Friday, July 17, 2015

My Year of Art Journaling: Part One

I've always been interested in journaling. I kept one in middle school and have tried ever since to keep one. But I'm never consistent with it. I forget. I write things and decide I never want to go back and read it again. Maybe journals aren't supposed to be re-read (??) but then I don't see the point in keeping it or doing it "just for myself." If I'm writing something, making something, recording an adventure, I want to re-read it and I want to share it.

Thus, I've tried other methods. I tried blogging--but again, it didn't stick. Sometimes I still post about my life, but it's not the same. I've tried just doing it on the computer instead of by hand but again, I didn't find any reason to go back. I got the Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith and I love it. I haven't done much more than I've already shared, but I plan to do more soon. But this didn't give me room to journal about my life. I needed something else.

I am intrigued with Art Journals. I've googled them, pinterest searched, everything. I'm always amazed at what I find. I wanted to try it myself. However, I don't feel I'm very "artistic" or good at drawing, so I put it off.

Somewhere during my hunt for art journal tips and how-tos, I realized it didn't matter whether I felt artistic. I could do whatever I wanted with my journal. I don't need to draw stuff or have pretty handwriting if I can't do it. I just add things I could to do.

I also became interested in altered books as journals. I knew if I was doing an art journal and throwing paint on a page, I would want to use a cool book. I found a bunch of old Reader's Digests Condensed Books, which have interesting, hardback covers, a lot of pages, and good journal dimensions. I looked up tips for altering books and began my journal. It takes more work than a hand bought journal, but I love the way it looks. Plus, I'm still learning how to makes pages better.

The school semester ate up a lot of my time, so it wasn't until more recently I was able to catch up on journal pages I wanted to document. I did some journaling on my computer, so I took those words and made a page of something I felt was significant of my year so far. I've got a lot of ideas but these are the pages I have so far...

Page 1:

This page kind of just happened. I started with orange and just painted what I felt. I added some white, yellow, some shades of orange. Then I decided I liked the look of these letter stamps I have, so I decided I wanted to use those for my dating system in the journal.

Page 2:

The year started with a lot of Tolkien related things. I took a class on Tolkien-Lewis this past semester, the final Hobbit movie was released, I listened to Billy Boyd's song, "The Last Goodbye," way too many times. When I think hobbits or Tolkien, I think green. I messed around with shades of green paint. The opposite page had a "nature" picture already in the book, so I worked it into the page. I wrote why everything was Tolkien. I doodled. I like this page spread.

Page 3:

January was a wild adventure of snow everywhere or snow no where. I helped my mom do a winter party for the girls at church. One of our activities was "ice painting" with salt, which is the dragon (because why not?). Then I added "winter" like colors--blue obviously--stars, glitter, words, a few doodles. I think the colors look cool.

I've done other pages in between. Most don't have photos from the days, so I just created designs and added words. I did a page for my birthday and added the birthday card my parents gave me. Not every page has to be painted or drawn on. Different techniques are actually cool, so I've been looking up things try.

Page 8:

This is another favorite I did. I found a small blip of text I wrote where I just wanted to sleep for three years and why I couldn't be a dragon. I liked it. It wasn't a special day or a memorable adventure, it summed up my semester. I painted a background, drew a cute sleeping dragon, and looked up cool fonts to write in. I doodled dragon-things. This would have been my favorite if not for...

Page 9:

Valentine's Day. I'm not a big fan of V-Day. I don't see the point (and yes, I do have a man). My deal for V-Day was M&Ms and watching Tangled. Guess what? He agreed (because he's the best). I knew if I did something in my journal for V-Day, it had to be good. I wanted Flynn and Rapunzel in my journal, but as I said, I'm not good at drawing. I didn't want to be cheap either and just print out a photo. But I stumbled upon this journal art post, and I knew I could do it.

So I did print off Flynn and Rapunzel but then I doodled over it. Looks cool? Yes, it does. I added watered down paint to spill down the page, I sprinkled salt on the paint for a cool effect. This is my favorite page (is anybody surprised?).

Page 10:

At the end of February, I went to a writing conference with my school, so I created a page using the pamphlets and papers they gave us at the event. I added some of the thoughts I wrote after the trip was over. See? No paint or drawing needed.

I've got the rest of my semester events to journal about before I start on the summer adventures. I like this process of journaling. It makes me feel creative. Painting is a calming process for me. And it's something I like to look back through and feel proud to share with people.

Do you like to journal? What's your favorite way to document your life or thoughts?



  1. This is really cool! You've got some lovely art pieces! Love the Tolkien and Tangled stuff. ^ ^ I've started doing a monthly journal on my blog where I talk about my month and I've also started writing down one good thing that's happened every day since the start of this year like a jar of happy thoughts. ^ ^

    1. Thank you! I personally like the Tangled and Tolkien ones best too. XD

      I used to try to think of five good things every day to write down, but some times I would go weeks without remembering. Maybe I should try that again. It definitely is a jar of happy thoughts! :)