April 2020 - Nourish yourself - by Riikka Kovasin

Hello there! It’s Riikka here with this month’s project. Since I made the project the world has turned upside down. There’s a completely new “normal” and gratitude is something we are maybe seeing in a completely new way. I first thought that my take on the theme on this time of struggle was a bit silly, but I thought to share it anyway. As the first thing that came to my head after the obvious family and friends, was my hands, the ability to make something with them. And maybe that’s a good thing to be grateful for.

Making stuff or drawing has always been my way of coping. Even when I was reading to my matriculation examination for weeks and weeks, I had a notepad next to me so that when I was reading, I could doodle at the same time idly. That way my concentration was better than just trying to read the whole day. Same when I was writing my thesis. Every time I felt like I was losing my concentration and writing nonsense, I took a notepad and started drawing. Also, nowadays if I’m stressed, the easiest way to relieve it is to take some paint or a pen or anything and just concentrate on the creating.

So even though something simple as an ability to create seemed a bit childish in this crazy world, I ended up thinking that maybe that’s still a good thing to be grateful for. A way to lose yourself, a way to find a happy place and concentrate to something else than the ongoing things.

As the technique of the month was to print or draw the item we’re grateful for, I thought to do both in a way. I could have just printed out a picture of a hand or drawn one, but I wanted the element to be a bit more subtle so I could use something else as the focal point. I first created a monoprinted and stenciled pink piece of cardstock. Then I traced my hand on top of it and cut it out. I used the decorated cardstock as my base and added the handprint on top so there’s not a huge contrast, but you can still see the shape clearly. To illustrate the part of creating even more I stamped some paintbrushes and added those on top of the hand.

If you just glance at the page, you can’t see the thing I’m grateful for. Or you might not think this is a page about gratitude at all. That’s the beauty of art journaling. You are mainly doing the pages for yourself. So, if they don’t make sense to anyone else or they get a totally different feel, that’s fine. You can be as straightforward or as vague as you want.

Stay home if possible, lose yourself in the art and journaling and be safe!

Xoxo Riikka

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