Creating texture and fixing mistakes

After two days I was able to get back to these pages. At first I had no clue what I wanted to add. I tried to get the image transfer to work but something went wrong and I had to add more matt medium. I was highly aware that this image transfer wasn't the best idea since they always fail and take up a huge amount of time. But I still love the idea of it in the page so I just left it aside hoping for a better result in a few days. When I don't know what to do I like to grab my coffee and pout it on top of the page. Thankfully that did the job and I was back in the creating mode. I fixed some things that I didn't liked from the session before and I add some texture with fabric and ribbed cardstock.

Day 03 - Finishing touches

The day after I was quite pleased with the result. All that was left to do was finish the image transfer and add some words. So I spend twenty minutes of my good time to rub off the paper hoping that the transfer would be successful. Keeping an eye on the baby monitor, crossing my fingers that he would have a nice long nap. And then I typed down some quotes on my typewriter to add to the pages. Faith decided that my son would wake up the moment that I was almost done with these pages. So I did what every good mom would do. I let him play beside me while I add some ink splatters around the pages. When it was dry I let him see what I made and he tried to eat my art journal. I think he liked it!

Are you ready to art journal yourself after reading about my process? I filmed every session while I made these pages. So you can sit back and relax and watch me create, or you can grab your own small journal and journal with me. Enjoy!


Handmade journal
Amsterdam Matt Medium 
Vintage Music and Book Paper
Amsterdam White Gesso
Amsterdam Prussian Blue Acrylic
Sostrene Grene - Pale Green
Dina Wakley - Heather
Tea Bags
Instant Coffee
Ranger - White Linnen Acrylic ink
Cookie Packaging - Ribbed Cardstock
Farbic Scraps

Thank you so much for reading my blog post. I hope that I have inspired you to create today! My name is Anouk or Creanouk on social media, and I'm an all-round creative from the Netherlands. I love art journaling because I can put my heart and soul into it. You can find my work on Instagram and Youtube.

1 comment:

  1. It's very inspirational to read about how you manage to find time for your art even when your life is so very busy with a new baby and all. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your nap journal!


If you are entering a GIVEAWAY, please add your email address in the event we need to contact you.

To avoid SPAM, please write it like this:

marybeth (at) stencilgirltalk (dot com)

Thank You!