I recently blogged about how get messy has been evolving this past year, and now offers art journalling courses alongside the community membership. One of these classes launched this week and is called Totems. It is created by the wonderful Vanessa and I was lucky enough to beta test a lesson to share with you all. I am not a class taker really, the totems was the first video I have watched and created alongside. I loved it. It is about how to internally look into oneself and how to find totems that speak to you and your place in life and this world. There are different totem themes that Vanessa will take you through, such as spirit animals, magical elements and the class I took, women. As well as how to find a totem that is yours, the class is also full of techniques and tools to create with. This might of been one of my most favorite parts as I am quite comfortable in my materials and don't branch out much. I actually didn't have a lot of the supplies that were recommended for the class, but I went ahead with it anyway because I was super excited and I know I will be purchasing this myself later on in the year. I don't think my not having it all took away from what I learnt or what I created though - it just meant i had to be a little more wily.... 

Our Ancestory
- modge podge, acrylic, ink, oil pastel & collage

This spread is about the conflict I feel in society from the pressure of having to label yourself. Are you a sexy girl? A strong one? A traditional home-making one? Imagine trying to be all 3 and more! Ludicrous!  

I love the semi-transparent wash over my "strong girl" on the left. This was a mixture of white acrylic and modge podge that I also used to prime the pages.  

The Boys
acrylic, ink, watercolour & collage

V prompted us in the video tutorial to think about our personal lineage of women. I dedicate this spread to my grandmother. She is probably one of the most intelligent people I have ever met but never went to University because that was for the boys (her brothers). She also did all the house work in the home along with her mother, the boys never did. They were even given milk during rationing over her - because they were boys. She never traveled - that was for the boys and she had to squash her ambitions down - because she wasn't them. I think I feel more injustice at this then she ever would or could. 

- modge podge, acrylic, ink, watercolour & collage

I was so scared to try and draw during this class. We were supposed to be drawing women and I struggled hard. I made the other two spreads above first, happily in my comfort zone. As the video progressed though, I thought, I really must try. I had a few awful first attempts and then came across this naked women who seemed to work - even if she is quite in-proportionate. The lungs were a happy accident from creating inky splodges with watercolor.


Are you an avid class taker? I think I might have gotten the bug! 

You can buy totems here and check out the rest of Vanessa's art on her blog, Instagram and Etsy shop.


  1. You did a terrific job, as always, Jules! <3 The story about your grandmother really touched me. I think, my grandmother would relate to this if she was more open when sharing her story. For them, it was how life was supposed to be. Most of the time they didn't see it as unfair or like a sign of inequality, because it was a "norm". And I thank God for the time we live in where we are able to voice our opinions, dream, dare, be bold and firce.

    1. I know, right?! It's crazy how far away their lives seem to ours when it's only a matter of decades. Xoxoxo

  2. Hi Jules! I just joined Get Messy today and I am cruising around getting acquainted with the site and I clicked on one of your great spreads and then ended up on this page. I really liked the pages above. The stories of your grandmother are very compelling, but I did see that spread the other day on Instagram and liked it even without knowing the story. I just signed up for the monthly (but I will stick around!) because want to take the Totems class, it sounds right up my alley!
    Love your work, hope to see you 'round! Cheers, Dawn (mojodawn on IG)

    1. Wow! Thank you so much, welcome to get messy! Xo