Victoria woman expresses self through art journaling
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There's more than one way to document your life. Just ask Natalie Malik.
While many people keep journals and diaries, Malik, 20, has taken this practice a step farther. The budding Victoria artist is one of the growing numbers of people who keep an art journal. Full of paintings, drawings, magazine clippings, collages and words, Malik's art journals are a record of her life and feelings in technicolor.
"Apparently I've been doing this since I was 5 but I didn't know it," Malik laughed. "I was always doodling on my papers."
It was only a year ago, however, when Malik decided to get serious about the practice. Now with five art journals under her belt, she has made a strong presence in the online art journal world, with accounts on Web sites like Flickr and YouTube dedicated to the growing trend. She was also a featured contributor in the winter '09 issue of Art Journaling, a national magazine.
"When my article came out, everyone needed to plug their ears and keep their kids safe. I was jumping up and down like a mad woman," Malik laughed.
While art journaling has been around for years, the Internet has caused a sort of mini-boom in the practice. Articles and videos of how to create one abound, you can buy supplies for your journal online, as well as connect with others on networking sites and individual art journalists have entire Web sites devoted to them where they share their journals. For instance, Malik has a blog called "AwkwardnBeautiful," as well as how-to videos on You Tube and pages from her journal on Flickr. There are also online workshops.
"There are online communities for art journaling. It's very small but it's growing," she added. "The forums are growing and growing and people are reaching out to each other."
They come in all shapes, sizes and genres. There's traveling art journals that document a trip.
Some are used to help people put together business plans or even plan their wedding, Malik said. But no matter what you use it for, the best part about it is looking back at what you created.
"It's really nostalgic and almost therapeutic to go back through them," she added. "I also like to flip through them if I get stuck in an art block and need inspiration."
How often she does entries varies from anywhere from three pages in a day to one a week, she added.
Although she has been able to connect with many people online, Malik is hoping to start a local group of people who do art journaling.
"I haven't heard of many artists doing this in Texas. Sometimes I feel like an alien because no one knows what it is," she said. "I'd love to have a group of people that meet to share their projects and brainstorm. I know lots of creative people but they prefer doing it online."
Malik added that she'd also like to teach art journaling one day.
For more information on art journaling or to see more of Malik's work, go to http://awkwardnbeautiful.blogspot.com.