how to trick your inner perfectionist {and become an art journalist}

"If you’re going to be a writer, the first essential is just to write. Do not wait for an idea. Start writing something and the ideas will come. You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow."
Louis L’Amour

A variety of wicked tricks to psych out your inner perfectionist so you can spend more time creating art. Trust that with practice and experimentation you will become more confident and comfy about your art journal work.

grab an idea and break through the fear of the blank page.

  1. Switch to a simple, inexpensive composition notebook or a simple journal. Using that gorgeous leather-bound, monogrammed italian journal can make everything seem more RISKY.

  2. Reframe your journal as a spot for exploration, practice, and experimentation.

  3. When in doubt, make a list. It's an automatic topic-generator and often the easiest way to start a journal page! Embellish the list with paint, markers, washi tape, anything within reach! Here's a list of lists you can write.

  4. Remind yourself that art journaling [unlike many other forms of art] is about the process not the end result.

  5. Toy with 27 ideas for adding words to your art journal pages.

  6. Try working with simple office supplies. Each June + July, I host a fantastic challenge called Index-Card-a-Day where we just create for the joy of creating on index cards. See 50 Things You Can Create on an Index Card. There's even an ICAD Kick-Start Guide.

  7. Loosen up with a creative prompt.

  8. Gather collected phrases & images in a simple bound journal. See Prompt60 #1: Start a Documentation Journal.

  9. Name your journal! You can call her "Claire" or "The Color Swatch Journal" to remind you to play!

  10. Start your own 365 Somethings Project, where you build a collection of 365, well, somethings. The more you create, the more ideas you'll have!

  11. If a bound journal stresses you out, try using loose sheets of heavy white card stock or watercolor paper or even a cardboard cereal box as a base for collage.

  12. Paint art journal pages that you might consider backgrounds and let them be.

  13. Revisit thoughts about when a page is actually finished vs. in-progress.

  14. Practice 15 Ideas for drawing better lines.

  15. Read The Creative License by Danny Gregory.

  16. Get Zine #16: Getting Unstuck