Thursday, June 4, 2009

An Interview with Violette + Journal Bliss

I first met Violette a number of years ago. A friend introduced me to a lovely Canadian lady who was visiting Australia. She had a mixed media magazine with her (i think it may have been CPS). It first time I had ever laid eyes on any mixed media publication....and Violette was featured in it with her amazing art. I was totally blown away. And then I discovered Violette online through her website and blog...this was my introduction to blogging. I am eternally gratiful.

Over time I have got to know Violette and I am aware that writing book has been on the top of her 'Want To' list for sometime. Now it is a reality. I had so much fun with these questions Please enjoy my interview with Violette.

1.What was the most challenging and the most rewarding thing about writing this book?

The most challenging thing was having editors switched more than halfway through the project. I ended up having to create a lot more content since the second editor was more specific as to what she wanted from me. Everyone has a different mode of working so it takes a while to understand what the editor is looking for. Being new to the publishing world i did not have any background to prepare me for all of it. The wonderful thing though is that the second editor made things so much easier for me as she outlined fairly clearly what was expected of me. It helped immensely in the creation and writing process. When things are too nebulous you don't know where to start. The process of finally putting the book together fell into place much more easily after receiving very specific feedback. The most rewarding thing is to finally see Journal Bliss on the shelves and to receive all of the wonderful e-mails (and feedback in person) about how much my book has helped the reader access their creativity.

2. For those people just starting journaling what is your best tip?

My best tip is to get out of your own way and simply BEGIN........don't over think things.........just begin drawing, doodling and splashing paint on a piece of paper or in your journal. Use your Journal as your silent listener so you can spill and be vulnerable without fear of being judged. Oh and here is another tip......paint your backgrounds and make borders ahead of time so that the Journaling process is not so daunting.

3. And to those more experienced?

To those more experienced i would say go deeper and use your journal to document your inner feelings and to trust more the little whispers and prompts you receive from your soul. Don't judge what comes out - it could be a stream of consciousness type of writing like i did in some of my pages. Sometimes little gems emerge from these sessions - very unique revelations you were not consciously aware about. My work is constantly informing me as to where i am at emotionally. It's pretty thrilling when you let go and go with the flow.

4.What makes your journaling book and information different to other 'how to journal' books?

Well it's different in that it's uniquely ME........sure you'll see some similar techniques used by other artists (because really there is a finite number of just have to mix them up to come up with something new). I think what makes Journal Bliss different is that folks will be able to see my process, get inside my head a bit and realize that's okay to document tiny fragments of memories from my past, it's okay to drone on and on about a cat that slept on my chest while i was petrified all nite, it's okay to honour my friends and heros/heroines by creating a page for them. I think the inspiration value is the most important thing of all.

5.What advice would you give someone who is contemplating writing their own book?

Well if you want to do it my way you need to develop your platform - you need to get a blog, begin blogging, join online groups in your area of interest, get on facebook, twitter. You need to develop a following before a publisher will even look at you. Get known by submitting projects and articles to your favourite magazines - Somerset, Cloth Paper Scissors, Quilting arts, Crafts n Things etc. The more you get out there the more you'll be in front of people who are on the lookout for fresh talent. Martha Stewart's people found Claudine Hellmuth because she was being interviewed on another popular blog. If you don't have an online presence today you don't have a hope in becoming known. Rice Freeman Zachary who has written several popular arts and crafts titles including Living the Creative Life is always on the lookout for talent wherever she goes. She writes columns for several paperarts magazines. Rice mentioned how at a quilting show she spied some fabulous innovative quilts. When she excitedly questioned the creator about them she was rather chagrined to find out that the artist did not have a web presence. This meant that Rice could not e-mail the editor of a specific magazine and say "Hey....i just found a fabulous quilter i would like to do a story on - check out her art on her blog....." This was a missed opportunity for the artist. Magazines can lead to books since publishers of Arts and Crafts books read Creative Magazines. I think most of all you need to be passionate about what you are doing and what you want to write a book about - if you're not you'll fizzle out halfway through the project. You've got to love what you are doing - put your heart and soul into it and share with the world. " If you build it they will come" but only after people know that you've built it!

As I was writing and drawing the illustrations and creating the pages for Journal Bliss I kept envisioning "LOVE" so that the reader would feel the love coming from my book. You know like the movie _ Like Water for Chocolate....the heroine of the movie would but her emotions into the food she was creating and whomever ate her food would experience those very same emotions. So the feeling of "love" was thought of and hopefully imbued in Journal Bliss. It's my hope that readers will sense and feel this.

For all those avid journalers you can check out Violette and her book at


Anna Bartlett said...

Great interview. This is a side of Violette that I hadn't heard before. And great and generous advice too.

violette said...

Thank you very much Nic for posting this interview and for playing along on the Virtual tour. I sure do appreciate it.

Love, Violette

Flassie's Fil'a said...

Great Q&A's!

Awesome interview!

God Bless You and Yours!!!