Thursday, January 21, 2016

Choosing Your Journal

First things first...

In order to Art Journal, you must first have a journal or, at least, some type of paper on which you can journal. If you are new to art journaling and you have looked around the internet or your local bookstore, you may be quite overwhelmed with your choices. So lets cover some of the more popular choices...

    moleskine

  • Moleskine (or similar) bound journal- these come in different paper types...thin, writing type paper can be found in the ruled, squared, plain styles so if you plan to use wet media (paint, watercolors, inks, sprays, etc.), these wouldn't be your best bet. If one of them is what you already have, go with it (we'll cover how to thicken up those pages later on.) Moleskine also has the sketchbook and watercolor journals. Both are great choices for wet media with no real prep-work. (The Moleskine sketchbook is one of the first art journals I used.)
  • Handmade Journal- depending on the type of paper, these can be a great choice. (*See paper types under the Moleskine journals.) Also, the binding of your handmade journal is something to consider...copic bound and comb/spiral bound journals will lay flat while you work in them. Others bound in different ways may not be as easy to work in if they constantly pop-up or have to be held open.
  • Loose pages- Some of my favorite art journalists use loose pages and bind them later (check out Roben-Marie Smith.) This can be a great option, if you are sure you can keep them together. You can choose the paper type (watercolor paper, cardstock or even file folders which hold up great for journaling) which is a huge plus.
  • Composition notebooks- this is what my first art journal was. The paper in these is regular notebook paper so it's thin and won't hold any wet media on it's own. You can gesso/glue 3-5 pages together and then gesso the thicker ones in order to get them to stand up to wet applications. Not a horrible choice but definitely one that will take more time and work.
  • Altering an old Book- this is probably one of the cheapest ways to art journal. It will to make your art journal a really individual journal of your art and your life. Hard back books are really cheap at thrift stores and your library book store. As with Composition notebooks, you can gesso/glue 3-5 pages together and then gesso the thicker ones in order to get them to stand up to wet applications.
  • Etc.- Some of the less thought of art journal ideas are: index cards, rolodexes, calendars and datebooks, cereal boxes/food packaging that you’ve torn down. You may think of some place to journal that I haven't covered and that's awesome. Go with it.                    
    (img from
    A Colorful Journey)

Choosing your art journaling canvas is a very personal thing. Look at what type of art journaling you plan on trying out in/on your journal choice. You'll need thicker paper if you want to use the wetter media but if you're planning to only use pencil, charcoal, colored pencil, pastels, thinner paper will be just fine for you.

If you don't know what you'll be using because you're just getting started, my suggestion is to use a thicker paper...that way you're prepared, no matter what.

If cost is a limitation (as it is for so many of us these days), use what you have already. You can make anything work, I promise. If you need help making what you have work, leave a comment and I will give you suggestions and ideas.

The size of your journal is also something to consider. Do you like the idea of large pages that you can fill with lots of stuff and lots of journaling?  Is a tiny place more your style? Do you not really have an idea of what you want? If you are a bit confused or unsure of what size journal you want, my suggestion is to go with a middle size, 5"x7" or so...not so big it's overwhelming and not so small that you feel constrained.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Be sure to leave me a note. Your comments are the best feedback there is...and it will let me know if I'm covering everything you want/need to know.

Thanks!

Now, go find your journal.

Next up we're talking supplies!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Getting Started Art Journaling

I feel like I finally have the bugs worked out of this blog and can, at last, begin posting on the regular. So much I want to share so let’s get started…

I know it’s great to just dive in and get started when beginning something new but some of you out there may be hesitant to even think about starting your first Art Journal. My suggestion for any downloadof you that are new to Art Journaling is to relax. Seriously. Trust me on this one, don’t go into this fascinating, entertaining, freeing and fun adventure all hyped-up and feeling anxious. Remember the No Fear stickers (like that one over there->>)  that were found everywhere some years ago? Take that idea to heart; make it your new motto. Have absolutley no fear at all. None.

One of the best things ever told to me about this favorite art form of mine is: It’s only paper. There is plenty more so just have fun!!! Whenever I find myself getting uptight over some stray paint blob or something doesn’t turn out the way I was wanting it to, I remind myself that it’s only paper. Just paper. How can a sheet of paper be the source of any kind of pressure or fear?

See?

Before we do anything, ask yourself why you want to start an Art Journal? What do you want to get out of your Art Journal and/or the process? In the beginning your answer may be “I don’t know” or “Just because” and those are perfectly good answers. For now.

Just keep that question in mind as you progress…it helps me to let go and get out of my own way as I work/play in my Art Journals.

Now, time to find yourself some paper and some supplies to get started with…

So, next up, choosing a journal.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Welcome to Art Journal Cafe!

I’m certain there is no one reading here yet but it is January 1st of the New Year and it feels like the perfect time to start up this new blog. I have such great hopes for this space and so much I want to share here.

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I know there are a bazillion art journal blogs, classes, videos, books, teachers, etc. out there and I have seen, watched, learned from and bought what seems like 90% of all of them. I am currently a member of Teesha & Tracy Moore’s Artstronauts Club and I am taking Life Book 2016 from Willowing (Tamara LaPorte) as well as a couple of other classes of hers.

I am on a quest to be constantly working to broaden my knowledge base and learn new techniques because, after a number of years of making art, I feel like Art Journaling is MY art calling and I want to be the best I can be.

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Because of this deep love I have for Art Journaling, I want to share my love and passion for it with everyone that has an interest and wants to learn. I want to grow and help others grow, too.

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I am NOT an expert and don’t claim to be. I am not formally trained in art (I just IMG_0073love it.) I believe that art is subjective so what you find beautiful may not align with my ideas of artful beauty and that is perfectly alright. This is a place to share and learn and find some beauty in every day life.

The pages I’m sharing here are all blasts from the past that I just thought I’d throw in so you can see some of my previous Art Journaling…somewhat of my style.

I so hope you’ll join me…and share my blog with anyone you think that might like to dip into the Art Journaling life.

Peace & Love,
Barb