Sara Naumann blog art journaling

This week I’ve been working on my Full Moon Dreamboard, a project I started because of Jamie Ridler Studios—you can visit her site to get the full scoop on Dreamboards. I’m doing the exercises on art journaling pages rather than “boards” but the premise is the same. (And it’s powerful. And I LOVE it.)

So September 30 was the Full Corn Moon and the question Jamie posed was: What dreams do I wish to bring to fruition?

At first my journaling (which ran a couple of pages, by the way) was pretty typical and basically listed all the proposals I’d submitted that week…a magazine column proposal, a book proposal (again), a magazine article proposal. I had proposed projects all over the place that week, so my art journaling looked a lot like my weekly to-do list but wasn’t getting to the core.

Somewhere out of the magazine clippings I had collected the past week—from Cloth Paper Scissors and The New Yorker—came the desire to do a photo essay about the houses and buildings in my new neighborhood. Okay. And make a short movie. (What?!?! Where did that come from?)

And in thinking about these two projects, I realized my dream was to push myself into different  creative areas and styles. I’ve struggled for a long time with creating work that fits only into what I’ll call the “pretty” category. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with pretty…but what really intrigues me is work that is more about storytelling than aesthetics. Thought-provoking. Sometimes edgy. Often not pretty. See the two photos on this page? Gas masks and Ukrainian prisoners. Not pretty. But interesting. Thought-provoking.

I think you can find beauty where there isn’t prettiness. In fact, I think you can almost always find beauty where there isn’t prettiness because that’s where you find real. And where you find real is where you find stories.

What intrigues me with these two photos is not the art itself, but the stories behind the art. Why? Because there’s learning in those stories, there are layers and layers of stories and information and history and lives and hopes and passions there. Layers of life, which can be beautiful and often not pretty.

And I’m super-curious to know more about them. Super-curious.

Pretty art is good in it’s way—I don’t know that I want a journal cover showing these Ukrainians, for example, but I want to journal about the stories from these Ukrainians.

What dreams do you want to come to fruition? Um. I think I took the long way around this question. But I think I also answered it.

Happy Wednesday!