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Art Journaling Is | Is Not

"The hardest thing to learn in life
is which bridge to cross and which to burn.
Bertrand Russell

Art journaling is about the process and joy of messing around with color, pictures, images, paint, words, textures. It is not scrapbooking. There is no order. There are no templates. There is nothing you have to document. There is no structure.

You can of course document thoughts, etc. if you wish to... because it is your page, your art, your fun, your exploration. It is not creating art solely to sell on etsy. It is meant to be fun, rough, free, flexible, without rules. Perhaps art journaling with intention is mixed media art?

I mean if you doodle on a entire page in your art journal, is that not doodling? If you sketch a garden in your art journal, is that not sketching? I don't know. I'm curious to hear what you think.

If you like the way your pages turn out, that's a bonus. If they suck (in your mind), that's OK too. Because it was only ever about the fun and joy of DOING art not the RESULTS. Isn't that what we want to teach our kids about art? Please don't build it up so much that you miss the joy of sitting at the table and creating.

Use any supplies you have on hand.

If that's electrical tape, a turquoise sharpie and the Yellow Pages, so be it. 

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Reader Comments (9)

Wonderful reminde! For me, I find I just need to create! But I've always got the little voice inside that's assessing and calculating.....she's really not so fun....must give her name, to tell her she can go away. I also find that if I've made something i like , I expect to do as good or better the next time. But I'm a learner and experimenter..... my muse likes it that way.

02.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterEden

Hum- I think Art Journaling is a Broad term that encompasses many mediums but is more of a free expression. Some days it may be all sketching, others mixed media, mandala's, collage, all or bits and pieces. It should be an expression of the moment I think and a non- intentional piece. Art jounraling should be for fun , learning, non- judging, not for profit. an experience to learn and to grow and to take time for self. Our kids will imitate what we adults do at any age, they are always watching. What are we showing them? I need to make that a big sign in my house me thinks :):)

02.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

I agree. Personally art journaling is something I keep mostly private, so if I mess up it's ok because the process is what is important. As much fun as I had at the ArtJournal Fest, I think there were quite a few people that really focused on the end result and were too "showy" with their work. But to each their own I guess.

Though, I'd be lying if I said I don't ever wish my work looked like someone else's (Sabrina Ward Harrison for example). But when I'm in the process, the moments of "hey I really like how that came out!" are always worth showing up at the page. :-)

02.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa

Thanks for this post! I've been following your blog for almost a year (?!) now and only recently managed to get enough courage to do some art journaling---using my kids' arts and craft stuff while they were busy working on their own projects. My art journaling materials are construction paper, Crayola markers, Elmer's school glue and Colorations liquid watercolors *grin*.

02.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterRabia

I really like your post. I am just learning about art journaling and about art as a critical component of my life. Your words this morning encourage me to let go and CREATE! Thanks for this great blog.

02.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterSAE

I think I forgot about all that in the past few months. I was so intent on creating "great" pages in my art journal that I ended up doing nothing at all. So last night, I sat down, pulled out some supplies and create a page. I don't like how it turned out because I find it boring but that's ok. At least I did something on the page. And maybe the next page will look better to me. And maybe it won't. But like you said, it's "about the fun and joy of DOING art not the RESULTS."

02.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMissKoolAid

I found your blog just last week and I love it! I have been scrapbooking and making cards for many years now but sometimes I miss something. I think I miss letting myself "go" no rules, no boundries. So I decided to take part in het creative challanges you have every month. I started with my first challange today: do an art project with a kid. Photo's are on my blog:

Thanks so much for the inspiration!

02.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterIngen

I just discovered yours and a number of other artsy/craftsy blogs recently and was inspired to start my own art journal which now has two pages! What you posted is exactly what I need to hear to encourage me to keep going. Thanks for the inspiration :-)

02.20.2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarlin

DITTO! I have friends starting the journey with me, and already i hear... I can't do x, y or z.... I can't achieve X person's style.
But think that it's all part of our destructuring process, of learnin to let go... some start gently and slower... others, like me, dive in head first. ;)

03.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

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