Update on the Not-So-Blank-Page Journal Project of the MCBA Visual Journal Collective

June 3, 2014

If the above embedded video doesn't play please view the Introduction to the Not-So-Blank-Page Journal Project on YouTube.

In 2013 twenty eight members of the MCBA Visual Journal Collective joined forces and created a unique journal comprised of pages of backgrounds they had created which we then printed so that everyone had the "same" journal. Each artist created two pages. (They were told they would be printed back-to-back, not as spreads, to facilitate printing and collation.)

The artists turned their work in at the March 2013 meeting and by April 2013 Suzanne Hughes and I had their work copied, collated, and coil bound. We handed the journals out at the April meeting. Participants then had until December 2013 to fill the journal pages with their art and journaling.

Twenty of the artists brought their journals along to that show in which the books were displayed in alphabetical order along with a "blank" unaltered book, and pages were turned simultaneously so that we could see how each artist responded to the various pre-printed backgrounds.

After the show I shot video flip throughs of those 20 journals so that we could create a digital record of the project. I balanced precariously on a stepladder, looking through the camera lens, while Dick wrapped himself around my feet so he could turn pages (and catch me if I fell; I take a lot of risks for art.) We wanted to get the flip throughs taped as quickly as possible so that the journals could be returned to their owners.

Currently I'm in the process of editing those final videos. Each participant will have a set of 21 videos to go with his or her completed journal.

In the introduction video you will see the original art on the pages just after printing—before they were journaled upon. 

I will be posting my flip through on YouTube since that's something that I routinely do. (I'll let you know when it goes up.) If any of the other artists choose to post their flip throughs I will update this post to include links.

As I was editing the introduction video embedded here today, Dick came in to watch over my shoulder. He started to laugh. (Dick frequently breaks into spontaneous laughter in my vacinity—if I were less emotionally secure I might develop a complex.) 

Dick: It looks good.

Roz: Thanks.

Dick: But it's clear you like Ken best.

(That's a little family joke—his mother always tells her children, and surrogate kids like me, that she loves us all, but she "loves Dickie best.")

It's my turn to laugh.

Roz: I do. Ken just makes it so easy. He gives me all the b-roll footage I need, and suddenly it's not even b-roll.

This has been a very rewarding project. It is the final project I organized as the founding coordinator of the MCBA Visual Journal Collective. I can't think of a more fun way to end my tenure. I am so happy that the talented and journal-devoted artist Suzanne Hughes has taken over the group to lead us into the future. I look forward to more collaborations with this group.

If you love to sketch and journal I recommend that you get a group together for a collaborative journal project. It is great fun seeing how each individual responds creatively to the same not-so-blank-page!

  1. Reply

    Well done Roz! Thank you for documenting this project.

  2. Reply

    Thanks Briana, at least there will be a little something we can all look at to remember what each of us did. It has been fun looking at the books again because I have to look at them in real time to check the music works.

    • Miss T
    • June 5, 2014

    Very nice work, Roz.

  3. Reply

    Thanks Miss T.

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