Visual art journaling is just that, a visual story. Things you see, ponder, imagine, the things you want to preserve and remember about a particular experience. Images, shapes, colors, lines, textures, words; all of these things help you to remember and to tell your story. Think about leaving the history of your experience behind for someone to find after you are gone. Now, consider the “Who, What, Where, When, and How” to help you gather the information. This will help you to put together the pieces of the story so you can pass the experience on to others. How you choose to convey your visual story is totally up to you. All you have to do is begin.
Well, we all have to start somewhere. But, even starting can be a difficult task. Just thinking of a blank white page in your journal sketchbook and all of its possibilities can be overwhelming. What do you do, say, paint, create, write is enough to consider, but then, you also have the choice of colors, textures, techniques, and materials to also think about.
There are some who know exactly what to say and do, and then, there are others that might need some inspiration. Looking online at all of the great pages of journals everywhere is one great way to get inspired. Bloggers just love to share their knowledge of journaling. Pinterest is another great place to gain visual inspiration. Books, DVDs, and You Tube videos are also a great source. And then, your own curiosity is probably the best!
When you begin your exploration of visual journaling, a great place to start is by just playing. Remember what it was like to be a kid in art class. Just experimenting with techniques, materials, backgrounds, ideas, thoughts, will bring a whole new world of possibilities to your art table!
1. Just a thought? Write it down.
Write everything down, no matter the time of day, if the idea is complete or not, if it is actually original or good. It might just be a word, or description of something.
2. What If…
3.Play- Don’t begin with the intent of completing a masterpiece. Just play. Experiment, explore, and ask yourself, “What If I…”
4. Request samples from manufacturers if they are available. Purchase sample sets which are usually cheaper than buying full-sized products.
5. Buy in Bulk- Purchase supplies with other art friends and divide the larger quantities between the group. This saves money and allows lots of variety.
6. Be curious.
7. Try something new and unfamiliar.
8. Collaborate with art friends. Start a weekly group among, join local community art groups.
9. Ponder. Sit and Think.
10. Look around you and comment.
Starting with a quality art journal sketchbook will be the most important decision you make. Each one is different. You will need a heavier weight sketch paper, 60lb. or more. 140 lb. watercolor paper makes a great surface to journal on as you can paint with most water media, collage, glue, layer, cut out, without stressing the pages. Many are spiral bound to allow the pages to lay flat. The American Journey Sketchbook with 60 lb. sketch paper and the American Journey Watercolor Sketchbook with 140 lb. Hot Pressed watercolor paper are both great choices. But, my favorite journaling sktechbook is the Kilimanjaro Watercolor Paintbook. It is available in 140 lb. and 300 lb., Natural white and Bright white, and many different sizes. Each comes with 70lb. sketch paper nestled in between the watercolor paper, with 20 sheets of each. There is even a 300lb. cover provided so you can personalize your book cover according to the contents!
The Fun Stuff-
Ok, with all of this thinking, pondering, contemplating of what to do, you will now be ready to start.
Here are a couple of easy ways to spice up your journal pages!
Stamping- Make your own stamps
The process is easy.
Draw a design, cut out the design, ink up the stamp using the brayer and American Journey Acrylics, align your stamp and press!
You don’t need to buy expensive supplies. Chances are you have what you need right now!
Eraser, X-acto knife, paint brush, acrylic paint, paper
ACRYLIC ABSTRACT DESIGNS-
Abstract acrylic ink design with color washes from totally random and free hand drawing!
Just Add Color- American Journey Professional Artists’ Acrylics
Mixing and mingling the color washes give great results!
So, the hardest thing to do may just be to get going. There really are unlimited possibilities to consider. The point is not to create a masterpiece, but to express yourself in a creative and artistic way. This is really what people want to see. They want to see the real you. To hear your inner voice, to experience you from your point of view, to see your world through your eyes.
Take time to express yourself in your art journal and pass the results on to someone you love!
Share your passion!
Have a Happy Visual Art Day!
And Don’t Forget To Add Fuel To Your Creative Fire Today!