Are you your own worst enemy?
Your answer may change depending on the context (I know mine does – especially when it comes to guacamole consumption, time management, and perfectionism).
Who is their own worst enemy when it comes to creating (insert pink-shirted emoji here)? Do you make time for it on a regular basis? Are you too critical? Do you put too much pressure on making something perfect every time?
The good news is that if you manage to give that nasty (but exceptionally good looking) enemy of yours a firm one-two punch, you’ll be creating your best stuff soon and, more importantly, you’ll be having FUN.
Caylee Grey, creator of Get Messy, is here to chat and she’s exceptionally inspiring. Bonus: if you’re feeling lazy, don’t read anything from here on out, just look at the pictures! They. Are. Gorg.
Caylee’s work makes you want to run for your supplies and just START MAKING STUFF. Her color palettes are electrifying, her subject matter and composition is fun and energetic. I pretty much want to turn everything she makes (or shows us) into a backdrop for my life.
Caylee Grey started the art journalling community called Get Messy. Members of Get Messy have access to tutorials, journalling prompts and archives of inspiration to help them incorporate art journalling into their lives on a regular basis. We worked with the Get Messy community on a Pipsticks journalling prompt last year and it was legendary.
Please introduce yourself to our readers!
I’m an overenthusiastic artist and encourager who shows creatives how to go from ideas to doing. I’m a South African living in Germany with my husband and tiny fluffy snowball that some might call a dog. The other two loves in my life are seeing others discover their inner artist, and garlic.
Where do you live and work?
I live in the south of Germany even though I’m a South African, and I work from home (yay for pantsless days).
When did you start art journalling?
My internet BFF, Lauren, and I spoke about how we were both over the fact that we weren’t doing the creating we wanted to do. We had a whole bunch of ideas, but they never amounted to anything.
We were at the exact same place in that it was all coming to a head – do it now or never at all. So we did it. And we were accountable to each other, and for that reason even when I didn’t feel like it, I didn’t want to be the one letting “us” down.
I was also going through a stage of my life where I could feel depression creeping up. This was a great way to divert attention, process things and thoughts, and elevate my mood a bit.
As it turned out, I had a LOT to say through art journaling, and the pages poured out of me. Not all the time, sometimes it was a slow drip and sometimes I needed my plumber, Lauren. But I was art journaling every single day and with that type of commitment, something’s bound to come from it.
Do you have a creative routine?
I’m lucky enough to have a pair of wooden standing desks dedicated to art journaling. If I’m going through a creative slump, I usually go there immediately after making my morning cup of coffee and “force”.
Otherwise I wait until the urge to make happens and I go there. I open my book and something usually pours out of me and there’s not too much method to it.
How many journals do you have? Which is your favorite?
Ahh! I’m not too sure how many I have. Around 40 now, I think? I like to work on more than one at a time while waiting for paint to dry, so about ten of those are unfinished.
My journal of choice is always a Moleskine. It’s really nice to have a few on rotation so that you can use another one while you’re waiting for paint to dry without losing momentum.
Cahiers are great for dry pages and minimal paint, their A4 Sketchbook for acrylic paint, gesso, or matte medium, and their Watercolour Albums for watercolours. I also love old books, and putting together my own one with rough hand sewn binding.
What’s the story behind Get Messy?
Get Messy is an art journaling program here to inspire you, teach you new art techniques and help you build community around this art form.
The membership site shares prompts, tutorials and inspiration each week. We use different platforms, such as link ups, collaborative projects, spotlights and more to help push our members to consistently create and to showcase their amazing work. Get Messy is for both beginners and art journaling extraordinaires!
Get Messy was born out of my and Lauren’s own need and desire to make more art and to make it consistently. It then grew into the program that it is today because others also desired to find a group of makers, like themselves, to share their interests with.
We have always valued consistency, accountability and community as our pillars of Get Messy and this space became a safe haven for experienced artists and new creatives to interact, learn from one another, encourage each other and ask questions.
Seeing the need as evidenced by the 100s of people who were joining our Facebook community at the time, we turned it into a membership program to guide, teach and connect art journalers from all over the world.
Your sketches are amazing. What’s your favorite pen?
Thank you! I love three pens: UniPin Fine Line (0.1), V5 Hi-Tec for writing on paint, and black Copic Markers.
What’s your favorite food?
Garlic! Sometimes with Napoletana Sauce and pasta.
What are you listening to?
I have the world’s worst taste in music (Childish Gambino, Panic! at the Disco, Hoodie Allen, and Incubus are my faves), so I listen to Spotify’s Discover Weekly hoping that it’ll be a good one.
Most of the time, though, I’m listening to podcasts. My favourites are Make it Happen, seanwes podcast, The Paperclipping Roundtable, Stacking the Bricks, Being Boss, and Online Marketing Made Easy.
What advice do you have for people wanting to be more creative?
Show up every single day.
1. Find an accountability partner or focused group and promise to create a certain number of pages every week and share them online
2. Make sure that you don’t let your partner(s), or yourself down. Create. Keep going even if it’s kak.
3. Keep going. Sitting down to create will lead to one paint stroke or pen mark to one page to one spread to one entire, gloriously full book.
Thanks Caylee. I LOVE that advice. Being accountable is always a great idea, and I’ve never thought to have someone to report to for something that I actually enjoy (versus, you know, the gym). Brilliant.
Check out Get Messy if you’re interested in upping your creative quotient. You can follow the drool worthy Get Messy IG feed here.
And finally be sure to sign up for our Pro Sticker Club. Our Pro pack is full of stickers that will add to your creative journalling spreads (and maybe even inspire them!).