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    « Daisy Yellow Zine {Issue #10} | Main

    Art Journaling for Kids|Tweens|Teens [Prequel]

    my daughter is gessoing the pages of a $1 book we found @ half price books

    Art journaling is a great outlet for kids that love... the freedom of a blank canvas, to explore color + images + words, to decorate their thoughts, to get messy with paints.

    Thoughts on introducing art journaling to kids|tweens|teens.

    1. Why is art journaling important?

    Young kids are so free about exploring creatively. As they get older, they often get concerned with what others think, get more critical of their work, less free with their creativity, more likely to worry about "rules" for whatever form of art they are doing. That's why art journaling is important. It focuses on the DOING not the RESULTS. Kids, especially tweens and teens, are more likely to play creatively with freedom from constraints or expectations. For moms who art journal, it's also a wonderful way to stay close and keep the lines of communication open -- arting together!

    2. How do kids define art journaling?  I like that my daughters both used the words FUN in their definitions!

    my daughter, 8, "It's a fun thing. It's art. On a page you write something and then you do someting fun with it, you play with it, you paint it, you smear the words, it's what you call fun art. You have to put paint or something on the picture, then a design with pastel and then water or paint and it makes it look really cool. You have to draw something that you like before you put the water on the pastel." [pastel here refers to neocolors]

    my daughter, 11, "It's like when you have a blank book and you paint gesso and paint then stick on collage stuff and then you paint more and it turns out like a collage on this funky looking background. You need to have some sort of collage clipping there, and it can't be too prim and proper, it's got to have lots of color, you've got to have fun."

    Julie K in Taiwan interviewed her daughter Jaylene, 9, an avid art journalist. Jaylene's journal pages are full of color, words, images and joy! Here are some of Jaylene's art journal pages and her responses to the questions. [PS. Kids love to be interviewed.]

    a. What do you like best about working in your art journal?

    "Making art things and playing with them. It will turn out to be beautiful."

    b. What is the hardest part about art journaling?

    "Thinking of the background colors and mixing them to colors I like."

    c. Where do you get ideas for your pages?

    "A little bit by looking at other people's art and a little bit by thinking of my own ideas."

    d. What advice do you have for other kids who want to art journal?

    Check out Jaylene's art journal advice book!

    3. Check out art journals that kids have created.  

    Emily's Tell Your Story Pages
    The Adventures of Bella & Blythe
    At Art Projects for Kids, Kathy shares a number of art journaling projects

    4. How do art educators see art journaling?

    Stacy Spangler, a wife and mom of 3 girls, teaches art to elementary aged children in her home studio, as well as painting, crafting and blogging at Calling All Sleepyheads and Sleepyhead Designs Studio. Stacy offers art journaling as an activity for the children after an art lesson is finished.

    I interviewed Stacy about art journaling.

    a. When you introduce art journaling to kids, how do you describe it? Do you show pages as examples?  I’ve always described it as a tool that can help organize their ideas, and a place to try new things and keep track of things that inspire them. I usually show some of my journal entries and some art journaling guide book examples.

    b. What type of journals and paints do the kids use?

    We use dollar store books with all kinds of mediums - specifically student grade paints like tempera (Dick Blick), watercolor (Dick Blick liquid and Prang pan) and acrylic (Dick Blick). Also gel pens, stamps, crayons, oil pastels, etc..

    In the past, I’ve used inexpensive sketch pads from the Dollar Store, and I've also set up a station each week with different papers - the children filed them away and at the end of the year we used the to make year end collages.

    c. What do the kids seem to like best about working in their art journals?

    They can do whatever they want! Also, they like drawing. I do a lot of lessons with various mediums and not a lot of drawing so they seem to draw a lot in them.

    d. What value does art journaling bring to kids' lives?

    It’s a safe place - either to express what’s comfortable or to try something new without everyone seeing it.

    5. Develop your own way to describe the idea.

    At the Art Journal group at ning, there's a discussion about How to Describe Art Journaling to Kids. It's a type of art where you are free to put anything you want on the page. It usually includes images or pictures, words and color. It can be messy. It doesn't have to make sense. You can use art journaling to express your feelings or talk about your life. There are lots of fun ways to do it, but there are no rules and no instruction books.

    Next Step: In Art Journaling 101 for Kids | Teens | Beginners we cover the materials and how to get started in art journaling!

    Special thanks to Julie K in Taiwan for her generous help!!!

    Back to the Daisy Yellow home page.

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    Reader Comments (5)

    That's so terrific! I'm feeling inspired!

    02.9.2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather T.

    great article! Thanks for letting me be a part. I'm going to try to link it to my post.

    02.9.2011 | Unregistered Commenterstacy

    I'd say these definitions, goals, and wonderful effects apply to adults who art journal too!

    i offer a little notebook to my daughter for her to artjournaling

    02.26.2011 | Unregistered Commenterlilas

    Hello and thank you so much for this amazing site. I am a Middle School teacher planning to make journals with kids this upcoming year. I have a few questions. With old books, do you rip out the pages and place new paper inside? do you use the old paper? if you place in new paper how do you glue it to the bind? Your answers are much appreciated...thank you

    07.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

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