Update January 2020: Get Messy no longer looks like this but I’m keeping this up as a record of how far we’ve come :)
Today I’m opening the curtain and giving an inside look into our favourite online art community, the Get Messy Art Journal Community. Over the last three years we have grown Get Messy into a pretty magical place. It’s a place where you can nurture your creativity, become the artist you desire to be, and find your creative community. Without Get Messy, I would not still be making art journal pages, and I would not have grown as much in my art, and I would not have had incredible, life-changing artist friendships. I’m allowed to say all this because Get Messy is not just Lauren and I. It’s evolved based on every single Messian that ever entered, created, shared, and grew. I’m amazed every single day by the art that’s created from the community. We’re over 1000 members now, and I get giddy when I think of art that has been made through the nurturing of the community.
I guess the whole thing is kind of mysterious unless you’ve been a part of it. And we just aren’t cool enough to be mysterious. We like to include everyone that has the same desire in her heart. So, if you’d like to imagine a stage curtain being opened into two before I go on… make sure it’s a really dramatic curtain, okay?
Beyond this video, I’d love to show more screenshots into the different aspects of the community. Click on the image to make it bigger.
Become the artist you want to be
This is what the Dashboard looks like once you’re in the private membership site. I’ve put it in its entirety give or take a few extra posts since I screenshot this. The Dashboard is the command center for everything. It has the announcements, the quick blog link, navigation, and then the breakdown of prompts, inspiration, and tutorials.
The blog is updated three or four times every single week. On Mondays, prompts are released if you’re looking for direction in creating, if you are feeling stuck, or if you would like to see things differently. Wednesdays are for tutorials, and Fridays for inspiration. These are posted by the most creative people I know. So it’s not just one or two styles, you have 15 regular artist styles that are so different to each others that you’ll certainly find something that speaks directly to your heart. We also have guest artists posting, as well as Messy Conversations and Member Spotlights. This is a pool of resources, not just a single opinion. There are currently 44 pages of archives.
Be encouraged with prompts
Every Monday 4-6 prompts are released to get you making. These can be simple suggestions such as a painting with a specific color or an in-depth storytelling prompt that spurs you to make an entire book. You can expect that the prompts are half journaling and half art focused. Now you might want to scroll a bit for this one cause it goes on and on and on.
Do you see all that inspiration? When I checked, we had 76 art journal spreads that had been made by Messians in the community just for this set of prompts. The prompt pages have a place to link up and to check out what others are making. This allows you to cheer on and be cheered on, and to give you ideas for your next page. I freaking love it.
Learn with tutorials
Every Wednesday there will be a tutorial shared on our private blog that will teach you a new technique. Sometimes they are simple and can be done with the tools found at hand, sometimes they are in-depth and cause you to explore and experiment with new mediums, tools and ideas. These tutorials are created by us, by community members, by experts in their fields. Wednesdays will leave you itchy to make something.
This is a cropped recent tutorial from Essie. She’s amazing. Every single tutorial on here teaches me something – whether an entirely new technique, a new product, a new way of looking at things, or just tangential inspiration.
Be inspired to create
Every Friday we present to you a photo, an idea, a challenge. Something that will spark ideas and that will help you look around your surroundings and see the potential in everything to become art.
This is a very brief, blurred out example of a recent tutorial from the crazy talented Elizabeth.
Find your creative community
The private site is not where it ends. I mean, that would be great as it is, but it gets kind of lonely when you don’t have friends who understand how strongly you feel about a certain brand of gesso. Husbands try, but they just can’t quite get it. You know? So there’s the community. As an introvert, I know it’s tough to put yourself out there. So there are a few options.
Passive community through social media
Active community through private groups
We have two private options for sharing in your creative journey – Facebook and Slack. Facebook is open to directly asking artists their opinions, and Slack is a live chat for those who like to interact in that way.
Sorry for the blurring and cropping, but I didn’t want to share anything a Messian wouldn’t be comfortable in having public.
Nurture your creativity
We’re also in your inboxes if you’d like – annual Messians get prompts delivered straight to their inbox, and we have our amazing free Introduction to Art Journaling course. This is what those look like:
[update: this is now a fully fledged class! click here to join it for free]
I could show you this stuff every day all day, but you’re not going to get anything from it until YOU take that first action. You’re the one who needs to start creating. We’d love to do it for you, but we can’t, so we’ve just made it as easy as humanly possible for you.
If you feel like you’d benefit from the community, you already know how strongly I recommend it. I’ve also saved a few messages from other people. Here’s my promise: if you allow it, and if you make an active effort, art journaling will change your life. The Get Messy community will completely elevate the change.
You can join for one year ($8 per month, paid as $96 once off), or have a monthly commitment ($10 per month). You can cancel at any time, it’s totally chilled. And if you join between right now and 9 September, you’ll also get a little present. I’m excited about it.
[Update: price has increased since this blog post]
It’s 8 backgrounds, 10 prompts, 8 lettered quotes, 4 typewritten poems, and a zine template.
Here’s to creating. And to Get Messy. Obvs.