Using the Stockpile of Materials

As a response to my series of posts related to the Erasable group discussion I wondered how do we get people to actually use their stockpiled materials. I alluded to teaching art in my previous post and how one tool is to get students testing out their various pencils, pens, and brushes. Once acquainted with how they feel, students tend to favor one over another and begin to experiment. This enjoyment of experimentation is one of the tools I use to motivate myself into using my acquired stockpile of tools. It is also what gave birth to my reviews as well as my review philosophy.

I think that people would be happier and the world would be a better place if everyone owned a copy of these two books:

How to be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith (HtbaEotW)
The Creative LIcense by Danny Gregory

(Yes, those are affiliate links to the ‘zon.*)

Why these two books? First, you might know Smith’s name from her rather well know, and  lesser book, “Wreck This Journal.” Don’t get me wrong. WTJ is a great tool, but HtbaEotW is superior. On page 5 it gives a list of 13 ways a person can be an explorer of the world, this list is amazingly compact and delicious when used to direct journaling and experiences. Number 8 on this list, DOCUMENT your findings (field notes) in a variety of ways is key for anyone starting out in journaling. What I especially like about this book is that it treats self exploration and exploration of your surroundings in the same way- just another thing to look at and consider. Basically, HtbaEotW is a guide for mindful journaling, it strips away the self conscious aspect of self exploration and makes the reader consider it as if their life and thoughts are scientific discovery. For my friends/readers who are therapist- this it the idiot’s guide to arts based research, but minus the self important grandiosity that I associate with some of our “leaders.”

Also, it seems as if it is aimed at children, but ignore that, get yourself a copy, if only for page 5. Heck print off page 5 from this NPR interview and keep it in your journal.

Why Gregory’s book? It’s an inspirational how to for visual journaling. I find Gregory’s anti-pencil/pro-pen stance a little… meh. But the rest of his information is inspirational and interesting as well as useful to get people using their tools. It’s both visual but writing inspiration. He gives a fantastic list of reasons to journal.

Both of the examples I give are inspirational for journaling. I’m biased toward journaling as a use for my tools because it is how I use most of mine (that and school)  and think it is a wonderful way to begin journaling. Also, it is probably important for me to define what I call “journaling.” Journaling is the use of a notebook (or sketchbook) to record anything of interest. Those things of interest can include simple to do lists, entries about your day, gratitude journaling, storytelling, fiction writing, recording of life, receipts, and other assorted items- either writing or art based.

In this definition, writing prompts can also be useful. I found a number of sites that had useful and interesting writing prompts. I’m not big on using prompts but I’ve found a few that are useful. The more interesting sites that I found are as follows:

I’d also include the book  How to Make a Journal of Your Life by Dan Price, but it is out of print and a little hard to find**. It’s also one of those love it or hate it books. Price is better known as the Hobo Artist and the man behind Moonlight Chronicles (sadly, now defunct) and this slim volume details the process he used to create his journals which became the Moonlight Chronicles. The advice is solid and combines both visual and creative writing. The ideas are sound for a variety of people. I love it but I have read reviews where people despise the book and Price* himself.

*No I don’t make much off your purchases, in fact I haven’t gotten any money from the ‘zon in 2 years, but then I haven’t done any affiliate links in a year. That being typed up and “said” here, I do appreciate any help you can give to keep this blog alive. Any money I get from amazon purchases is used to pay for web hosting fees or for more items to review, especially as most of the items I review are purchased with my very own cash.

*Price is a polarizing character. You can read more about him here.

**I take it back, it’s on the ‘Zon. It was out of print when I bought my copy.