Tuesday, May 14, 2013


[Editor's note: As usual, Kris explains words in bold type in an earlier post.]

I’m going to express some appreciations about my PMC journals. Collectively, my journals have turned into a testimonial, historic, and grounding element in my life. They help me remember information, track where I’ve been, and lead to where I might be going. I offer this new information about what my journals mean to me and how they have served me well. 

I have three journals. 

This journal sits on my breakfast counter.
One is a beautiful, marble-paper journal my brother brought me from Italy. I write in it only in #2 mechanical pencil in my best handwriting. I make notes on working with silver, what I want to make next, on experiments, on failures, and successes. Some pages have drawings. I’ve inserted magazine cutouts, like an ad I read which was a story about a lost-then-found a piece of jewelry, as it was a perfect example of how one company capitalized on personalization.

My next journal is on my computer.  I am more expressive and
I use the Search function a lot in this journal.
detailed in this one. I insert photos. I write about places I visit and how those places might influence my art. I include URL’s for online places, phone numbers, email, contact names, and more. I make notes on repeating shows and events to get better at each one. I once copied an entire email exchange with someone who was insisting I did something a certain way. This made me angry. I then found out she had had my best interests in mind all along, but I was blind to this at the time. I shared this part of my journal with her, and we laughed. If I am away from home, I will send myself an email or text with info then copy and paste this into this journal. I write in this journal at least twice per month; it’s on my calendar to do so.

This journal shows the development of my brand. 
My third journal is a drawing pad that I keep at my workbench. I brainstorm on design then decide and draw how best to construct pieces. This type of journal saved a fellow PMC artist from a bad experience—someone accused her of copying a design, a copyright violation. My friend went back in her journal and found drawings that were evidence that the design came from her.

Friends give me newspaper clippings—in they go.
It puzzles me that I never know when I’m going to journal or that I do journal, yet the pages just
stack up organically. In a way I have a fourth journal but this one is simply an 8 ½ X 11 X 5 inch box. I put in here any hard-copy piece about my art, my business, or me as an artist. Yesterday I received an email from a large company and at the top was a photograph of one of my pendants. I printed it, and into the box it went. Again, the mystery is that suddenly this box is full, and I need to start another.

Journaling is like an antidote for the pace of today’s world. My complaint with a request for change is this: instead of zooming through the day receiving and reacting to the blitz of mini-info’s, we can we wake up in the morning asking ourselves, “What would I like to see happen for today?” In my mind, a positive change would involve something that slows life down enough to infuse each second with mindfulness and appreciation. For me, this is what journaling does. Remember to journal your wishes, hopes, and dreams to shape your day, your life.

One of my wishes is that you re-visit your journals in two to five years and be amazed or amused at your personal growth and evolution. I want you to laugh at the younger you. I want you to be re-inspired by and re-awakened to your nascent creativity. 

Never give your journal to anyone to see or read. Never throw away or lose your journal. Journals do not sell at garage sales. You’ll have a hard time finding one in a thrift shop. Since you can’t take your journals with you to the Other Side, eventually you’ll pass them along to your kids, another family member, or a dear friend. What can you do that lets your loved ones know you love them? Hide your journals just right, so that they can inherit them. Journals are another way you and your work will live on.

Posted by 
Kris A. Kramer 

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