I hope you're sitting comfortably for I have so much to share in this one post.
A year ago I began a collaborative project with seven other artists both here in the UK and in the USA. We each created our own Art Journal which we then sent out on a journey across continents to meet our friends and have them add their own contribution.
Our journals returned to us just before Christmas and we promised each other that we would share the final pieces with each other and the rest of our friends in Blogland.
Here is my personal story of the arty adventure and what it has meant to me.
I have photographed all the pages and focused on details then mashed them up into this little video for you. Some of the pieces are mine (mostly those without names) but the rest portray the magic of my friends - the other artists. I'm sure you'll figure it all out! If the embed doesn't show, you can click here to go directly to YouTube (and put the sound on - there's music!).
Lisa DiNunzio - our fearless leader
I must confess that I didn't quite comprehend the importance attached to what my actual journal should look like. With a thought more on the economics of postal costs and less on aesthetic pleasure, I went for a somewhat 'lightweight' approach to my book. I did, however, make it myself! My first attempt at book-binding surprisingly managed to keep itself together across continents, oceans and postal sorting offices. With this I impressed even myself, particularly as - much to my consternation - it transpired that bookbinding required the use of both needle and thread! (Regular readers will know that I have never quite managed to channel my inner seamstress!
The arrival each month of a bulky package was always momentous, requiring the teasing decision over whether to rip-it-open-right-this-second or savour the moment like a particularly fine wine. And, as the months passed and the colours, pattern and textures spilled ever-more profusely from the precious pages, the anticipation of savouring those contents just intensified.
Not wishing to ruin such moments with sneak peeks on others' blogs, I heeded spoiler alerts that came via email from the rest of the tribe for a while, but confess that eventually curiosity got the better of me and I indulged with wild abandon!
Of course, the purpose of each journal spending time with you was to fill its pages with your own style of beauty. However, it took several months to overcome the total terror of messing up someone's book! I also got blocked by attempting to create outside of my comfort zone - to break new boundaries. Eventually I figured that my friends were possibly looking forward to receiving something recognisably 'Lisa Wright' so at last I began to relax and with the silly added pressure removed the paint began to 'flow'.
None of us have ever met in person. We came to know each other through all being members of the Inspiration Avenue Etsy team and blog at one point or another. I do consider these ladies the closest of friends though. I think that holding, touching and being able to peer close up at each other's art helped to nurture this closeness we felt towards each other. We shared our excitement through our blogs and email and of course the monthly packages!
I was extremely touched by the way each of them knew me so well and took the trouble to reflect that in their work. I am a very lucky lady.
Now we've started our own Facebook Group which further eases our communication and collaboration. It's like finally all being in the same room together and telling our stories over our favourite tipple.
The next chapter
We start again with new journals next month. I am preparing to embark upon this second voyage without the trepidation of the first and with some seriously grandiose plans for my journaling vehicle. I like to think that where 2012's was the local commuter train, 2013 will be more Orient Express - albeit a little rusty...
We are working with a colour theme this year and I have chosen rusty hues - oranges, browns, sepia, burnt copper, hints of turquoise...
Start your own
If this story resonates with you, I would urge you to get your own groups together and build an adventure. All you need is some trusty companions, a pack loaded with art supplies and some journals and a spot of mapping to navigate your way to your own treasure.
To get you started you might even be the lucky winner of the competition we are holding with this blog party. To win a selection of items to get you started, simply visit and comment on all of our blogs telling us what your art collaboration plans might involve - let your imaginations fly!
Lisa DiNunzio - our fearless leader
Stephanie Mealor Corder
Tammy Neumann Sprinkle