So....what IS an art journal?

One of my design teammates mentioned in our forums that she didn't feel like she could do art journaling, and didn't like the way it looked when she did it. This got me thinking...."wait a minute! no one should feel like that!" So, let's back up a bit. What exactly IS an art journal? Why should we do it?

Art diary

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An art diaryart journal or visual journal is a daily journal kept by artists, often containing both words 
and sketches, and occasionally including Mixed media elements such as collages. Such books will frequently 
contain rough workings, in cartoon form, of ideas later to appear in finished works, 
as well as acting as a normal diary, by allowing the artist to record their day-to-day activities and emotions.

(this is a great article and her book Art Journal Freedom is awesome!)
"Simply put, an art journal is a journal in which you combine art and words to express yourself. 
That’s it. It’s not complex, and there really aren’t any rules for art journaling.
 It’s all about self-expression.
...I think artists (and that means you) all have different reasons for keeping journals. 
The reasons are very personal and individual, and could include:
  • To experiment with art techniques & ideas.
  • To get your thoughts & feelings out on paper in a creative way.
  • To document your life, your being.
  • To enjoy the process of creating."

There are countless ways to do this and bazillions of resources available. I hate to see someone feel 
like they can't art journal because their work doesn't look like someone else's. Guess what? It's not
 supposed to! I have been keeping some kind of a journal or diary since I was a kid and started art 
journaling about five years ago. 
Even now, my art journal pages look extremely different from one another, depending on how I am feeling, 
what technique I am trying, whose style I'm trying to emulate, etc. 

Here's a smattering of my art journal pages from 2008-now:

The deal is, there are no "rules" or certain ways an art journal "should look". 
They are for you to use in whatever way you want! 

Do you still have questions? Want to know more? Leave us some comments and 
we'll do our best to answer them in future posts!!

(all images are mine and can be found on my FLICKR pages)
(a quick google search or search on pinterest for "art journal" can bring up 
TONS of resources and examples!)
Edited to add: Ronda Palazzari has a great article up today,  as well!
Thanks for reading!! Join us over in the forums!

1 comment:

Maggi said...

So true! I love doing art journal pages and my favorite thing about them (and being creative in general) is the whole "no rules" thing. lol