Art Journaling is the most important fiber tool I own.
Art journaling helps me aggregate my creative inspirations into my work. Art journaling helps me distill my style from those same inspirations. My art journal is a record of my thought process.
I use my journal as my everyday filofax/journal/sketchbook to help me stay in touch with putting all my thoughts and ideas to paper.
It is a technique I learned in college and have watched the most successful artists in many many different disciplines stay creative.
There is no real way to keep an art journal other than to just do it.
Complete one page at a time, work the whole book at once, use prompts, record your day, words, no words. The possibilities are just endless. However, I have found that learning some art techniques is a good idea. Not necessary, but it might make things a little more fun. Here are my top 5 favorite art journaling techniques.
Watercolor Wash Backgrounds
This is my go to technique for that blank page paralyzation. No need to buy fancy paint, just a simple dollar store tray of paints like the one you probably used as a kid will do nicely. Although I think the brushes that come with those trays are crap…get some better brushes. Now, just throw down some color washes. Nothing fancy, just play. Watercolors are light enough to write over or even paint over if you change your mind.
Pasting Random Stuff
Ephemera. I love that word. It makes all forms of upcycled trash sound sexy. I do not have a beautiful collection of vintage photos, book pages butterfly wings and ribbons. But I do have candy wrappers, receipts, ticket stubs, and junk mail. It’s all good. Just another way to add shapes and forms to a page, or it can be a way to remember a chance meeting at the grocery store, a date with the husband, or a product I will never buy.
I went trough a deep love affair with The Griffin and Sabine books years ago. They made me want to art journal. I loved opening letters that were tucked inside the envelopes. It felt as if I was reading all their secrets. Some ephemera is perfect as is and I would not dream of covering those pieces with glue and paint. Glassine envelopes are my favorite, but security envelopes run a close second.
I love washi tape. Washi tape is a quick way to add instant color and designs to my pages. Washi tape can set the tone for other little bits of design I might add to my pages. In the last couple of years, washi tape has become way more accessible. I have no less than 5 rolls in my portable art box at any given time.
I love love love zentangles. After discovering a fellow knitter friend also loved them, I decided I love them for the same reasons I love to knit. Drawing the tiny details of these intrecate doodles is alot like working a knitted fabric stitch by stitch. They are a great way to add decoration to my pages, and it is portable. I keep a pin board just for Zentangle inspirations. Click on the widget to the right and check them out.
And that is just my favorite five!
I keep a pinboard of mixed media techniques to try. Expanding my art techniques helps me expand my visual language for inspirations. It is really good to keep trying new techniques.