Keeping a Visual Journal for the Summer

Sunset #circle

This summer, I’ve  joined in with the Slamseys Creative Challenge. The Challenge is to keep a Visual Journal for the summer; it can be a sketchbook or a blog, photographs, knitting, sewing … whatever. If it’s visual and it records the summer (or winter should you be in the southern hemisphere) then it counts. I’ve decided to try to take a photograph every day,  sometimes of things that will remind me of this hot summer and sometimes using the prompts or theme for the week as a bit more of a challenge.

Lone sunflower in barley field #circle

We don’t always make enough time for being creative, even though it’s such an important thing for us to do. There’s a great deal of satisfaction making something with your hands, even if it doesn’t turn out exactly as we might expect, to the extent that the ‘doing’ can be more important than the finished article. Doing something creative is also good for relieving stress and mental health. Sometimes your mind wanders as you settle into the rhythm of your action, other times you get so engrossed that you have no space to worry about anything else.

Fox fodder?

Even if we do make the time to be creative, there’s always the worry that we’re  rubbish at it. There’s so much perfection on the internet and social media, that sometimes it’s easier to consume than make something that doesn’t measure up to the images online. But where’s the satisfaction in mindlessly scrolling through social media? Much better to do something constructive and to remember that most things worth doing take a little effort.

With the thought that being good (or at least improving) needs practice and dedication, I’m also including some sketches in my visual journal. In my imagination, I shall spend the summer with my sketchbook in hand, recording everything like the Urban Sketchers  but the reality is that I would never be brave enough to venture out into a public place with a sketchbook. Instead, I hope that making sketches reasonably frequently at home will make me look at things more carefully and at least give me a basic (if not accurate or well executed) visual record of summer.

If you’d like to join the Slamseys Creative Summer Challenge, you can find all the details here.

3 thoughts on “Keeping a Visual Journal for the Summer

  1. Lovely to get a glimpse of your journal. Am enjoying the first week of the Slamseys Creative Challenge very much. I’ve found it’s had a real momentum of its own since making my first tentative mark on page one and I am just hoping I am going to have enough pages in my homemade book for the whole thing. Trying not to get too fussed about the standard of output – as you say, all too easy to get intimidated by the glorious results other people share on the Interwebs but you don’t get that creative absorption, excitement or heightened awareness just by spectating so even if things don’t turn out quite as well as one hoped they might, the hands-on process of doing it oneself makes for feeling very alive. And that is worth rather a lot, I think. Happy (and creative) weekend, Anne! E x

  2. I think so many of the problems young girls are facing today stems from the promotion of perfection on social media. It is rarely achieved in real life.

    1. Too right Brian. Hasn’t Monty Don recently said something similar about gardeners visiting Open Gardens?

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