Guest Post: Brian Kasstle
"I grew up on a small farm outside of Kalispell, Montana. My father was creative, he was a machinist, he also created potter's wheels for artists and was an amazing sketch artist. My mother was creative in her own way, she was a homemaker and she grew a huge vegetable and flower garden and raised chickens. My brother Greg and my sister Sheila were very artistic. Growing up I would play for hours at a small table making my make-believe world out of clay, and sometimes I would draw.
When I was about six or seven, my mother looked at one of my drawings and remarked, "You're just not as artistic as your brother and sister." She never realized how that off-hand remark changed me. Growing up, I believed that simple statement and allowed it to block me as an artist.It was not until I was in college, when I took some pottery and intro to art classes, that one of my instructors looked at one of my installations and said, "You're an art major, right? You KNOW you're an ARTIST, right??" This went against everything I believed about myself. And it was not until I was in my 40s when I took a couple drawing courses just for enjoyment that again my instructor said, "You're an art major, right?"
Again I took another "artistic break." I was in my mid 40s and was looking for an artistic outlet when I happened upon art journaling online. I was hooked and flabbergasted at what I was seeing, folks creating in a book all for themselves. It was very private, for their eyes only. I knew I had found a medium that went to my soul.
For me, art journaling is about channeling your experiences, passions, pains, and soul into creating in a very personal way. It is all about expression. I have shown my journals to friends and it is not until they looked at a completed journal that they "got it." One friend exclaimed, "This is a masterpiece, it's like your own personal gallery!"
I firmly believe we are all artistic, and I believe art journaling is about reawakening the artist within each of us. Art journaling is a language, a visual language. You would not expect to be able to speak French in a week. It takes time to learn this language as well. In learning personal visual language, we learn about ourselves and heal."