Keeping an Art Journal Getting Started

Getting Started

The best thing about art journaling is that you don’t need much to get started.  You don’t need any special equipment, you don’t need a guidebook and you don’t need a teacher and importantly you don’t need to conform to any stereotypes of “being good at art”.


The Basics

There’s no need to spend a fortune, in fact when you start out it’s best to keep it simple.  You should really try this out see if you like it and see if you stick to it before you start spending money.

To start all you really need is something to capture your creations on/in – a piece of paper or card or a book and something to make marks with – a pencil or pen.

You can also use different types of paper that you collect – newspaper pages, paint swatch cards from DIY stores, cereal boxes, labels, basically anything that catches your attention, even memorabilia like train tickets or museum floor plans, receipts, postcards or photographs can all act as stimulus.


Style of Journal

The type of book you choose is based upon personal choice and you may want to experiment to find out what suits you best.  The most obvious types are….

Basic bound book – this is the most obvious choice and can be picked up at any stationery or art store. They come in a range of sizes which is a big plus but can be difficult to work with if they don’t open out flat.


Spiral or ring bound book – again they come in a range of sizes and benefit from the fact that they open up flat, however the spiral can be difficult to work with if you want to create a double page spread


Loose page journal – this format can be very liberating as you can mix up the substance you use to draw on adding bits of cards, coloured paper, even magazine or newspaper pages that you draw over. I’m a bit too disorganised to pull this format off as I tend to leave pages lying around the house.  However, it can also be a bit less intimidating as you aren’t faced with a load of blank pages.  If you do opt for this format you can also bound the pages when you feel that you have enough to pull together into a book to store.