Need a free and safe creative outlet? Itching to create but don’t know where to start, or don’t want to commit to one specific ‘craft’? want to say something, record your life, have fun and PLAY? well, art journals are the answer my friends…join me on this journey that will take you and your creations to new and exciting levels.
An ‘art journal’ is basically whatever you want it to be. No rules! A place for free expression, for testing out new ideas, making a mess, pouring your heart out, making a statment and releasing or discovering all of that artistic-ness that IS inside of you.
When i first began ‘scrapbooking’ 7 years ago I was all about trying to ‘catch up’ on the past 20-ish years of my life where i didn’t scrapbook. I cranked out the pages just to get them done…not caring so much about the actual ‘art’ of scrapbooking. And no, I don’t mean the painted, artistic side of things. I mean the art, the heart and soul of creating for the sake of creating! As an outlet and path of discovery. I’m talking about thoughts and feelings and emotions and STORIES. I’m talking about capturing moments and love through your photography. I’m talking about creating as a way to express yourself, to release, to learn and grow.
Scrapbooking is and can be so much more than just a pretty way to display your pictures. If you want this to be the case for you as well, then an art journal is a perfect place to start.
Choose a blank album or book, or make your own covers and join with book rings to add pages to. There are no rules. When the mood strikes, spend some time making a page. You might just want to play around with ‘art’ – painting, inking, collaging backgrounds into your book ready for when you want to add the next layer, or the journalling or photographs or statments onto it. Brainstorm a list of questions or topics to create pages about if you are not sure where to start.
I have never been to art school, I don’t feel as if I know any ‘real art stuff’ and my drawing and painting skills are at kindergarten level. Depsite this however, you will nearly always find me with paint on my hands (and elbows and clothes, and sometimes in my hair!), colour on my pages – totally happy! I LOVE to play around with ‘art’. Splashing away with colour, spilling things, making huge messes and learning ‘techniques’ as i experiment and freely create. NO HOLDING BACK.
You don’t have to show this to anyone. It is your safe place. If you make a mistake – good! It will push you to see how you can adapt it into something else, or cover it up and start again, this time NOT doing what you did before! If you don’t try – how will you learn and grow? Almost everything I do in my creations has come from experimenting.
You will feel liberated once you throw away old notions of making things ‘good enough’, worrying about the acidity, what other people might think or say, or keeping a chronoligical account of your life.
If you keep a journal or diary (if you don’t, WHY NOT?!!), where is the fun in hiding those thoughts and feelings away in a boring old lined book? Sure, it might be in a cute cover, but isn’t it a bit stifling sticking to those lines? A few months ago I bought myself an UNLINED journal. I actually write so much more now that i am free of those lines! I use colour, i stick things in, i make it messy and REAL. I love it! It is more than just a daily account. It is ME. It is my personality and my moods, my hopes, dreams and fears. Right there in living colour that can be touched and seen. Each page is whatever I want it to be.
Now that I have started on this ‘art journal’ journey – tossing aside old rules I had for scrapbooking, I’m not sure wether I do ‘sccrapbook albums’ or ‘art journals’. Whatever they are, my world has opened up so much more, I am constantly discovering new things and I find myself enjoying this journey and eagerly anticipating where I could end up next. I hope you can also discover the fun and freedom offered in an art journal!
Got a spare 5 or 10 minutes to create? Whip up some background layers for ready for your next art journal page…
- Collage paper scraps
- Paint a layer of acrylic
- splatter some ink
- sand some patterned cardstock
- decoupage magazine clippings
- rub inkpads directly onto page
- doodle patterns
- sew on fabric or pockets
Get things rolling…take one or two of these notions and see where it takes you…
- colour influences
- the past
- things that move
- in her shoes
- what matters most