Monday, November 2, 2009

The illustrated journal as art/the blog post as illustrated journal


A short article in this month's Smithsonian magazine has inspired me to look at blogging (and also, perhaps, journal keeping) in a new way.

The article, Drawn From Life, describes how the museum's Archives of American Art has acquired artist Janice Lowery's lifetime collection of illustrated journals (a page from one of them has been inserted above; click on the photo to see it whole).

I read the article shortly after a friend of mine commented that "I always seem to read your blog when you're talking about writing." I didn't know how to respond to her comment—I've tried to restrain the discussion here to creativity/writing ever since a workshop speaker told me I was doing this all wrong because my previous blog couldn't be described in five words or less. (Writing and creativity is still a wide net, though, compared to such blogs as The Brian Williams Tie Report or The Truth About Cars, et al.).

But seeing pages from Lowry's journals has inspired me to incorporate more visual aspects to this blog and to my irregularly updated, offline journal. I've taken photographs that will never go in a gallery, so why not post them here? I'm not saying the blog will be entirely visual, or necessarily go beyond the usual small illustration at the top of each post. But I now have the inspiration to do with the page and the blog post box what I will.

(For more pages from Lowry's journals, see the Smithsonian page, Journal 101.)

2 comments:

Chandra Garsson said...

Great idea! I look forward to seeing, reading it. "Writing about writing" is what I wrote, I do believe. I'm glad I helped to inspire. I often find myself wishing more people would respond in writing to my work.

WELCOME TABLE PRESS said...

Check out Maira Kalman's visual-essay blogs, "And the Pursuit of Happiness," on the NY Times Web site. Her last illustrated blog became the wonderful book, THE PRINCIPLES OF UNCERTAINTY. AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS was recently published as a book as well.