BZU students learn how to create mesmerizing patterns in art journaling workshop

The Contemporary Visual Art Program at Birzeit University organized an art journaling workshop on February 26, 2018. The workshop, entitled “Artistic Meditation, Inspiration, and Fun,” was led by visual designer and artist Natalie Najjar.

The workshop aimed to introduce students to art journaling, a creative process which involves combining colors, words, patterns, and images as methodically or randomly as one wishes.

“Art is not only about courses, classes or degrees,” says Najjar. “Art is visceral, and can only truly manifest once you let your creativity run wild. That includes not limiting yourself to paper or canvas, as art can be applied to anything and everything you want.”

Najjar presented a number of her works, which include methodical and abstracts patterns and illustrations infused with Arabic calligraphy and Palestinian and Arab symbols, such as a drawing of a Palestinian traditional garment inset with the names of 80 Palestinian villages and towns and an excerpt of Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry.

Najjar then asked the attending students to share what they saw in the drawings. Students’ responses ranged from Arabian horses to the flag of Palestine. This activity, while an effective ice breaker, showed students that art is neither monotonous nor monolithic; art and its interpretations can be as diverse as the artists themselves.

Art Journaling, added Najjar, can also be used as a form of psychotherapy. “It’s a psychological outlet that helps you destress and unwind. Your mind begins combining these shapes and patterns that manifest into beautiful, subliminal works of art.”

The Contemporary Visual Art Program is an interdisciplinary program that provides a unique learning experience for students in drawing, painting, sculpture, 3D, installation, photography, video, film, sound, performance and social intervention, in addition to historical and theoretical theories