Hi, everyone! I’m happy to share my newest Crafty Q&A with you all: Katie Licht. Katie blogs at katielicht.tumblr.com. She shares my love of old black-and-white photos, vintage papers, and the creative joy to be found in art journaling.
Tell us a little bit about your blog, and how you got started blogging.
I feel like an internet old fogey. . . I actually started to keep a web journal on diaryland.com around 1999 and have had some form of public or private blog ever since. I’m not sure why, I guess I just feel compelled to share things about myself with total strangers! My blog now is a mix of my art, some personal stories, and things I find online that are inspiring or beautiful. I have really enjoyed the Tumblr platform, and there is a great supportive community there.
When and why did you start making art journals?
In my college graphic design and studio art classes, I remember being introduced to handmade books, and I studied abroad in Rome for a semester and took a mixed media art class that required us to keep a sketchbook. Combine those two things, with a natural inclination towards collage, and always having kept a written journal, and I think that art journalling naturally progressed from there. And like so many others, I also discovered Sabrina Ward Harrison’s books around that same time, and it opened my eyes to a whole new way of creating things.
What do you love most about creating art journals?
I really love the process. There’s nothing like sitting down with scissors, paper, and glue, and just making something new. It’s something I find relaxing and invigorating at the same time, and I always feel happier after I’ve spent some time working. I love looking back at my old journals, too. It’s the best when they start to get really fat and splay out and have little pieces sticking out everywhere.
Do you have any favorite pages you’ve created?
I have a lot of fondness for the pages I made right before my son was born, just sitting at home waiting and wondering when I’d go into labor. I also feel really satisfied with a lot of pages from my recent November daily project.
Do you have any must-have collage/art journaling supplies?
In my recent projects, I have started to use vintage and handmade or handpainted paper almost exclusively. The texture and weight of vintage paper is unmatched with anything commercially produced these days, at least as far as I have found. I love and hoard old photos too, snapshots from the 40s and 50s are my favorite. Plus, finding those things is half of the fun, looking in flea markets and digging for good old books from the thrift store. Other than that, lots of glue sticks and Pilot rolling ball black pens. I should probably start buying them in bulk.
How would you describe the style of your artwork?
I struggle with this actually, since I feel like my work doesn’t really fit the mold of a lot of what I see in the majority of art journals online and in publications. Composition, texture, and color palette are the aspects of my work I focus on the most, as well as trying to use vintage and antique ephemera in a modern way. I love some good white space, and doodling, and hand drawn or hand cut lettering. Does that even answer the question? :) Like I said, this is one I myself have a hard time pinning down! It’s evolving.
How does your career as a graphic designer influence your art
Part of the reason I love making art is that it’s a great break from working on the computer all day. I love creating something with my own two hands, rather than just with pixels on a screen. And like a lot of graphic designers, I’m obsessed with typography, so type and lettering play a big role in my art and collage work. I’d be hard pressed to find something I’ve made that doesn’t have a letter or word in it.
What inspires you?
The ultimate most inspiring thing to me is when I actually have the energy to sit down and work on art after dinner has been made and cleaned up, toys put away, and the boy bathed and put to bed. I know that’s such a practical thing, but it’s true! The materials I find, color palettes, coffee, nature/the weather, and all the amazing artists on flickr are other things that make me excited about creating.
You participated in the 2011 Sketchbook Project, too. Tell us a little bit about your experience working in your sketchbook. Did you learn anything about yourself or your artwork by participating in the project?
I really enjoyed working on the 2011 Sketchbook Project. I have learned through the years that if I think too much about a piece, it can get overworked and feel a little flat. I took a lot of liberty and felt really free working on my sketchbook, and I am so happy with how it turned out. So, it taught me to let go a little bit more, and trust my instincts.
And just for fun:
Share three random facts about yourself. :)
For a few semesters in college I worked at the college radio station.
My on air name was “DJ Friendship.”
My dream job is a mythical combination of stay-at-home mom, artist, fashion blogger, and working on visual merchandising at Anthropologie.
I’ve lived in the midwest pretty much my whole life, and it’s really affected my aesthetic preferences. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than a summertime cornfield at dusk.
. . .
Thanks so much for participating, Katie! :)
Katie’s inspired me to start up a new art journal now that I’ve completed the Sketchbook Project. Do you keep an art journal? If so, leave me a link in the comments. I’d love to take a peek!