I have never been one to keep journals or diaries. I had a diary when I was a kid and I think I wrote in it twice, probably about a boy I had a crush on when I was about 8 years old. I tried to keep one when I was in college, and that ended up being a glorified day planner. I've tried several other times in the past and spent a few hours writing down my deepest thoughts, just to read them again months or years later and tear them up because I thought they sounded so stupid. I hated the things I wrote about and I hated my handwriting. So I gave up.
Being the huge mixed media fan that I am, I started to see this art journaling craze materialize in magazines and online. I was definitely intrigued, but not completely sold on the idea because I knew my journaling history and figured I would never commit to it. Over the next year or two it became harder and harder to resist. How could anyone look at the beautiful and colorful journals of Teesha Moore, Ingrid Dijkers, and Pam Carriker and not want to do it themselves?
I tried art journaling a little bit but was frustrated because my pages weren't even close to as cool as theirs were. It wasn't until I took a journaling class with the Journal Fodder Junkies last year at Art Unraveled that I finally gave in to the temptation and started keeping an art journal. The biggest things I learned from the workshop were pretty obvious facts, but I never thought about it before then. Every journal page doesn't have to be a masterpiece, nor does if have to be about anything particularly important. What IS important is that you continue working in it. No page ever has to be completely finished. You can start 10 pages in one sitting and take 6 months to get back to them. Have nothing to say today? That's okay. Start slapping some paint on the pages. Collage receipts, magazine clippings that you like, junk mail, postage stamps, or anything else you can find that would otherwise be destined for your trash can onto your pages. Make some random doodles on a page and see what transpires. I can't say I journal everyday, but I've been regularly keeping up with it since that class. Some pages I like so much that I actually finish them!
I started creating my pages by randomly painting watercolors on some blank journal pages. After they dried, I took a fine tipped black marker (Micron Pigmas work well) and started doodling and drawing. Most of the time I didn't have anything specific in mind. I journaled words in the empty spaces around my doodles. I enhanced my drawings by using Copic markers to color in some areas. I used craft punches on some of the pages to cut out 'windows' that look onto the page behind it. I also collaged some papers I had in my stash to some of them. To add the sparkle and shine, I used Designer Dries Clear adhesive by the Art Glitter Institue to add various colors and varieties of glitter (also by the Art Glitter Institute). It was no exact science, I just used coordinating colors to enhance certain areas.
Stay tuned for my next post which will be about using Fantasy Fibers and Fantasy Film to enhance your art jounal. See you in a couple of weeks!