I often see people asking ‘how do I art journal?’ or sometimes I see people lamenting that they ‘don’t have the right supplies/skills for art journaling’. I have good news friends! With art journaling THERE ARE NO RULES!
The definition of what an art journal is is such a broad one. It’s literally any type of art or mark making in something that vaguely resembles a book. OK that’s it, this post is done now…. *grins* I kid, I kid. Keep reading =p
The reason I’m writing this post is because I want to open up this world of art journaling for you, and give you permission to have your own unique art journal. It doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s and there are no special skills, supplies or club memberships that are required for you to start.
It’s true that when you look at the well known art journalers out there, it can seem like there is a certain style and certain supplies that define art journaling. To me they are simply trends.
Art journaling or ‘artists journals’ actually go back in history a long time. An artist might have kept a journal to make notes, do sketches, work on ideas for paintings, collect clippings, experiment with colour etc. The type of art journal I keep is a safe space for self-expression and self-discovery.
Have a think about what an art journal means to you. Perhaps you’d like to have more than one art journal for different purposes? You could give an art journal a theme. You could explore your dreams in one journal and practice drawing faces/birds/flowers in another one.
In terms of techniques and art supplies: start where you are and build from there. The potential for art and self-expression lies inside you, not inside the materials.
Art supplies are soooo exciting and it can be easy to think you ‘need’ the next hottest thing that everyone is talking about. It’s never worked for me but ymmv. The things I’d recommend getting (if you really do not have anything yet) are staples like acrylic paint (craft paint is cheap and you can do great things with it!), black & white pens (Uniball Signo and/or Uni Posca are nice for working over the top of mixed media backgrounds) and a set of student grade brushes. Maybe a set of (watersoluble) crayons or pencils. Buy what you can afford. Use the stuff you have before going out and buying the next shiny thing.
Then comes the most important thing: go and create!
Try not to be held back by the ideas in your head of what art journaling ‘should’ be. Do what it is to you. If you need some ideas to get started, go and grab my free Get Inspired PDF.