I’m enrolled in the 21 secrets online art journaling course and one of the teachers is Traci Bunkers. I like her work and I own a copy of her book “The Art Journal Workshop”, which is a useful book for someone new to art journaling as she gives step by step instructions and photos of exactly how she produces her pages. Not surprisingly, when people are following her instructions in 21 Secrets they end up producing pages which are quite similar to hers (the same is true for most of the other teachers also).
I decided to (gently) send myself up a bit for copying her style. I hope you can read the text when you click on the page above. I was thrilled to find this statue of an angel who is covering her eyes, and she’s saying “This page is so derivative, I can’t bear to look. Please tell me she hasn’t included an Indian Goddess!!” Which of course, I have! Traci often seems to have an Indian deity, and also she often has a photo of herself, and she frequently is addressing herself in large stamped letters, like I have done on this page. Unfortunately I didn’t have any of Traci’s alphabet stamps ; she has produced her own sets which you can buy here:
Anyway, I admire Traci and am not meaning to make fun of her at all, only of myself, as she is not the only art journaler I have tried to copy (see my Teesha Moore inspired page here) However, once I had addressed myself sternly in stamped letters I began to argue with myself, because actually I think it’s fine to be copying the style of others when you are starting out in something, as I say on this page, I’m just following the ancient tradition of art students copying the masters in order to learn new skills. What do you think?
Love your article! I agree with you, one of the best ways for artist to learn a new skill or technique is directly from those who have come before us. As long as we credit them and don’t seek to make a profit, I think it is an effective strategy to build confidence. I really like your honesty on this page. So many times, especially for those of us beginning to create, we question our talent and significance. I look forward to watching you find your own style and voice!
I’m taking 21 secrets, too. Did you do Martha Lever’s credit card flowers? I love that one. Haven’t done Tracy’s class yet. Love your page!
Hey Allison, welcome to the blisfully art journaling group. Your journal pages look fabulous!
That is an amazing Traci Bunkers page! I have her book too and love her style. I just ordered some of her stamps. I also beat myself up about copying but then someone pointed out to me that all the great masters started by copying other masters, and we all practice other people’s music and don’t think a thing of it. (-: I am in Dina Wakely’s class and taking an abstract painting class by Flora Bowley (book: Brave, Intuitive Painting)…she is in Australia as we speak I believe. 3 more school days (I am a teacher) and then let the paint fly! Sorry to be so chatty (coffee this morning) but so enjoyed your discussions and your blog.