Monday, September 10, 2012

Back to School with JBS!

Class is in session all this month on the Jenni Bowlin Studio Inspiration Blog, as we head back to school!   From literature to art history to mathematics and science, each post this month will focus on using favorite subjects as inspiration for projects. Today's subject is my personal favorite: poetry!  

Journaling in the form of a poem is a creative approach to putting yourself on the page as well an intensely personal way to communicate the message at the heart of a layout. The poem-as-journaling becomes the heart of the page, and thus, it should involve a thoughtful composing process that allows ideas to take shape organically. Most of the time, I add my journaling at the end of creating a layout, but when I choose a more poetic approach, I always start with the journaling, and the layout comes about as a result of that. 

Given the back-to-school theme of the blog this month, the poem I had in mind for today's particular post involved a specific task: share something that you have learned, in the form of a poem. I made a few notes about what I have learned through the years, and looked through a few photos for inspiration to see if any of them sparked an idea. I noticed a photo taken of my husband last week, and the words "how to love him" came to mind. I started to write a few lines in my journal, and let the idea take shape there: 
A few lines in, it became clear that I wasn't just drawing inspiration from English class. I was writing across the curriculum, in the form of a poem drawing upon human anatomy in its metaphors. After composing a rough draft, I transferred the poem to my computer. I swear by this method for all kinds of drafts, not just for poems. In the process of transferring words from paper to screen, I tend to refine my words more carefully and revise as I type.  
After I completed the poem, I adjusted the formatting, changing the font and shifting the alignment to the right so that I could print the poem and lay it sideways on my layout. 
I love the look of the sideways orientation. It doesn't just feel like journaling; it feels like a design element. 
The title of the layout is based on the opening lines, and the idea that when you have loved someone for so long, it really does seem involuntary, like the beating of the heart or the lungs inhaling and exhaling. 

Most of the papers I selected are from the JBS Wren and Magpie collections, chosen specifically because they build on the theme and the metaphors within the poem. For instance, I worked in the grid from "Blueprint," which contains X's and Y's that remind me of chromosomes. 
I also used both sides of "Bird" --  the text paper side (featuring perfect word choices, as seen on the hearts above) and the gray floral side, which actually reminds me of cells under a microscope.
There are many ways to put yourself on the page, and a heartfelt poem is a powerful one. 

I would absolutely love to see your take on the poem-as-journaling approach! Be sure to share your lovely creations in the JBS Mercantile Ning Gallery. Don't forget to stop by tomorrow to see even more back-to-school inspiration from the team.  It's going to be an incredible month here at JBS! 
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  1. Fabulous page Jill. I love all the design elements that fit in with your theme (chromosomes and cells and whatnot! Love this!)
    And what a great prompt to build your page around a poem. So inspirational.

  2. AMAZING! I love everything about it but your skilled poem writing is awesome.

  3. Gorgeous work, Jill!! Love all of the stitching!!! ^_^ And the way you attached your poem, too!

  4. This is just incredible. All of it, wow!

  5. I love the page as I always love your work, but this one is a standout in my mind because of that poem. It's brilliant. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Lots of wonderful ideas bundled into one page!