Since I came out of the closet about my renewed passion for multi-media art and journaling I have had many people asking me about getting started with this so thought I would share it here instead of emails. It can seem daunting and overwhelming at the beginning because once you start looking into it there is a ton of information available. Online courses and free video tutorials are my favourite resources + books as well.
Keep it simple to start
Art journaling does not require a lot of tools even though you can go crazy shopping of course.
Julie Fei- Fan Balzer is one of the best people to learn from – she does everything from lettering techniques to art techniques. (She will be featured in the list below as well)
In this video below you can see how you do not need fancy equipment to create art journal backgrounds. Really you can just use crayons, paint or other colouring tools, but if you want to create interesting texture and “art” you still can use household items and found objects. In this series of technique tutorials she shows you how to use a toothbrush to create splatters and texture, to make masks with magazine cut outs, stamping with a toilet paper tube. (refresh if you can’t see video)
Art journaling is easy enough for kids to join in so you can even make it a family hobby if you like. You can also raid your kid’s art supplies and have enough to work with.
Here is a blog post from Art with Kids showing you how you can easily make texture stamps with recycling supplies like onion bags or gift paper. Stamps, stencils and masks are used often to create the backgrounds and journal pages.
You can start with loose art paper or a visual journal (available everywhere from $2 shops to art stores). You can alter books as well – cover pages of old kids’ board books with a product called gesso and re-use them, work straight in old big books, bind your own or alter composition books. There are endless tutorials online when you are ready to do this.
How to use your art journal
You can use your journal to express your thoughts, work through ideas or favourite quotes you find
Make lists – google for prompts or join in here each week for listmania and journal the list prompts I offer (or just use the prompts on your own).
Capture moments in time – those who are drawn to scrapbooking, but looking for another approach might love art journaling which (to me) seems more fluid and open ended than scrapbooking, but uses a lot of similar materials and techniques
Be creative and play – this is very freeing, especially for those of us fighting the demon of perfectionism and control – just see where you are taken on the journey
Use it for self discovery – prompts / questions can be great jumping off points, also treat it just like you would a regular journal but with visuals added
Online resources for inspiration and prompts
Daisy Yellow is a great first stop. Her art journaling 101 is comprehensive and goes much deeper into materials and resources. I just want to get you started here and show you that you can create with little more than a book, some paints, a pen and a prompt. Go deeper once you have tackled a blank page (the hardest step of all). I love her kickstart your art journal series as well as it has enough variety of prompts you can surely find one that inspires you.
Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s site is Balzer Designs and she has a ton of information in her “art journal every day” series.
You tube is your friend with art journaling – so many amazing people have taken the time to upload tutorials or share their creative process with time lapse (or real time) videos. One channel I like is Doodle Diem (although she does not use music or guide you so you just watch and get ideas). When you find an artist you like or learn from you can subscribe to their channel and catch new videos as they load them. It is like a free art course!
Search on pinterest as your interest grows and you want to learn something. Follow people who pin art journal ideas you like. Following one repin of mine I found Dawn who has almost 600 art journal videos pinned.
I love this series of posts called “Fearless art journaling” that gives you tips, examples, resources and inspiration to create.
You already learned everything you need to know (to get started)
I could go on for days believe me – it can be overwhelming jumping in if you let yourself get too caught up in everything that is out there. My biggest tip would be to not think about all the possibilities as “need to learn” but rather as “can learns”. You could learn something new every day and never know it all so just dive in, learn as you go and let yourself be free to play knowing there are absolutely no rights or wrongs with art. Do it for yourself, for fun and for creative expression.
If anyone would like more information let me know and I can do another post with additional resources including courses and books I love.
Do you art journal or want to start? Do you have a favourite tip, resource or supply to share?
Find your simple,
Linking up with Jess for IBOT – come over and discover new blogs!