All the Journals: How Many is Too Many?

“The painting is like a thread that runs through all the reasons for all the other things that make one’s life.”
Georgia O’Keeffe

At this point I would find it stifling to limit myself to work in one journal at a time. Each journal contains|tells a story. It has a personality, a character, even a purpose!

I might work with acrylics on a Wednesday in an altered hardback, with gouache on Thursday in a watercolor journal, might draw on Saturday with a pen in a small Moleskine.

I work in many different journals simultaneously. Doing so helps me work in a really free manner in so many different mediums.

You might like having one journal that is a planner and adding something to document each day with words, color, imagery, fold-outs and surprises too.

I'm a former accountant and number-cruncher so I'm highly analytical, yet I find energy in working in a bunch of journals and having so much work-in-process. A decade ago this would have been too disorganized for my taste. It would have been chaotic. Yet I like to have infinite options compartmentalized in separate journals. I like to circle back and revisit my journals, because this is how I've been working for years. [See Note № 1]

That's what works for me. The key is to figure out what works for you. It might take a few years for your creative process to evolve, transforms and morph into something that flows and enriches you.

Here's an idea of what I'm talking about. Journals upon journals upon journals. It's OK. I promise. Just have fun.

[Note № 1] This is just a line in the sand; fortunately there's no rule book or score card in art journaling. And this is just a subset of the proverbial stack-o-journals.

You can choose to have one journal for everything, multiple journals for many things, themed journals, big journals, small journals, handmade journals, drawing journals, no matter what other people do.

Define your journals, if you wish, name them, title them, destroy them, work in reverse chronological order, decoupage the cover, leave it out in the sun to test light-fastness.

It feels very natural to switch between journals and loose papers as the mood strikes. That's the way my process has evolved. I find that each journal takes on a different purpose, theme or personality {or maybe all of the above}. At present, I've got 2 watercolor journals in process, 2-4 moleskine journals, a handmade unbound watercolor journal, a few random journals from the bookstore for practicing lettering, my Art Doodle Love journal and the recently started Year of the Doodle journal.

I enjoy learning about how artists work. What works for you?