Only expression matters

Fri, 04, 18


Even though art is fun, people find it intimidating. You follow hundreds of art enthusiasts on social media who make art work looks so easy but you never get to try it.

And then you also hear this: art is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that only the most creative and artistic individuals can draw or paint. Even in schools and colleges, teachers make art an insurmountable task. They want kids to come back the next day with tonnes of stationery and create something phenomenal with minimum guidance. We all remember making those incredible art projects for hours that teachers didn’t even bother to look at.

Recently I got a chance to attend an art journaling workshop at Lincoln Corner, Liaquat Memorial Library where I learned that anybody can be an artist and that perfectionism is art’s worst enemy.

At the workshop, Noor Unnahar and Areeba Siddiqui, poets and art enthusiats,engaged the participants in art journaling which is a modern way of keeping a visual record of your thoughts, memories, emotions, images art and words just the way you like.

Since there are no rules, art journaling can mean anything to you. Noor tells Us her own definition of art journaling, “Art is a mix of writing and scrapbooking. For me, it’s the most effective form of visual storytelling.

“The best thing about art journaling is there is no defined pattern. You are not following specific ideas, so art journaling can become a bit abstract. You just treat your journal as your canvas and adorn it with your drawings, sketches, and writings in whatever way you want.”

Now, do we have to worry about the art supplies? If you follow artists on social media, you must be thinking of asking your relative in the US to bring you all that Tombow stationery artists recommend for a “perfect” art experience.

Here, you don’t need any specific art supplies. Anything that’s available is enough for getting started. Noor shares her favourite tools, “I love to work with ink pens, paints, old rusty scraps of papers and yellowed pages from old books.”

At the workshop, we had stacks of old magazines to work with. Though we were focused more on looking for our favourite celebrity’s pictures in the magazines, we realized by just utilizing these old magazines we can create amazing pieces of art. Creating collages is the easiest and the fun way to start. You don’t need to be good at drawing at all; magazines are loaded with a variety of stunning photos. We kept flipping through magazines and whatever images or quotes caught our eyes, we cut them out to paste in our journals. According to Noor, simply crumpling the paper in your hands can add so much to the texture of your journal.

If you are into any sort of writing, art journaling can make it super exciting and creative. Even to-do lists can look more interesting if you just scribble some doodles or just paste photos or quotes on the pages. “The most important part is art journaling helped a lot with my poetry writing. It makes my poetry visually appealing.” Noor says.

The assistant coordinator at Lincoln Corner, Warda Butt also participated in the workshop. She shared, “Today while decorating these journals I remembered how much I loved art in school. Even during college when my friends focused solely on studies, I was able always to take out time for all those kiddish art programmes on Cartoon Network and do some art work on my own. But then, after college, I also got too busy.”

We never take art seriously. Or we think only crazy art enthusiasts - who are supposed to be more creative than others - can do it. All of this is wrong! Art can easily become a part of our lives; after all, we all need to express ourselves and reflect on our thoughts and ideas in a creative way.