We have the enormous privilege of meeting many amazing women artists as we go along putting together our Art Camp offerings. We want to let you get to know the women behind the mixed-media art scene. We can’t have them all at Art Camp – every year – so we decided to at least introduce some of them to you here.
Our Artist in the Spotlight today is Ingrid Dijkers
We first came across Ingrid by way of her shaped journals. The idea of making journals with shapes that went outside the normal rectangular shape was new and captivating at the time.
Then Lori W. had the enormous privilege of taking a class with her in the fall of 2011 at the very last Journalfest.
The class was to make her gorgeous and whimsical Ambrosia Journal. We laughed and laughed in that class and the Ambrosia Journal made there has people actually gasping in delight when they see it.
So here we go.
AC4W: What is your art media of choice, do you consider yourself a mixed-media artist, a jewelry artist, a fabric artist or all of the above and more?
Ingrid: I rather consider myself a Jack-of-all-Trades. My parents dabbled in all art forms, so from an early age, throughout my college years and beyond I have had some exposure to most all art forms. So, I guess I would have to say my art media of choice is mixed-media as it would be so hard to pin down a real preference.
Right now my passion is Art Journaling, but that of course will evolve over time as all my interests have.
AC4W: Why did you start art journaling?
Ingrid: Years ago my sister moved to Australia … it was still the time when people wrote letters to each other. My sister is a figurative sculpture, painter, jeweler, etc. and we both have an interest in Mail/correspondence art and came up with some pretty interesting variations of the written letter over time. Our correspondence was such an important part of our lives that we began to bind our letters into books that developed into beautiful correspondence journals. Life became busy and the Internet and email slowly replaced letter writing as a form of communicating between us. I still cherish the volumes of journals we each filled as a result of years of snail mail correspondence. I think they are by far the richest journals I own … and I own a lot.
AC4W: Why do you art journal now?
I have a passion for the book arts and art journaling. I continue to find journaling the perfect vessel to document whatever it is that I have on my mind at any given time. Adding the visual element to it is just the icing on the cake. While it is really all about the actual act of creating that is so important, I do get great satisfaction from enjoying a beautifully composed journal spread. Often they are not wonderful, but so much is gained from the experience of making it. Even with the horrible pages (more than I really care to admit to), the time is well spent and is never a waste. Something is always learned.
AC4W: What kind of journal are you currently working in?
I am working on several journals. When I began making my own journals I was adamant about finishing one before starting on another. However, now that I teach journaling and come up with several new journals for prototypes and class samples a year, I no longer have the luxury of the time needed to finish each journal I begin. That has its pros and cons, but mostly pros. I do enjoy jumping from one journal to another, from one style of journal format to another. It keeps things interesting and challenging.
AC4W: What is the best thing that has happened to you because of art journaling?
Ingrid: Because of my Art Journaling I have had much of my work in publications and have been teaching now for several years all across the country. Being able to share my passion with others is truly as good as it gets, not to mention all the wonderful people I have met along my journeys.
AC4W: Do you have particular habits that you think support your art practice?
Ingrid: Make it an important part of your everyday life. Give your work the priority it deserves. I can’t image my life without the ability to work on my journals. Often I wish I had more time for my work and often life gets in the way, but I always try to incorporate it into my day, even if it’s only a few minutes.
AC4W: Do you have any off-the-cuff tips for beginners? Women that would like to become full or even part time artists?
Ingrid: I see so many people that begin by buying all the gadgets, gizmos and really expensive supplies that could be related to Art Journaling. I also see a lot of disappointment from people who do this. Great supplies don’t instantly make for great journaling. In many cases all those supplies just end up intimidating people.
I suggest starting out with what you have on hand (even if it’s supplies from your child’s school backpack and the junk drawer). Slowly build up your supplies as you learn what products interest you. Keep it simple and don’t get overwhelmed by having to have all the trendy stuff. I still use many inexpensive supplies that I find in the school supply aisles after many years of journaling.
AC4W: What do you think about residential artist retreats and workshops?
Ingrid: Love them! What a great way to get like-minded individuals together to learn new things.
AC4W: Where would you like to be in 5 years as far as your art making?
Ingrid: I have been asked that before and don’t know quite how to answer. Right now I am as happy and content with journaling and teaching as I could possibly be. I think I would like to be doing exactly this in 5 years, but I am always open to change. I am willing to go with where this leads me. Throughout my life my work has slowly migrated and I have explored many options, so far so good.
AC4W: Is there anything else you would like to say?
Ingrid: I am a life long “student of art” and I am happy to hold that title for the rest of my life.
AC4W: Ingrid, thank you for taking the time to ‘talk’ with our readers. And thank you for the beauty you are putting into this world.
Check back here next weekend for a free journal making tutorial by Ingrid!