Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Year after year, I get into the bad habit of juggling at least five different notebooks for journaling, lists, dreams, goals, notes, and art. I'll have a new idea or goal and instead of returning to the one of five notebooks I have already started, I am tempted to grab a brand new one. The problem is, we don't always think, "Hey, I can put everything in one place!" Instead, we torture ourselves with countless notebooks and just end up loosing track of these elements of our life in the first place.

The idea of art journaling was recently introduced to me by a friend. One of the main thoughts behind this type of journaling is to collect everything in one place. Dreams, Goals, To-Do's, Artwork, Inspiration, Notes, Lists, and Diary Entries. The possibilities are endless, even though this idea is simple. It revolutionized how I thought about journaling and organization. I love the idea of containing everything in one place. I made it a goal this year to start keeping such a journal. While I have only touched the surface of what art journaling can turn into, I have loved the convenience and beauty of putting all aspects of my life into one place that can go with me wherever I go. 

I am currently using a black, graph paper Moleskine journal. I absolutely love using graph paper and I love the sleekness of the Moleskine

Let's take it a step further. Now that you have the idea of keeping everything in one place, why not make that place an outlet for you to explore your own personal creativity? Here are some art journaling tips that will help get you started. I'm also featuring some gorgeous original art journaling from Katie Holley. Please click on any of her photographs to see her personal blog.

Steps to Begin Your Art Journal:

1. Get a Journal: Find a journal that would be good for gathering all your thoughts, art, and lists in. There are hundreds of different journals you can choose from, but be sure to consider whether or not you will be painting or fastening any found treasures to your page. If so, you will want to consider finding a journal that has sturdy pages. I have even heard of people recycling old books and making them into journals by adding new paper into the pages and journaling right over the content already in the book. 

2. Collect Supplies: It always motivates me to write and journal when I have brand new supplies. I recommend getting a storage basket to put your supplies in. These can be kept in your room and a small to-go bag to toss into your purse for that trip to Starbucks. You can purchase any type of supplies you prefer. That's the beauty of art journaling...there really are no rules! You can purchase markers, colored pencils, ball point pens, paint, pastels...any type of medium will work. The more variety you have the more ability you will have to try new things with your journal and explore combining media. 

3. Adhesive: Whether it's glue, masking tape, scotch tape, duct tape, or stickers, find something that you can fasten things to. Notes or other pieces of paper add layers to your journal.

4. Embellishments: Keep on the lookout through your everyday life and travels for things that might make an interesting piece to include in your journal. You might consider gluing a decorative envelop in your journal to hold these treasures as you collect them. Later, you might find the perfect place to paste them onto your pages.

5. Make Time: The important thing about journaling and collecting your thoughts is to make time to do so. Whether that is your quiet time in the morning or right before you go to bed. Make it a goal to work in your journal at least one page a day. That, combined with other thoughts and notes that you write down, will help you to make a place of sanctuary for your thoughts, lists, goals...

6. Take It With You: It's hard to keep everything in one place especially if you leave your journal collecting dust on your night stand. Make it a habit of carrying your journal with you wherever you go. You never know when someone will suggest a book you just have to add to your "To Read" list or if you suddenly come up with an amazing idea about your future business. If you make it a habit of bringing your journal with you, you will not miss those important thoughts and ideas that might pop into your head. 

7. Be Creatively Free: Once you have followed the above steps you are now ready to start! Do not give yourself too many rules or restraints for your journal. Feel free to layer, mix media, and just start putting something together, even if you do not have any plans for what it will look like. The goal is to have fun and have something beautiful to show for it. 

Need some inspiration to help you get started? Check out some of these resources and ideas:

* Art Journaling Prompts - There are many websites that contain journaling prompts. This is a great way of giving you inspiration if you have run out of ideas. It could be a one word prompt that says: freedom, childhood, green, heart. Check out this site that contains a list of websites with journaling prompts.

* Back & Fourth Journaling - Try sharing journal pages with a friend. Take turns adding elements and inspiration to create a unique and beautiful page.

* Art Journaling Workshop - If you live in the Atlanta area and would like to take an Art Journaling workshop, check out Betsy Garmon's blog Wild Thyme Creative. She offers all kinds of information as well as workshops in the Atlanta area.

Have more tips or thoughts on art journaling? Comment with your thoughts and resources! Again, a huge thank you to Katie Holley for sharing her beautiful pages. Be sure to visit her blog: quietworldcreative.

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