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What Art Journalists Can Learn From Scrapbookers!

Art journaling is all about playing around with color and image and words. A page might tell a story,  might document something, might include words, might include a photograph. It doesn't matter. It's free form. I found an issue of Simple Scrapbooks the other day while "cleaning" (I use the term loosely).... and paged through it, curious to see what art journalists can learn from scrapbookers. It's a long list.

1. FIND A MUSE: Scrapbook products imitate art you can create yourself! Just as you find inspiration in color, fabric, nature, art, books, etc. you spark creativity by perusing cardstock, overlays, stamps, stencils & rub-offs.

2. HIGHLIGHT: Use markers, sparkly pens, doodles, paper, paint or embellishments to frame, focus and highlight images, photos and journaling blocks.

3. ORGANIZE: So that you can actually do more art in the time you find for art, get your act together. Organize your stuff in containers you find interesting - card catalog files, an antique file cabinet, unused paint cans. You can group by type (i.e. stuff for collage, stuff for stamping), by purpose (i.e. adhesives), by color (i.e. all yellow paper, paint, embellishments together), frequency of use (scissors, mod podge, pitt pen together), or activity (i.e. my collage basket has images, ephemera, catalogs, scissors, mod podge & neocolors). 

4. LAYER: Variety, patterns, quotes, buttons, stamps, thread, lovely layers.

5. REALLY JOURNAL: Scrapbookers are ingenious journalists, documenting the important ideas, events and thoughts in their lives. Heartfelt and handwritten to typed lists, written directly on the page or in a highlighted journaling block. Feelings, events, who's who, relationships, personalities, your everyday life, your lists.

6. DOCUMENT: Date your photos, your journaling or the entire page.

7. ADHERE ANYTHING: Mod Podge is my go-to adhesive, but you can find archivally safe shaped super-glue-like tape to thin as a whisp tape dots to raised foamy tape.

8. TAKE PHOTOGRAPHY SERIOUSLY: Focus a page around a photograph. Let the photo tell the story. Organize your photographs so you can find what you want. Crop and edit to say what you want to say.

To many, there is a fine line between scrapbooking and art journaling. To many, it is the look of the page that differentiates the two art forms. I'm curious to hear your thoughts ~ to me, scrapbooking is more about the PRODUCT, working toward the end result, and DOCUMENTING our lives. Art journaling is more about the PROCESS or journey, at its core playing around with color, image and words, less driven toward the final result.

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Reader Comments (5)

I always though it was the opposite, I am a scrapbooker and I am always learning from art journalist, such an art in your hands :)

03.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterClemencia

I was a scrapbooker for several years until I was in a store and picked up Lynne Perrella's Alphabetica and I was hooked. Gone are the pretty flowers and bits and bobs that go with scrapbooking and in their place are paints, crayons, pens, bubble wrap, magazine images, thrift shop stuff etc. I love the whole process of mixed media, it's so liberating as there's no such thing as a mistake and the whole archival process isn't quite so important. I'm grateful for all that I learned while scrapbooking though. It's given me an education on how products work but mixed media has given me permission to work those things in different ways. It's still a learning process which is why I'm here at your blog. I love it and I'm so glad I found it, is there such a thing as a blog groupie?

03.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavinia

And there are lots of scrapbookers learning from art journalers and artists these days; a scrapbook art journaling style that I've seen in a few places and like so much more than the store bought style.

For Davinia; yes, there is blog groupies/blog love and you can join the fan club for this blog too! ;-)

03.31.2009 | Unregistered CommenteriHanna

I do like the scrapbook art that's funky and freestyle... not cookie-cutter... like art journaling with a plan...

It is wonderful to know that you are each finding something of value at DY, it makes it all worthwhile:-*.

03.31.2009 | Registered Commentergypsy

So true! I used to disdain scrapbooking because I saw it as too prefabricated, but I am learning that the borders really are rather blurry. About the best I can tell, photos and stickers and preprinted paper are the domain of scrapbooks (mostly) and paint, pastels, and magazine and other such found images are the domain of art journals (mostly). But really, most of the techniques and even more of the underlying principles are the same, as you've pointed out!

04.7.2009 | Unregistered CommenterCassandraMarie

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