There is no

Welcome Get Messians and anyone else joining in for the Get Messy Blog hop I’m very happy to have you here! Be sure to read through to the end to see who is next on the hop and to enter our brilliant giveaway!

OK so bear with me on this title because you’re probably scratching your head and wondering what the heck I’m talking about or that I may or may not have lost the plot. Well perhaps I have lost the plot, that remains to be seen.

So I wanted to give a blog post that didn’t just give a tutorial on how to make a pretty page or a technique. I wanted to try and help you change your attitude towards your Art.

The struggle is real

I know a lot of you struggle to make pages or to come up with your ideas. You struggle because you think your work is not good enough. Maybe you look at my work and feel intimidated (I really hope you don’t but I’m sure there are some who do) and it can be really off putting.

Maybe you’re just at the start of your journey into making art or art journaling and the start can be a really scary place. I know I was there only just under two years ago.

The Secret Ingredient

Ok so the title of the post. Now remember, bear with me! I was watching Kung Fu Panda with my daughter the other day. I know right? Your lesson today is brought to you by a cartoon but let me explain.

So towards the end Po (the Panda in case you’ve not seen the movie) is doubting his skills and doesn’t know if he has it in him to be the Dragon Warrior. He thinks he should just give up and make noodles with his Father.

His Father (who is a crane there’s a later adoption story but I digress) asks him if he knows what the secret ingredient in his secret ingredient soup is? Of course he doesn’t, its secret but his father thinks that it’s time that Po learnt what it was.

So what is this secret ingredient? What is the secret in the secret ingredient soup? There isn’t one. The secret is you.

OK so maybe it’s just me but my mind was blown the more I thought about this concept. The more I thought about it the more I realised that this is totally the case when it comes to making anything. There is no secret ingredient. There is no magic formula and there is no reason why anyone can’t make this. You’re the secret ingredient and I think if you can remember this when you’re making a page you’ll take some of the scary out of the process.

Lets break down a page

Ok so we’re going to look at page I made recently and I’m going to break it down for you so you can see just how simple it really was to put together. No secret ingredient remember?

So this page was made in my altered book. I love working in this little book and you can see some of the pages that are in it here.

The Secret Ingredient to Art


One of my favourite ways to break in a blank page is to throw some paint on there with an old gift card or if you’re very fancy a catalyst tool. But honestly a gift card does the job just as well! I love the way the paint goes on in a rough around the edges. I love the uneven and imperfect application.

OK so I’ve added on some stencils on the top to break up the pink color and already we’ve got the makings of a page. Only a few bits of paint and a stencil. No secret ingredient remember?

The Secret Ingredient to Art

So next up I’ve added some scrap booking paper I had lying around. I know we’ve all got stuff laying around. Start looking at and seeing if you can use it in other ways. All I’ve done is fussy cut around the triangles.

Then I’ve stitched around the triangles with some embroidery thread. Very secret right, haha not at all.

The Secret Ingredient to Art

So then I dug into my stash again and used a rub on I had lying around and added some more stitching around the edges of the card to give it a bit more depth. And voila! The page is done and the secret revealed.

The Giveaway!

To celebrate the amazing diversity that is Art and Art Journalling we’re giving away a year’s membership to the Get Messy Art Journal group. Get Messy is an amazing community and I have learnt so much from the group and made some amazing friends.To enter, leave a comment below and hop on over the next person in the hop the beautiful Ms. Essie to read her amazing post and comment there as well! The more comments you leave the more chances you have to win! The winner will be announced on Saturday 23rd July! The very best of luck to everyone entering!

32 thoughts on “The Secret Ingredient In Art

  1. Clare

    So true! I often stare at the page and wonder what I should do.
    I always love to see how people develop pages.
    Just one question, what is a ‘rub on’?
    You have got me browsing Stencil Girl stencils just a little too enthusiastically…!!!


  2. Rose

    Yes, I definitely believe in this message – the secret for me is believing what I make is art even if I don’t like it


  3. Agnes

    In my one-year artsy journey, I learned that I hv to like my work. O’wise it can & will show in the art. So I am still learning to like my own art & being okay about it. Yeah, that is my secret. LOL!!!


  4. Shevaughn Addicott

    I love your stitching! I’m a mental health practitioner and I run my own business. I’m about to launch some youth art journalling workshops and would love to win the Get Messy membership so I can share the wealth of information with my clients!


  5. Kelli

    Karen, thanks for the encouraging words! I am new to art journaling and new to art so these are great words! 🙂


  6. Tanyalee

    I love how you include so many mediums in your art. I am a lazy artist so stitching may never appear on my pages, but boy you make it look good. And maybe it will inspire me to try one day.


  7. Barbara I.

    Thanks for this blog post, Karen, and for telling us the “secret”! I enjoyed seeing your page come to life. Crossing my fingers and hoping to win the Get Messy Membership. Thanks for the chance!


  8. KatheD

    I love the secret, and that you learned it from Kung Fu Panda! I love your pages, too, and thanks for the break down for this one. I’ve only just started art journaling and I think what keeps me from making pages is a lack of ideas – “well, what am I going to do here?” sort of thinking.


  9. Chelsea Williams

    I’m loving these inspirational posts. I get so intimidated by making art that I don’t even try. I will break this habit!!


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