Hello and welcome to week 2 of September's Monthly Muse. This month we are going on an adventure to find ourselves - well I am at least, and I hope you all are willing to come along. Last week we talked about finding your true colors. You can see that post HERE. This week I want to talk about finding your VOICE! Finding your voice can mean so many different things, depending on the situation. It can mean standing up for yourself or someone else; telling your story; expressing your reaction/feelings/emotions be they positive or negative; or just figuring out who you are. Its funny, but we often subconsciously relate to (and often judge) people according to their voice. Some voices are soothing to us, others just naturally grate. I have a friend who has a very authoritative voice, and people generally believe anything she says, even though half the time she has no clue what she is talking about. Have you ever thought about what your voice sounds like to other people? Do they find you a soft comfortable place to relax and let down, or maybe an efficient, lets get this done now? Would it be possible to replicate that on paper? Visually we can have a voice too! That is, afterall, a large part of what art journaling is. If you browse the art journal gallery HERE you will see that there are different moods and tones set by the different pieces. Some are light and happy, others are dark and brooding. There is no ONE RIGHT voice - just like we all have different verbal voices, our visual voices are each unique. And just like your tone of voice can change verbally depending on the situation, you might find that your visual voice changes as well, or not. . . So this week I am going to give you several prompts to explore your visual voice. Maybe you already know exactly what your visual voice is and can quickly tell us - and show us - or maybe you want to take some time to try some new things. Either way, have some fun with it, and get to know a few people you might not already know very well! FINDING YOUR VOICE: 1. The easiest way to express your voice in Art Journaling is through journaling! Some people LOVE it, some people HATE it - and that is OK. But journaling itself can create the tone or mood of your art journal page and therefore plays a very large role in your voice. What I mean by that is this: how you chose to journal, or not, often shows a lot about who you are and the voice you have. Here are some examples of different types of journaling. Each creates a different mood or tone for the page, and tell us a lot about the artist and their current state of being. Do you have a certain type of journaling that you gravitate towards? Are you willing to try out something new? (You could journal about that as well!) 2. Is there something you feel strongly about that you have never voiced? Maybe you are upset about something political, or maybe you are over the moon happy about a promotion, but for whatever reason you are reluctant to express it. Now is your chance! Take a minute - or ten - to just let it all out! However you want - written by hand, typed on a computer, whatever, then incorporate that into your page somehow. It can be pretty and right out there for us to read, or it does not have to be legible - it can be totally hidden if you like - but use that emotion/feeling/reaction to set the tone for your page and use your voice! Here is a page I did trying a new "messy handwriting" technique I learned from a friend (see prompt number 1), to journal about an experience that still has me feeling lots of things. It actually was about the very incident that started me thinking about the true colors last week. I wrote my journaling on a printed page of Rachel's Go my Own Way Bundle but wrote it in such a way that makes it almost look like doodling, then I used that as my background and added up from there. It was a lot of fun, and freeing to get it out but not worry about backlash. There is a good article that talks about messy journaling HERE that I really enjoyed, and a video HERE or HERE showing another way to incorporate it into a page. 3. Just start writing! But maybe you don't know what to write about. I can help with that!! Here are some prompts that you can use to build your voice and your page. or you can find more here: http://www.flawedmessylife.com/tag/journaling/ 4. Maybe your voice does not involve journaling at all. Show and TELL us how you express your voice visually in other ways. Is it through your use of color, your images, your style, be it clean or grunge? 5. Mimic! Now that sounds counterintuitive, I know! How can you find your own voice if you are copying other people? But actually, mimicking people you admire helps you to "try on" different things until you find the perfect fit for you! Think about it! You don't just make all your own clothes from scratch, or cook all your own food from ideas out of your mind (well, maybe you do, but most of us don't). You usually start with something, be it an idea, a recipe, a recommendation, that came from someone else. In time you change and modify that original spark until it becomes your own. I don't know about you, but in our house, we TRY lots of recipes, and some we never look at again (YUCK) but others we TWEAK! and we keep tweaking until it is just what we like. My art journey has been like that too. I see something that looks fun, and I try it out. Sometimes I LOVE it, sometimes I HATE it, most of the time I tweak and incorporate it into my own style. SOOOOO . . . find an art journal voice you really like - either in our own gallery here - or out in the WIDE WEB of art and mimic it! Come back here and show us what you chose, why, and how it worked out for you (did you like it as much as you thought? hate it? meh?) OK, there are a few ideas to keep you busy this week. i can't wait to see what you have to say! You may create any style of layout (ie. clean and simple, artsy, pocket style etc.) you wish, with or without photos. Create any size page you wish. This is for everyone, so have fun and see where the inspiration takes you. If you want all 4 Muses ( 1 for each week this month) on one page that's perfectly ok or you can make 4 separate pages!! It's totally up to you! Please post your layout to the Art Journaling Gallery HERE prior to October 2nd and then post it in this thread by copying the code (at the right of your gallery image) from the box under "Share BB Code". We will draw a winner at the beginning of next month for a coupon!! You can use any products in The Lilypad store or retired products from current Lilypad designers, (just make sure you follow our gallery guidelines).