I know that some of you think this Art Journal thing is a bit scary. It may all feel a bit overwhelming too, I guess. It maybe would have been easier if it was just one way to do Art Journaling. Right? With the One - and holy - only 6 pointed prescription: "How to do Art Journaling!". Sorry.
The fascinating thing about Art Journaling is that it is NO rules. No rules at all. And the most scary thing about Art Journaling is that it is NO rules. An itty bitty tiny paradox... It's scary to be totally free. It's scary to have all the possibilities in the whole wide world. It's scary to know that I'm the only one that can limit myself, my creativity and my art. But, OH MY - it's freekin' funny too! Everything is possible! Everything is legal. It's all up to me. Gosh.
Dear Art Journal Beginner. Don't be scared. Open your arms and embrace the creative world that lies in front of you.
I wrote earlier that there are no rules for Art Journaling. And that statement is still true. But, I will try to give you an "How to get started"-prescription. Hopefully this list will make it less scary.
1. What kind of book do you use?"
I'm sorry, there is no easy answer to this one. Or, the answer is maybe the easiest of all: It's all up to you! I actually have several AJ books myself. All in different sizes and shapes. You can by Moleskine books, used by the Real Artists. You can use an old notebook. You can bind your own book. Or use and old second hand ordinary book and just use paint to cover the text. (I'll add some pictures of my books... asap)
If I have to make a recommendation, I'd say:
- use solid paper (I often use water paint paper, or I glue two and two ordinary pages together.)
- if this is your first AJ, don't make the pages too small. It's great to have some space to decorate, and not great to have to watch your size.
- my pages tend to become a bit dimentional... It's good to have a book that can bear heavy decorated pages. Some of my books kind of exploded and I had to bind it together with new loose rings....
2. "How do I start?"
The easiest way to start, is to decide what you actually want to do with your AJ. Do you want to experiment with new techniques? Or use it as a creative diary? Or maybe use it for a row of challenges? I have, as I said, several books. Some were used for special challenges and I consider the AJ book as 'finito' when the challenge is over (regardless if there are still empty and unused pages in the book). I also have soem books in different sizes that I use whenever I feel for it. Some days I feel 'drawn to' the smallest of the books, other days I need S P A C E and just have to use the biggest of them all. This may feel a bit chaotic, but for me it works. I guess you just have to find your way of doing it.
I like challenges. They're a great way to get started! It's easier when I'm given either a theme or a technique challenge. The given challenge works as a 'kick off' - it get's my brain and hands started. And a good challenge is a challenge that gives room for making my own personal twist and touch to it.
3. Any "don't forget"s?
I'll say that the most important thing you do on your pages, is to date them. Add day, month and year. You'll be so happy you remembered this when your sitting in your chair, 94 years old, looking through all your wonderful visual diaries...
The second one is easy: Have fun! Use your AJ as a play room, a space for experimenting, trying new techniques, new color combos, new equipment. Embrace the fact: AJ has NO rules.
And third: don't forget to add some journaling to you pages. Some days one word is enough. Other days you may add a whole story. Journaling is a part of Art Journaling. Art + Journaling. Right? :)
4. Why do Art Journaling?
I have many answers to this one:
* Because it's pure fun!
* It's a great way of experimenting. You don't have to worry about the quality at all. The AJ pages is pages made just for you. You don't have to show the pages to anyone if you don't want to.
* Making AJ pages can be a way of getting to know yourself better. Many of the 'prompts' challenge your awareness and conciousness.
* It's therapeutic. You can use the AJ to express both joy, fear, sadness, deams, hopes, sorrow... An AJ have room for it all.
If you have more questions, feel free to ask. I'll try to answer you.
And - I'd love it if you'd join me in my challenge :)