Documenting is something that we do in an art practice on a daily basis in some form or other. Today, I am going to talk about using my journaling practice as a form of documenting. In this case what I'm documenting is different elements that occur in my artwork . I have created a mind map that traces the symbols and themes that continue to recur in my work over time. I was quite amazed when I began documenting this how many different things there are which do reoccur frequently in my work as either symbols or themes.
By creating a visual record in this way I can refer back to it as I begin a new work, and think about which of these visual elements I would like to include. In other words what story am I telling today, and in what way do I actually want to use that visual element? Do I want it to be subtle, almost hidden, or is it something that is going to be more apparent? Perhaps it will be the central theme of the piece.
Another thing to think about is how often particular motifs occur throughout my work. When I begin to notice these things I can then become aware of what stories I continually go back to. This then lets me know what is actually important to me. Then I might consider developing those ideas even further perhaps using different techniques. This way my work maintains a freshness even though I might be working on a recurring theme.
What motifs continue to appear throughout your work, and how might you document them?
Look out for a further post in a couple of weeks about other types of documenting that I use in my art practice.
NEXT WEEK: Burnout - what is it and how to avoid it?