What is an Art Journal? Art journaling can take many forms. It is a way to express yourself using creativity as a base. It could be a way to keep your daily/weekly thoughts, or perhaps a travel journal, maybe a record of a special occurrence in your life, an exercise or diet diary, a bucket-list, to-do list or list of resolutions. What makes it an art journal is the embellishment that you add to the pages.
You can use all sorts of artistic media in the process. Including written journaling adds to the depth of the expression. What's important to remember is that there is no right or wrong way to do this. Just do what helps you to open up and share your thoughts and feelings.
Let's take a look at some samples that the Contributing Artists are sharing today.
This is the cover of an art journal that I created. This particular art journal serves as a source of inspiration for me. I collect things that get my creative process moving. Sometimes it's magazine clippings, advertisements or even junk mail. Sometimes it's photographs I've taken, paintings that I've done or other mixed media work I've done. When I want to try out a new artistic technique, I'll do so in this journal. What inspires me is often affected by what I am dealing with in life. It's great to see this correlation. So I also jot down some journaling notes in this book as well. I really like having a place where I can go and find both intrinsic and extrinsic sources to inspire me to create.
This page in an art journal that I created four years ago is my "self portrait". I added the journaling around the fingers of my hand.
This cover was designed by Nancy. I love all the baubles, buttons and flowers that she layered on the top. To give it a more cohesive look, she painted and misted them right into the cover. All this texture and diversity really makes you curious to take a peak inside!
This is a page from Nancy's journal. Don't you wish you could reach out and touch this? The textures are great with the combination of canvas, lace, alphas and transparency. The paints and mists and flowers add fabulous colors. I like the way she added subtle journaling using the alphas.
Karen shares some pages that she created as part of an art journaling class that she took. The class was offered by Jessica Sprague. On this page, you can see that Karen is starting off her album with ways to encourage herself to express. She has a pocket to hold photos, journal strips, clippings, you name it. The wording "Art for Arts Sake" really sets the mood. Here are some other pages Karen created from that class.
The class was a hybrid project, so there was a lot of printables that could be customized by adding your own artwork and journaling. Some info Karen shared about the class "each day of the class came with a prompt to get you thinking about different things to include in an art journal such as: lyrics from a meaningful song, compiling a 'mix tape' of music that moves and/or inspires me and using a handprint as a starting point for journaling."
After taking the class, Karen felt that it gave her the confidence to dabble further with art journaling. This last image is a page that she created on her own from start to finish. She brings together some drawing, doodling, coloring and writing.
Looking at these pages you can see that it is hard to confine the definition of art journaling. It really is using any form of creative art to express yourself. Even if you feel you are not that "artistic", you can just let go of that and try some new techniques, and not worry about how it looks. This is all about YOU! Maybe you like to have things neat and orderly, maybe you prefer to include clay, paint, metal. Or maybe you just like to doodle. Whatever it may be that helps you to let yourself go and express and share - even if only to be seen by just your own eyes, that is what art journaling is.
Want to find out more? Here are some resources to look into:
How to create and keep an art journal
Prompts for Art Journaling
Collection of Art Journal samples on Tumblr (lots of different samples)
Art Journaling - It's all good (includes a board to discuss art journaling)
Studio Tangie (includes classes and inspiration for hybrid art journaling)
Balzer Designs Art Journal Everyday
These are just a few links. If you have others, please share them in a comment to this post. We would love to see more inspiration!