An art journal is a journal or diary that has a strong visual element to it, an expression of your artistic creativity and imagination …
It’s a journal for using your art to express your memories, dreams, and thoughts.
How you create the images, and what type of imagery you make, is entirely a matter of personal choice. There are no rules. You can paint or draw, use pen and ink, photos, collage, doodle, stickers… anything and everything.
C(9) and I had the perfect opportunity to do so on Friday while J(7) was on a sports camp. I think J will enjoy art journalling too, but at his age he’ll be most inspired by seeing tangible examples before he does it himself.
C and I grabbed a cheap notebook each, and followed Julie’s steps:
Step 1: Prepare a base layer with mixed papers.
We used pages torn from an old novel and other scraps, and glued them randomly to the page.
Step 2: Gather images from magazines and catalogues to create a theme for your page. Glue them onto your page.
Step 3: Add any extra scraps of paper etc in colours which complement the images you’ve chosen.
Step 4: Flick through your magazines and catalogues again, this time looking for words that suit the mood of your page. Maybe put together the words in new ways. Overlap words and images to enhance your composition.
Step 5: Cover some of the text with a thin layer of white acrylic paint, using a glue spreader.
This was my favourite step. Doing it made me feel like a “real” artist!
Step 6: Flick paint at the page! Notes on Paper suggests ink, but as we didn’t have any, paint worked fine. We used a pipette. Best do this with a sheet of newspaper underneath, we found out!
Step 7: Add stickers.
Julie mentions these type of stickers, which look very tempting. We used stickers we’ve collected over the years, mostly from kids’ comics.
Step 8: Doodle on your page, especially around the words. I love how Julie describes this stage: “Let’s just call a spade a spade and say it’s scribbling with gel pens.”
Step 9: Write your thoughts on the page. (The journalling part.) We followed Julie’s genius suggestion and wrote on strips of correction tape. (This was the one resource I bought for the project.)
Step 10: Date your journal page. We copied Julie and used a date stamp.
After she’d finished her page C leapt around the house joyfully exclaiming “this is the best day EVER! I LOVE art journalling!” Since then she’s made several more journal pages and says she wants to do art journalling as a project.
A success, I think!
If you’re inspired to try art journalling, head over to Notes on Paper for lots of examples, ideas and exquisite photos.
Update: to see how our art journaling style has evolved – and how boys can art journal too – see Art Journaling for Boys and Girls.