Starting an Art Journal

About a year ago I was starting to get quite disciplined in terms of practising my drawing.  I bought myself some new pads and pencils and pens and made sure that I was putting aside time every couple of days to sketch or doodle.  But I’ve noticed that over time that discipline has slipped and I wanted to kick start it again.

So over the past couple of weeks I’ve been reading a load of different articles and blogs that focus on art journaling and sketchbooks and over the next few days just wanted to share some of the things that stood out for me.

Ok, so just in case anyone is reading this who doesn’t understand art journaling I thought I’d start with the basics


What is Art Journaling

An Art Journal is a book kept by people to capture their thoughts and ideas in a visual and sometimes verbal format.

Art journaling combines written and visual language, in essence it blends art making and journaling to help you express yourself and capture your thoughts, what you see and what you experience.  Art journaling is play, capture, exploration and experimentation all wrapped into one.  And is a great learning tool to play and experiment with your personal style and new techniques or materials.


For Your Eyes Only – It Is Not About the Art

The secret to art journaling is to enjoy the process rather than worry too much about what it looks like, it is about experimenting, learning and capturing your progress rather than making it look pretty.  Art journaling is not about the art – you can choose to keep the journal as a private document which means it doesn’t matter what your creations look like as they are for your eyes only.  Remember there are no rules.

Below you can see a picture of my experimenting with different pens.  Unfortunately I don’t always remember to check if the pen ink bleeds through onto other pages

Trees doodle

This may sound simple but it’s actually quite a difficult practice to break.  When we were young children we are confident in creating, it’s the process and the fun that are most important.  As children grow up they start to worry about what others think and this changes how they approach art and, also changes their confidence levels.  By the time we get to adulthood this concern about what others think and a focus on making something that looks good is well established and is often the biggest barrier to experimentation.  But it is this fear that stops us developing.

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