What is Art Journaling?
In very simple terms it’s keeping your artwork in a journal.
Art journaling has increased in popularity over the past number of years, which has had a 2 fold effect.
The positives is that more people have been introduced to art journaling. This is a good thing as art journaling is a wonderful freeing creative hobby & can also be good for our mental health as we get lost in the process of creating.
However now our social media feeds have become full with the most breath taking amazing art journal pages which is incredible as we can be inspired by that. However the reality of human nature is we can also be put off by this as we feel our artwork does not match what we see … so what can we do to overcome this feeling and embrace the art journaling process?
Let’s strip it right back, what is the purpose of art journaling? For centuries artists have kept journals, this was the place they practiced, formulated ideas, tested products … it is not the art journal that appears in an art gallery. The art Gallery hosts the finished piece of work, the skills to create that work were developed and collated in their personal journal. Which I promise you will be full of sketches & work that the artist really does not like.
This is what we really need to focus on, art journaling is not about creating a masterpiece on every page, it’s a place for us to practice, develop skills and try out new products.
Why keep an art journal?
We have touched on this previously, as crafters we can feel the pressure of turning out perfect projects, as these are very often given out as cards and gifts to friends or we sell our finished projects, so we naturally we want to produce our best work.
Our art journals are a place we can embrace imperfection and create just for us.
Is there a technique you have seen that you would love to try? – then practice in your art journal.
Do you have brand new products to play with? – then try them out in your art journal.
I am a huge fan of swatching ( but then that’s a whole other topic for another blog )
Do you want to create just for you – then play In your journal
Do you want to create without the pressure of perfection – then get your journal out.
My favourite journals have a little bit of everything in them, pages I love, pages I am not so keen on, (but even those have a purpose as we still learn something from pages we are not in love with, it’s how we develop our skills, ) swatches, sketches, & so much more.
What art Journal should I use?
The simple answer to that is, it’s completely up to you.
To be honest I have a number of journals and I use different ones depending on my mood at the time. Don’t feel you have to have all the fancy art journals out there .. We can use sketch pads, old books – that’s probably a great place to get started. If you find you fall in love with journaling then my all means treat yourself to a special art journal.
My Favourite art journal
After more than 10 years of art journaling & being the proud owner of many many journals I have discovered that my favourite kind of journal is a deconstructed journal. So what is a deconstructed journal, basically it is a journal where you can take the pages in and out.
The reason I like that, is when I use a bound journal I need to be really mindful of what products I use on a page, as bound journals quickly become bulky. However with a deconstructed journal I can have my page as dimensional as I like.
With a bound journal you also need to be careful with wet mediums such as watercolours & sprays because they can seep into the spine, which is not the end of the world if it’s a blank page, as that just becomes your starting point, however if the leakage occurs on one of your favourite finished pages, it can be quite disheartening.
Also you can create pages on really fun substrates, like cardboard, acetate, some of your favourite designer paper or anything you can think of really. All you need to do is pop in some holes so it fits into the desired journal.
My current favourite journals are the MDF ones from mad hatters which you can find here: Madhatters – Mushroom Journal Cover – JMC Designs
I also have a video tutorial of how to make this journal cover:
Will you start an art journal?
So how do you feel about art journaling? Is it something you will try? Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have, I am more than happy to help, I truly love art journaling & I’m sure you would find it to be a really meaningful hobby to have too.