Put simply – an art journal is a visual diary. It is a safe place. It’s an experimental laboratory. It combines written words (journaling) and art making so you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself.
This will be your laboratory as you experiment with finding your style. I am going to have two rules for you 1) Everything you do will help you learn so THERE ARE NO MISTAKES and 2) After you finish a page look for at least 2 things you really like about your page. Even if you don’t really like your whole experiment, there will be parts about it that ring true in your gut so find those.
When I’m experimenting I’ll circle stuff I like and jot down notes about how I did it so I can keep doing that.
I like to use spiral bound sketchbooks so I can sketch, doodle, and collage on the pages or glue in watercolor paper if I use wet supplies. They will expand easier with the spiral binding. I’m really liking the 7.5X10 size sketchbook I’m working in right now.
You can use anything you want – even an old hardcover book. You can draw right on top of the print. Glue pages together for more stability. If you collage or glue stuff on the pages, you’ll have to tear out a few here and there so it will close.
Other supplies you’ll need is what ever you have on hand. I don’t want you to think you have to invest a lot of money in this. I’ll be using my collage images from magazines (I’ve been collecting them for a long time so I have a lot), glue, scissors, thin tipped markers, gel pens, craft acrylic paint, watercolors, and distress stains.
If this is one of your first art journals don’t make it too complicated by having a lot of supplies. If you have too much to choose from then you might not even get started. Start will stuff you feel really comfortable with. If you want to take photos and print them out to glue in that’s great too. Anything goes!
When you’re out getting your journal, stop at some home improvement stores and look at the paint chips. Grab a few from several colors that you really like. Look at the different shades and tints of the colors – which ones really call to you?
I collect these paint cards/chips – don’t worry no one gives me any trouble when I take them.