Journaling has really taken off in the last few years. We have bullet journals, gratitude journals, dream journals and just about every kind of journal you could think of! All of these journals mean different things to different people. You may have tried some of these journaling techniques yourself.
One of the most popular forms of journaling in recent times is art journaling. If your haven’t heard of this, an art journal is basically a
notebook (or similar) for your to pour your creativity into. You can put whatever you want into your art journal; it can be as structured or as fluid as you want it to be. There are no rules.
That’s where I came unstuck! The problem with art journaling having no rules is that there is no definitive explanation of what an art journal actually is.
I badly wanted to have my own art journal, filled with pages of beautiful illustrations, colours, notes, inspiring articles etc. etc. However I had no idea how to even begin.
What I ended up with was a scrap book of very pretty magazine clippings. It didn’t feel like an art journal. It wasn’t an art journal. There was no “me” in my art journal. By this I mean I hadn’t created any of the content held within its pages.
This left me feeling disappointed and, quite frankly, a little empty. For a while I put my scrap book on the shelf and forgot about it. Although my ears pricked up every time I heard the word “journaling” mentioned. (If you want to see my attempts at journaling please watch the video below!)
Fast forward to last week. One of the (marvelous) people I follow on Instagram posted a photo of their bullet journal lay outs (shout out to you Phigella!). Apparently this was the kick up the back side I needed to try art journaling again!
Over the weekend I messed around with stamps, pens, embossing powder and all manner of things, and I had a jolly good time! The results were messy, but I felt so much better about this art journal than the first one!
I experimented with techniques I would never have tried before and I honestly couldn’t keep away from the stamps and inks! It is true what they say. Creativity does breed creativity. I have more and more ideas for all kinds of projects in so many crafts that I would never have thought of had it not been for the art journal!
So aside from an art journal being a place for creative expression and experiment, what other benefits are there?
Well I suppose that depends entirely on what you use it for. You may want to use it for planning, mindfulness, keeping lists, making a mini scrap book from photos or tickets. An art journal is what you make it. Some of the pages in my art journal that I am most happy with are not the most beautiful pages, they are the pages that inspire me to create other projects.
How do I start an art journal?
The best place to start is with a notebook. Use whatever size and type of notebook you want. If you are just starting out, I would recommend a smaller one simply because a really large page can feel somewhat intimidating.
If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you could make your own notebook. You can follow our video tutorial. This will take you through making your very own notebook using scrap papers, card and fabric. It’s a really fun project and it’s very simple to do. You can watch the video below!
What should I put in my journal?
Whatever you want. This is the simplest but also the least helpful answer! If you are stuck for some inspiration we have a journal prompt for you.
Find your favourite stamp or image. You can even print off a black and white line drawing from the internet, or draw your own. Stamp, draw or stick the image in the centre of the page.
Next add colour to the image in whatever way you choose. You could use pastels, acrylic paint, water colour, felt pen, alcohol markers, chalk, coloured pencil, a mixture of all of these things or something completely different.
When you have finished, make a little colour chart of all the colours you have used and write down the names of the colours or the brand of paint/pen etc. you have used.
Finally write about what you have done somewhere on the page. This way you will have a reminder of how you achieved the effects on the page should you want to do it again!
If you want to see what we did, watch the video below!
There will be more art journal tips and prompts next week. In the meantime, if you have any questions get in touch with us and tell us what you want to know! We will be thrilled to hear from you!