Art Journal Page – Lifelong Resolution

Since my vision of 2015 is still fresh in my mind, I thought I’d take the time to blog about another goal I have. It’s a lifelong resolution and very personal to me: weight loss. Every year, millions around the globe commit to losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle. I know that I’m not alone in my fight and it’s because of this I want to share my experience, along with my latest art journal page.

Art Journal Page - Believe in Yourself

Art Journal Page – “Lifelong Resolution”
Supplies: watercolor, stencils, colored pencils, marker, gel pen, washi tape, black pen

I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember. I experienced the teasing, mocking, and name-calling. I must have heard every variation of “If you lost weight, you’d be pretty…” and I’ve been passed over countless times because I don’t look a certain way. Whether meant as humor, “motivation,” or true injury, it became the phantom that haunted my life.

I think some people in this situation channel their hurt into becoming comedians or just plain angry. I became withdrawn. Every person I met was a new opportunity for judgment and pain. Every person I grew close to was another change for betrayal. I was protected as long as I didn’t open up my mouth or my mind.

This was my M.O. for many years until I realized that in the “real world,” shutting myself in wasn’t going to cut it. I had career goals and personal aspirations that I could not achieve if I kept quiet. My insecurity and lack of confidence were becoming increasingly apparent. I spent some time trying to sort it out on my own, but it never felt quite right. Things really didn’t start coming together until 2013, when I finally decided to take control.

Artfully Megan Before and After

Left: 2013 on one of my many adventures!
Right: 2014 after completing the Dirty Girl mud run for breast cancer

Over the next several months I lost more than 60 pounds with the help of talk therapy, exercise routines, and an improved relationship with food. Surprisingly, what started out as something very outwardly focused took a backseat to the internal change. Those months taught me that I was strong and had ideas worth sharing. I started running (sometimes outside!) and going to the gym (while other people were there!).

Though 2013 gave me a glimpse of a promising future, 2014 marked the resurgence of old habits and feelings. My efforts plateaued, my routines felt stale, and my loneliness began to get the better of me. But I think part of life is learning when and how to pick yourself up again. So for 2015 I’ve recommitted to keeping healthy and functionally fit!

Artfully Megan Signature

Have you made any health goals for 2015? How do you keep motivated?

Art Journal Page – 2015 Vision Map

With 2014 in the rear view mirror and all of 2015 an open road, I began dreaming up plans for my next vision board. I’ve been creating vision boards for the past three years now and found them to be extremely helpful. It’s a lot easier for me to work towards my goals when I see them on a regular basis. Instinct tells me that 2015 is going to be my year, and what better way to navigate to success than with a map? This art journal page is my 2015 vision map.

Art Journal Page - 2015 Vision Map

Art Journal Page – “2015 Vision Map”
Supplies: colored pencil, marker, Gelly Roll pens

 

  1. See the world
    I travel frequently for work, but I would love more leisurely opportunities where I can fully take the time to be inspired. It doesn’t always need to be far away–I’m perfectly happy exploring places right in my own backyard.
  2. Fill my canvas
    There’s a blank canvas that’s been sitting unpainted in my living room for 3 years now. I think it’s time to start working on it!
  3. Be surrounded by people I love
    It’s difficult to stay connected and make friends when I feel like I’m always somewhere new. I’ve lived in this state for 3 years and still don’t feel rooted. I want to feel like I have a home.
  4. Give back
    I’ve volunteered frequently throughout my life. I’m not currently involved in any volunteer program, but I’d love to become active again. I want to use the talents and passions I have to give back and touch as many lives as possible.
  5. Grow my blog
    In many ways, this blog is my creative side’s lifeline. It chronicles what I’ve done and what I hope to do. The act of recording and sharing keeps me going because hopefully as I change myself, I’m helping others become inspired as well.

Of course, I can’t take credit for this 2015 map idea. I created this journal page earlier this week from a prompt at Journaling Circles, a meetup group facilitated by journal aficionado, Rosemary Augustine. I’ve been attending this group for a few years now and it’s really inspired me to nurture my creativity. I’m excited to revisit this post at the end of the year to see what kinds of things I’ve accomplished!

As a special note, I met the multi-talented Andria from Drawing Near at Journaling Circles. She made a beautiful altered page to document her goals. Check out her blog post on the meetup and see what kinds of fun we had!

Artfully Megan Signature

What are your plans for 2015 and how are you holding yourself accountable?

Art Journal Page – Changing My Tune

Well, this is my first full week back at work! Gone are the days of living the charmed vacation life. Rather than having an abundance of free time for my creative projects, I’m back to finding the balance. As I approached this day, I worried about how things would change. Would I still be able to regularly engage my creative side? I can be quite the worrier at times! So as I often do in such situations (see my previous post on being confident!), I turned to my journal. This page is called “Changing My Tune.”

Art Journal Page - Changing My Tune

Art Journal Page – “Changing My Tune”
Supplies: crayon, Babybel cheese netting, Stabilo pens, Gelly Roll pens, washi tape, marker

I went with the musical theme on this one–even though I haven’t played the guitar in years! The idea of this was more about changing the direction in which my mind wanders. Rather than focusing on the past and factors I can’t change, I want to work on framing things more positively. Another note I added was to not say the words, but also follow through on them. It’s one thing to say you’re going to think positively, but it’s another thing to actually act upon it.

It’s been a long, slippery road and I know the challenges won’t end, but making these affirmations in my journal definitely help. I’ve definitely committed to living the life I love in 2015 and if I hold strong, I know I’ll be able to find that balance.

One of the things I want to work on this year in my journal is adding more depth and texture to my pages. For the first time, I tried using the netting from Babybel cheese bundles as a stencil. I laid the netting down over my page and simply colored between the holes using a crayon. It was an easy way to add a little something extra and I think I liked the way it turned out. I think I’m going to work with this technique a little bit more and see what other things I can do.

Artfully Megan Signature

Are you returning to work today as well? How do you plan to find the balance?

Art Journal Page – Be Confident

One of the things I love the most about art journaling is that I can take any bit of anxiety and frustration and just put it down on the page. Art journaling doesn’t have to be pretty, there aren’t any rules, and it’s easy to do with even the most basic of supplies.

Last week in particular I was feeling a little bit under pressure because I was given additional responsibilities in my job. It’s definitely going to be a huge professional development opportunity and a big step forward in furthering my career. With any new endeavor comes excitement and ambition, but I was finding that my old habits of negativity and doubt were lying in wait, ready to pounce. Rather than let my thoughts wander into crazy (and unlikely!) scenarios of failure, I decided to pull out my art journal and create something uplifting instead.

Art Journal Page - Be Confident

Art Journal Page – “Be Confident”
Supplies: marker, gel pen, puff paint, washi tape

The focus of this page is the phrase “Be Confident” and I wanted it to be as bold as I need to be. I chose capital, block letters that I outlined in glitter for more impact. I went for a brighter color palette like purple, green, hot pink, and yellow. I tried to punch it up a little by using yellow puff paint and including animal print, which for me always seems to be symbolic of being playful.

Even though I probably wouldn’t consider this the best art journal page I’ve made, I’m still really pleased with the way it was able to take all of my intense emotion and channel them together into a positive reminder.

Artfully Megan Signature

Have you ever created a page out of emotion? What types of pages did you create?