This week I watched Montage of Heck. To say I was inspired is a massive understatement! If you haven't watched this film (documentary) I 100% recommend it. It is about Kurt Cobain and uses extracts from his journals and diaries as cartoons to illustrate each phase of his life. It reminded me a lot of a book I have by Courtney Love - Dirty Blonde - which is created in a similar style. I love the free flowing movements and unplanned rawness of this journalling style and also the intensity of emotion from each page. I scribbled quotes and drawings in my art journal as I watched the film and for the pages below I have used Photoshop to manipulate and layer them with images from Dirty Blonde. 

Welcome to my grunge phase. 

Acne Superstar
- sharpies, felt tips & photoshop

The quote here is a love letter from Courtney to Kurt. I paired it with sugary sweet pink pastel tear drops and images from Dirty Blonde in grey underneath.

- collage, sharpies, felt tips & photoshop

This mish mash page I wanted to look cuter and more innocent than the actual quote. It comes from Kurts diary and was written just after he married Courtney. Whatever your opinions on these two are, you can feel and sense the extreme adoration they had for one another from these journals and notes. It's like teenage love, angst and rebellion all rolled into one x10000 because of the drugs they were on. 

- collage, sharpies, felt tips & photoshop 

Fragments of life all over one another with you at the very centre. 

- collage & photoshop

I found this quote in a local music store zine I picked up in Leeds. I felt it very poignant considering the death of David Bowie last week and then my watching of Montage of Heck. There is so much music that is fun and superficial but the real art is music about life, love, the world we live in. 

- collage, sharpies, felt tips & photoshop

One of the things I found most interesting about watching Montage of Heck, was the relationship other women and fans of Nirvana had towards Courtney. I feel like nowadays feminism and loving your fellow woman is very cool and on trend but maybe not so much in the 90's? It seemed that she got so much hate from people for just being with Kurt and being herself. For being THAT GIRL.

- collage, sharpies, & photoshop

You could see so horrifically how drug use sucked the life from such a beautiful person in this film. The lure and the addiction seemed to of been to big for Kurt to handle, like the only colour in a dying sepia world. 

- sharpies & photoshop

I based this drawing from a journal page of Kurt's shown in the film. The writing around the heart reads "goes without saying, nothings gonna save me". 

Heart Shaped Box
- acrylic, sharpies & photoshop

I wrote out quotes from the spiraling end of the film in a frantic and messy manner to try and capture the quickening deterioration of Kurt Cobain. I then layered this over an abstract acrylic page in Photoshop to give it more depth. I think it's one of my favourites from this mini grunge series. 

I think I still have some grunge journalling left in me so stay tuned! 


  1. Julia, you blow me away. I grew up on Nirvana and Hole (and Pearl Jam and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Smashing Pumpkins). I remember seeing the video for Smells Like Teen Spirit and I stopped in my tracks and was conscious that I was seeing and listening to something completely new. An then I heard Violet from Hole's Live Through This and that was everything. Anyway, those two oeuvres are on my 'must read/see'list.

    And what can I say about these pages? I love the continuity, the feel of them and the inevitable downfall. There is a progression to these pages which I love. Thank you, you inspiring human, you!

    For the record I think women just couldn't handle the absolute tornado that Courtney Love is.

  2. Wow Julia, your pages are amazing, very expressive, showing true emotion, you're so clever.