Don't Let Your Journals Melodramatically Gather Dust

“We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill, going more or less in one direction until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course.”
Arthur Golden

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Pages from three of my current altered book projects.
Acrylics, neocolors, assorted papers, fabric, stitching.

What drives your art? For me, the answer is curiosity. I don't even know how many journals I have in progress at this point. And they are not unfinished as in melodramatically gathering dust in the attic but rather unfinished as in active works-in-process. A few of my journals wind up perpetually unfinished, or I think I'll get back to them but I lose the thread.

It doesn't matter. The journal itself is not precious. It is the result of your creative immersion, your experiments, your play-time. If anything is precious it should be the ACT of making art. If limiting yourself to one journal works for you, that's cool! And if actively working in 17 journals works for you, that's cool too! If you start one, then get frustrated, then start another, then get frustrated, that's not the idea. Notice that. Try to figure out what is happening. Maybe switch to loose paper or index cards for awhile until you get your groove back? When I started art journaling I made art journal pages on loose watercolor paper and I also worked on altering some books. It was very freeing to have a few projects going because I didn't focus on what I did on the previous page or what I would do on the next one. It was a really good way to start.

Remember, there's no rule book. Only the one your write for yourself. And if your rule book is outdated, write a new one.

More essays on art journaling.