Wednesday, April 13, 2011

ArtFest: Journaling Classes with Jill Berry


I took two journaling classes from Jill Berry at ArtFest, and both were excellent.  I really loved the Journal Mapping class---I'm a little biased towards that one as I was a Geography major at university and I took a lot of cartography classes.  Maps and map making have always fascinated me and Jill has given me ideas for how I can incorporate maps effectively into my journals.  The map above is one that Jill set as an assignment for us in class.  We were to design our own planet.  Mine is called Dragonia.  Why, you ask, Dear Reader?  Because I have always loved the notation on some antique maps stating "Here abide Dragons" in areas that were unknown or unexplored.  I had great fun with this assignment and I'm still in the process of naming areas of Dragonia.  So far I have the Icy Ocean and the Gulf of Summer, the Tropics of Illness and Unicorn, and I worked my name into the topo lines in the north arctic region.  I am going to keep playing with this map.

The two above maps are a celestial map and a map of how to get to my cabin.  We put down stars on a page for the celestial map and then tried to find a shape or thing to draw in the shape of our "constellation."  I fudged and put my stars down in a vaguely whale shape as I am partial to whales.  It was fun and I liked using the stars as a resist for the background color.  The map to my little cabin was fun, too.  I've gotten some of my personal names for places on the way to the cabin listed (Hoochie Coochie Curve and By Golly Gully---don't look for them on a 'real' map, they aren't there!).  Best of all, Jill showed us how to fold both a square and a rectangle so that large pieces of paper can be incorporated into a journal in a clever and space saving way.  I always wondered how you did that and now I know.  Jill called it the Farmers Purse and I have found it listed as the Turkish Mapfold, in case you are interested in folding up something.

Here you can see an example of the fold used on a rectangle.  It's so slick!  I love being able to add things to my journal using this technique.

The other class I took from Jill was called Spontaneous Deconstructed Journals.  Jill taught us how to make very cleverly bound journals.  The really nice thing about this journal was that  you could work on the paper while it was still flat, then fold it and bind it at a later time.  It would make a very convenient way to do a travel journal (or really, any journal) as you could travel with flat, unbound pages.  Each page is folded in half, the spine is an accordion pleaded piece of something sturdy, and the open sides of the pages are then glued to the spine.

 We each made a little journal and used different techniques for lettering, charting, adding textures with tissue and using rubbings as page elements.

The page above has a little spinner I made to show weather.  We have been having such crazy weather around here---it seems to go from sunny, to windy, to hail, to rain, to sun and so on and so on and so on....all in the space of ten minutes.  I thought a spinner would be a good way to get that across in a more visually interesting way in my journal.  Other people did other kinds of spinners.

The partially unfolded map above is one of Jill Berry's and was her trade for ArtFest.

 We cut out windows and used acetate for the window "glass."  You can see the cedar sprig, above., in in the 'window' I made.

Jill encouraged us to do interviews and ask questions to add interesting content to our journals and to made a map of sorts of the answers.  You can see my table map above.  I asked my friends the night we dined at Ichikawa to tell me about their favorite ethnic food and what they would order at a restaurant serving their favorites.  I got a lot of interesting comments and it turned out to be a great conversation starter.  I plan to use that technique on my upcoming trip to China.  I think it will be a good way to get to know the other people on my tour.

And here you have the cover of my journal.

I used a lettering style Jill taught us along with photos I printed with my Pogo printer on the above page.

I had the best time in Jill's classes and was extremely pleased with all the new techniques and ideas that she passed on to us.  She's a very organized teacher.  Her class flowed and there was always something new to learn but yet, she gave us enough time to get the new technique down.  I liked  her humor and her historical asides about cartography, but most of all, I enjoyed meeting her and getting to know her a little.  Jill has great energy and is really encouraging.  If you have a chance to take a class from Jill, jump at the chance!  She's a great teacher, in my opinion.

Finally, let me introduce  you to the lovely Jill Berry.


diane b said...

I loved enlarging your photos and reading your journal pages. It sounds like loads of fun and you have got some good ideas. I love the cover.

Jill Berry said...

Michele! This just made my day, wow. I am so glad you took the chance on my classes, you brought so much energy to them as witnessed here. Thank you, thank you and I will be back to see what happens next!

Meri said...

Fun series of post about ArtFest. So happy you had a great time!

Liesel Lund said...

What a fun class! I really like your maps-Dragonia! What a fun idea-Here There Be Dragons! Boy that just gets all sorts of ideas flowing doesn't it? Thanks for sharing!