Saturday, January 16, 2010

Let's Talk Art Journaling . . .

"Begin," my first art journal page (from 2006)

I really appreciate all the wonderful feedback on my art journal pages. I have enjoyed making them, mainly as part of online classes.  I have a little confession to make, though. . .  . I'm not really sure what an art journal is!  So, I undertook a little research.

First, I asked some experts.  I asked Dina Wakley (who teaches a wide variety of fantastic art journaling classes here) to answer the question, "what is an art journal?" and here's what she said:
"Well, in my mind (and in simplest terms) an art journal is a journal in which you use both images AND words to express yourself. On a deeper level, my art journal is a safe house...a place for me to be me without judgement, a friend who always listens, a place to learn about myself and about art. It's a place to play with no rules, to express without fear. That's what an art journal is to me."  
I also asked Tangie, who has an online art journaling kit and class called Art Journal Caravan, and she said, 
"Simply put Art Journaling is a visual diary. It's a place to record your thoughts in images, art and words. Art Journal pages tend to be "artsy", usually contain few or no photographs, contain hidden symbolism to the creator and contain personal journaling (although not always!). The number one rule about Art Journaling is that...there are NO rules. Simply put "Art journaling creates self-awareness through creative expression". For me the importance in Art Journaling is, that while leaving behind a family scrapbook of everyday family activities and memories like Christmas traditions and outings to the zoo are exceptionally important...I feel it's AS IMPORTANT to leave behind a legacy of who "we really are" through our art journals; our children, our families want to know what we feared, what we loved, what we's a treasure beyond price. That being said, they are also just for us in the here and now, a place for us daydream, vent or plan. The amazing thing about Art Journaling is that by taking some time for ourselves to journal, we find more self-awareness through the creative process, which in my opinion makes us better moms, sisters, friends & human beings."
Both of these experts seem to use their art journals at least in part as diary to record their inner thoughts and feelings. 

The next thing I did was to google art journal, and I found this interesting definition here:
An art journal is somewhere to express your creativity, to record your ideas and inspirations, to express your plans and hopes, explore possibilities for paintings, keep sketches, doodles, postcards, etc. To record a thought before you get distracted and forget it. Somewhere to browse through on a day your feeling at a creative low, or stuck in a rut.
This definition seems to think of an art journal as more of a sketch book or practice book.

The third thing I want to do is to ask you, my wonderful blog readers, about your experiences with art journals.  Do you keep an art journal?  Can you tell me about it?  How do you see it?  Have you ever taken an online art journaling class? What do you think an art journal is?  Leave some comments, and I'll check back on Monday with thoughts on my art journals.  Tomorrow, look for another installment of Scrapbook Sunday.

"Rain Out" - an early art journal page (2006)


Margi said...

Love the results of your research. I don't right now but one of my 2010 goals is to do just that. To get me started, and of course it has to be outside of the box for me LOL, is a couple of books I just ordered by Keri Smith - Wreck This Journal;
Guerilla Art Kit; and Living Out Loud
Can't wait for them to get here so I can play!

Anonymous said...

Years ago, my daughter and I took what might be considered an art journaling class at a local stamp store. I started a journal, but it hasn't seen the light of day in a long time. I love yours, and playing with new mediums is definitely on the list for 2010, but I'm thinking my exploration will be within more traditional card making and scrapbooking. I'm not sure if I'm intimidated by art journals or what.

humel said...

What fab answers! I don't currently have an art journal, though I did pick up a gorgeous 8x8 journal from a craft shop today - maybe, just maybe, I'll have to divert its purpose! I think my problem is my complete failure to get my head round the fact that the contents of an art journal DON'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT!! I do *know* this, I somehow can't *accept* it.....

Beth Norman said...

Great research. Like you, when I'm trying to do my tutorials I don't always have the knowledge off the top of my head, so I research. It is a pleasure to see someone else do it too because it really helps me out. I promised myself that I would make an art journal this year. I really like your Rain Out page. The paint? around the edges is awesome. I promised myself that I would do an art journal this year. Teesha Moore has awesome Youtube videos you should check out, if you haven't already.

Lizzie said...

Well, long ago I had an Art Journal. Then Life got in the way and I stopped it... Haven't got back into it yet, but the past year I've been aware that I need places to record what I am doing, what I intend to do, how I do things etc. My blog has begun to fill some of this gap, but I know it's not enough.
I've been finding some inspiring blogs in the last couple of years, especially Jane Dean ( ), who has various art journals in pictures attached to her blog - her stuff is so colourful, textural, tactile, funky... I just love her use of colour, media and technique.
I also have come across an inspiring lady, name of Rinda, who keeps posting the most interesting and inspiring Art Journal pages on her blog. Maybe you've seen them....

But I love the research and I have resolved that I will start keeping journals again - one for general and one for my bookbinding.

Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement to try for myself (did you know that was what you were doing? No? Well, thanks anyway!)

Sian said...

I don't keep an art journal myself, but I so enjoy looking at others..yours and Dina's for example. I just love the idea of there being no rules!
You asked me about the little white flowers on my LO..I cut them from a piece of Pink Paislee pp

scrappyjacky said...

Fascinating research, Rinda... keeping an art journal is not something I've ever done....I don't think I'd know where to start.....but I love looking at yours....and do find them inspirational....maybe this will be the year that I 'break out'

Kelly said...

Some good definitions there, well done, it's a bit tricky to pin down. I've kept art journals since 2005. I worry that their current "in" status leads people to be less free in theirs, aiming for perfect or trendy pages. They can be such a personal, wonderful, therapeutic place to play!

Unknown said...

Great research - I have never really done an art journal. Have done a few 'arty' type pages as part of an online course. Maybe this year!!

Cheryl said...

Wonderful! I really like the "Rain Out" one what a perfect page.

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