For the Season of Story, I decided to work with a very personal archetype that I have: the Keeper of Stories. In my family and among my friedns as well, I am the Keeper of Stories. I hold everyone’s stories; I consider them gifts. But sometimes, I have to hold on to too many and they spill out of me. Because I do need to have enough space for my own stories.

I am very intrigued by and excited to work with this archetype for this Season and to see where it takes me. I started with Elly’s paper doll tutorial from last Season (Play). The Keeper of Stories has a space to hold different narratives in her torso.

I created a little pocket so I can change out the stories she holds and the left page has a library of sorts where she keeps these.

The Keeper is fully articulated thanks to some brads I found while preparing for my move. I glued her into my journal using foam dots so I can still move her.

When you keep a lot of stories, you become very good at seeing all sides of them. The good, the bad, the lies, the half-truths, the patterns and the meanings are all clear to you. I probably should have written that there actually three sides to each story, the third one being the objective truth (is such a thing can actually exist).

I really enjoyed Alicia’s idea of using abstract to tell a specific story. I did two spreads using this method.

The second spread holds images and is a little less abstract, but I feel it expresses more of what I wanted to. I like abstract but I don’t feel that it is the right tool for me since I use art journaling as a way to process and express feelings.

I loved Sarah’s tutorial about memories so much. I wish I had some baby pictures with me here but they are all in storage in Canada. So I used a vintage photo of an unidentified baby instead. I added collaged pieces that I associate with very specific memories.

The yellow bird is from Pitatou a series of books for children from the 70s. I was obsessed with Louise Pomminville’s drawing style.

The milk cap is a reminder that the milkman would deliver to our house three times a week. The porcelain doll reminds me of the year our grandmother gave one to each of the cousins.

The castle: coming back from Disneyland with scarlett fever and putting my cheek on the window of the plane to cool it down. The Pirate Boat ride at The Pier in Old Orchard Beach. What a wonderful exercise!

I also tried my hand at the idea of a zoomed in abstract, but the way I went about it is to use weird cutoffs or remnants from other collage projects. I keep everything, it’s a sickness.

This was a home photocopy of my face that I did for another project (whcih may or may not be Rituals). I loved that quote by William Blake. I use it as a mantra lately as I am in the midst of lots of anxiety related to change.

The last two spreads are “just because” ones. Sometimes, I want to have a place for a specific set of ephemera that I have been holding unto for too long.

This scrapbooking paper with the floral pattern was perfect for this spread which is my take on the Nature morte or vanitas.

This last one was inspired by a page that Katie showed me and I loved it so much that I ran to my studio to use my crystal / shimmering watercolors. All the fun of this spread was in the execution!


Thank you for making to the end of this very long photo heavy post! I hope you are inspired to tell some of your own stories now.