Thursday, January 5, 2017

What does a finished Wreck This Journal look like?

Here's my "One More Thing" about Wreck this Journal. If you didn't know, I've spent a few years finishing this book up and covering it through blog posts extensively. Here is the final product, as finished as it will ever be! Here's to moving on to new things and celebrating past accomplishments.

My Journey With Keri Smith's Wreck This Journal 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes

Did you know that 2017 will mark the 10 year anniversary of Keri Smith's Wreck This Journal? I have covered the book extensively in the past and took finishing the book very seriously. Recently, I finally decided to "retire" my book and I've got to admit, I kind of missed working on it now that it's done. Then one day, a spontaneous trip to the mall brought me the inspiration to buy one of Keri Smith's other books. I knew there was one in particular that would scratch my itch for a new Wreck this Journal. That book was "Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes," which in my opinion is almost a direct sequel to Wreck this Journal.

The idea is the same - each page has a set of directions on them and you have to complete whatever strange task the book asks of you, often times "wrecking" or "messing up" your journal in the process. Both beckon you to push the book itself to its physical limits. How much can you ruin the book without technically ruining it?

Keri Smith's Mess This Journal Cover
Mess this Journal - The Front Cover

One of the pages in Mess prompts you to destroy the front and back cover, but I think that one is a gimme. This once pristine and sharply designed book will hardly resemble itself after a few good sessions of messing up. I've already doodled a few additions to cover, and used it as a mat for my glue gun once or twice now. 

Mess This Journal - Ink Drop Characters

 I think this page turned out super cute. I kind of want to go back and add more characters. There's still some white space left on the page!
Mess This Journal - Only Blue Things

This is very similar to a prompt in Wreck this Journal that makes you collect only white things. The first thing I thought when I saw this page was: "So many more options for cool things now!" White things were very limiting to collect while Blue seems like it'd be almost overwhelmingly various. I immediately installed a hinged pocket and some blue jeans so I could stuff more blue things onto the page in the future.
Mess This Journal - Draw for only 10 seconds at a time

I loved this little exercise so much that I extended it over the entire page. It was fun to try to come up with new things constantly and the strange "stream of consciousness" doodles that followed. I noticed that some of the drawings that are next to each other have started off with similar initial shapes/lines but kind of transform into a different thing as the sketch went on. I've marked this off as my first "completed" Mess page, mainly because I can't think of anything else I could possibly do to it directly. Done and done.

Mess this Journal - Draw a circle

Similar to the 10 second doodle prompt, this page requires you to draw a cirlce under all sorts of strange circumstances including circles "that talk" and circles drawn "with a dog sitting in the middle of the page." I had extra exuberance for these pages and ended up adding more prompts to this one, too.

Mess This Journal - Melt Crayon Shavings Here

Another page that I enjoyed. It requires you to take crayon crumbles, mash the pages together and then iron the pages to melt the crayon. I actually have a lot of crayon shavings accumulated because I have one of those awesome plastic Crayola crayon sharpeners (yes, be jealous.) So, I just dumped them out on the page and arranged them into what I thought might turn out to be a cool shape and ironed away. I'm kinda excited that it actually still kind of resembles a face, which was totally what I was going for.

Mess This Journal - Draw an object by tearing it

Mess This Journal - Mini Encyclopedia of Messes and Mistakes

Mess contains way more lists than Wreck this Journal did. This page particularly indulges my obsessive side- I get to pour over the pages and carefully list each one that has this or that quality. It's meticulously obsessive in a way that really doesn't matter or make sense, my favorite kind of obsession to partake in.

Mess This Journal - Smudge Log
Mess This Journal - Document Various Scribbles
My pal Racheal helped me out with this page with her orange crayon scribble. She asked which box I wanted her to put the scribble in and I said, "I don't know, you tell me? Maybe not in the box at all?" I think that scared her. It scares me too, that's the point!

Mess This Journal - Disaster Area 
Wreck This Journal - Random Things Here
What a future this Mess page has to look forward to.

The "disaster area" page reminds me of another page from Wreck This Journal that required you to glue random items to the paper. I remember that page filled up super quickly for some reason - I guess I have access to a lot of random things to glue down?

Mess This Journal - Abrasion Test: Sand this page

Mess This Journal - Thought Mess

My Mess Journal still has a long way before it's fleshed out, but there a lot to look forward to in the future. I thought it was worth documenting these prompts in their "before" stages since most of these pages will look completely different once they're done. 
Mess This Journal - Cut out this image and rearrange it

Mess This Journal - Lose your balance

Mess This Journal - Help the man let loose
After I did the Ink Character's page, I was lead to my first unexpected "mess surprise" when I realized that the ink had bled through the paper in a considerable amount... but mainly around this dude's eyes and lips, weirdly enough. I had to laugh because it immediately makes him look like a clown. But I think most men who try makeup for the first time kind of end up looking like that.... Yes, he wants to look like a beautiful woman, but he doesn't know how to yet. I'm going to help him out with that.

Mess This Journal - Color in with your eyes closed
So this started off as just a simple pear shape but I thought that was not hard enough so I added a bunch of other random stuff on the page for me to color, too.

Mess This Journal - Alter this image

I'm thinking about making their hats into giant soup bowls. 
One guy doesn't have a soup bowl hat though, how sad :'(

Mess This Journal - Deface this room

Honestly, this prompt freaks me out. After living in my own place for a while, I've come to realize the importance of a clean room. After all the time I've spent organizing, vacuuming, and decluttering, to mess up this room on purpose just seems wrong! That's why I think this page is really smart. I love the insightful ways that Keri Smith tries to get us out of our heads through simple works of art.

Mess This Journal - Delete or erase something

Mess This Journal - Something that will go moldy

So, there's one line I will not cross when it comes to my Keri Smith books, and that is using rotting food on the pages. Past experiments have lead me down a path of sugar ants and stickiness that I don't ever care to endure again. With that being said, I think I followed the directions of this page perfectly!  I made tiny versions of Wreck this Journal and Mess out of Play Doh, which can easily become moldy again when you add water to the compound. Get it, moldy? I crack myself up.
Mess This Journal - Use this page as a palette

When I'm painting or using pens I actually do like to have a paper like this where I can wipe off excess ink or test marker colors. It's not a very pretty page, but it's what the other side of creativity looks like sometimes. 

Mess This Journal - While drawing a line, have someone bump the book

I had my boyfriend help me with this one and the finished product cracked me up. He did a great job randomly jarring me around, I never knew when to expect it.  I decided not to correct the lines when pushed and instead improvised with the "mistakes" still intact, hence this chick's awesomely big chin and ghosties with kitty mouths. I liked the idea of not having complete control on how "perfect" the drawings turned out. I think I will do another round of this random jarring when I decide to go back and color it.
Mess This Journal - Public Mess

I randomly "planted" some flowers that were not waterproof and will probably smear and smudge over time whenever the book gets wet. 

Mess This Journal - Fill in with all the colors you have on hand

Well, that's it for now. Stay tuned for more updates on my Mess journal, and a few little things I'd still like to share about my Wreck This Journal. By the way, if you haven't yet, check out my extensive coverage on WTJ here- start from the beginning, it's an epic journey.

What do you think, is Mess a book you would be interested in working on? Which of the pages are your favorites? Which would be the scariest to complete in your opinion? Let me know in a comment below.