Laying down the words is a release of tension, stress, and worry. At least it is for me. Writing is a way to process life and all that’s going on. It gives me a way to roll around ideas, questions, and how to move forward. The same can be said for art journaling. While I don’t use my art journaling as a direct or alternative means of diary/journaling, I still believe it holds value and secret messages. Today, rather than a wordy how-to post, I’m sharing three videos and a couple of images of my art journaling process.
There’s no one right or wrong way to art journal. Give yourself permission to explore and figure out what works best for you. Three ways I use an art journal are: write down intense emotions so i can tear up the pages and glue them into an art page; try new painting or mixed media techniques, and for drawing or sketching.
Because art journaling for me includes acrylic painting and glues, I often work out of two or three journals so I can prep pages, allow them to dry, and come back to them later. Some journal, as mentioned before, are favorites books and others are spiral bound art books.
One secret I’ll tell you is that my first art journal was really an altered book – Call Waiting. It was a book I’d read and that I thought would also work for found poetry. I did it for monetary reasons too because at the time I didn’t have the funds to be an art book just for mixed media. I’ll share more on that process later. The supplies I most often use in my creative journaling practice are: gesso, acrylics, palette knife, gel medium, washi tape, brushes, and a variety of papers.
No rules, just fun. No restrictions, just exploration of your creative inklings. That’s the beauty of art journaling. In the videos below are two different examples of what I’ve done in two different journal. In the first video, I prepping pages. All that means is that I am laying a variety of paper clippings down on the page using gel medium. After it dries, I paint on it.
In the next video, I actually do some writing just to give you an idea of what you can do. Normally I’d write on scratch or notebook paper, rip it, tear it to shreds, and glue those pieces in the journal. But sometimes I write directly on the pages I’m going to paint over. It’s a cathartic process. You see and honor your words, and release them – creating beauty from the ashes and the broken.
I hope these examples are useful to you, and I hope to make more of them showing my process. I have many pages waiting to be explored with new creations, dreams, and ideas. I have one more video for you called Beautiful Bold. It is a loose book page that I painted. I like to call it splot art because I look at the random paint splotches and an image emerges. I draw what I see. In this example I drew a picture of a woman with long hair, added details, and then painted in some other details. This is one of my favorite things.
I encourage you to play with your paints, colors, pencils, papers and don’t be afraid to explore the depths of your creativity. You just might surprise yourself, and that’s the best part. In all of us there is hidden beauty waiting to be unearthed. It has something to say. And I believe that something to say is intended to carry us forward into light, love, and hope.
How do you art journal? I’d love to hear your stories.
In the month of October, I’m participating in the #Write31Days challenge. I’m focusing creative practice in the ordinary, everyday mundane. Each day (or whenever I write) for the series I will post the link on my page for my #31DaysOfCreativePractice. Come along and read.