Case

Lucrecer Braxton
Creative in Pursuit of Perfect Imperfection

I am a wife and mother of three

 

I started the Art Slam about a year and a half ago to help me cope with a difficult working situation. I was suffering from daily headaches and felt sick to my stomach everyday. Sundays were the worst day of the week for me because I knew I had to get up the next morning and go into a hostile working environment with a supervisor who was doing everything in his power to make my life a living hell. Trying to be creative in that kind of situation was not easy, but I found an outlet by returning to something I had been doing for years.

 

I have kept journals for more than twenty years. Writing and making art have always been a sanctuary for me. My route to art journaling was an interesting one. I started by joining online groups for mixed media artists and crafters, then I discovered scrapbooking. I found much success in scrapbooking and had several projects and layouts published in a variety of magazines and books. A bonus was meeting so many kindred spirits who had a loved working with paper and photography as much as me. While I loved that, I wanted to be more authentic with my work. I found the perfect combination with art journaling. I started making a few pages and found I was quickly filling books with my creations. I began posting my pages on and the response was overwhelming. People were sending me messages asking what the pages said and how could they start an art journal. That is how the Art Slam was born.

 

I created a blog with weekly challenges that walked people through picking out a journal, to creating backgrounds and deciding what to put on the page. I built a community of creatives who could share their work if they liked, but most importantly, they were creating an environment to experiment and explore themselves. The rules of the Art Slam are simple:

 

1. You can not under any circumstances remove, rip out or accidentally lose a page in your journal. There are no mistakes when you art journal, only inspirations. What you may see as a mistake or not good enough is most likely just the beginning of something big. So keep it...keep it ALL!

2. There is no "falling behind" with your journal. Creativity and inspiration hits people at different times. So, if you do not feel like creating or one of the projects does not inspire you to create, don't worry about it. Move on with your life.

3. You are not allowed to compare your journal to someone else's and talk about how much you suck. You don't suck. Thank God we are all individual and have different ideas. Being a copycat is so boring. Be an individual!

4. Finally, you must have fun. What I love the most about my journals is that allow me to be free. They are a creative sanctuary. A place for me to experiment, mess up ON PURPOSE and observe life. After all, life is the art and you hold the key to how much you decide to enjoy life.

 

The challenge with the Art Slam has been staying motivated. I started introducing photography and digital challenges into the traditional art challenges. When you start something like this, it is not always easy to create on demand. I had considered stopping the Art Slam because I did not feel like I was giving it my all and that I was letting people down. Then, I remembered I started this for myself. The community built around it was a bonus, but not the reason I was contributing to the blog or sharing some very personal work with people I did not know.

 

I continue to be a work in progress; going back and forth between whether or not I should continue pursing an artistic career or settle into cubicle life. I find I still seek creative outlets and it is the main reason I have so many artsy projects going on at the same time. I have discovered in all of my creative pursuits, I love photography more than any of them. Recently, I had my second photography published in a beautiful book, I have some scrapbook pages being published in a book coming out next year and I am working on a concept for a creativity blog. I believe it is possible to be a successful woman, mother and creative all at the same time. Why? Because I have defined and continue to define that for myself. I see it like this, as long as I am being true to myself and living the most authentic life I can, everything will be fine in the end. I have no doubts about that.