Upcoming Classes: 2011
One Week From Today

Art Journal Every Day: Creating Space for Art Journaling Every Day

ArtJournalEveryDayLogo-150 I have two confessions today.

ONE: I never imagined this amazing and enthusiastic response to Art Journal Every Day.  I'm blown away!

When I first put the Mr. Linky widget up to collect sign-ups for January I told my husband, "Gosh, I hope at least two or three people sign up.  It will be so embarrassing otherwise."  

Well 329 people have taken up the challenge for January!  Wow!

How did your first week go?

The first week of January is so full of good intentions isn't it?  

Which leads me to confession TWO: I didn't do any art journaling for the first three days of January.

There are lots of reasons, but it just didn't happen.  And you know what?  That's totally fine! The whole point is to nuture your creative self, not to create a stressful situation that involves any self-flagellation.  So if you missed a few days or if you haven't even started yet, that's okay.

And it's a great segue into what I want to talk about today.  Let's talk about some ways to set up your creative space to allow for art journaling every day.

TIP 1: Have your art journal easily accessible.

I know this is super obvious, but it's a good idea to have a place where you put it every day so it's easy to find. 

No matter how big those piles get, I know that my art journal is always located right there between the printer and that bin of projects-in-progress.

TIP 2: Create a Kit.

If you have a multi-purpose crafting space (a dining room table, a desk that's used for something else, etc.) you might think about creating an art journaling kit.  Easy to put away and you know where everything is!  Roberta posted a link to her beautiful art journaling kit in the comments section of last week's post.  Take a peek:

Valigetta aperta
If you read her post she details everything she decided to put into her box of magic!  I particularly love how she transferred some large container things (gesso, gel medium) into those small purple containers.

Which reminds me of a very important tip: buy two.  For example, don't put the watercolor set your kids also use or that you also use for other things into your art journaling kit.  Buy a second set.  Otherwise you'll never be able to find your supplies.  Everything in your box-o-magic should stay in there unless you're actively using it.

I speak from experience.

I have a small art journaling kit that I take along for small adventures.  It's a pencil case stuffed full of my most used supplies.

Well, this one time I borrowed the scissors and the waterbrush and forgot to return them.  Flash forward to me opening the kit in a hotel room and discovering no waterbrush and no scissors.  Ack!!

Both of these kits are great for traveling because they can be closed and packed, but it doesn't have to be storage that closes to be a kit!  If you have a multi purpose space at home you might consider a handled basket or a rolling cart like this one:

A kit is simply a way of keeping everything you need in one place.  Speaking of which....

Tip 3: Keep your supplies all within arms reach.

If you do have a dedicated space, it's a good idea to keep all your essential tools within arms reach.

Crafty Weasel posted this photo in the Art Journal Every Day photo pool:

See the tackle box on her desk with the green lid?  She says, "I use this tackle box to store a selection of every day art supplies. I keep a set of journaling line stamps, pens, and other essentials in there."

Just like Crafty Weasel I keep my most used tools at my fingertips.  I can reach my left hand out and grab a bottle of mist or a container of paint.

And I can grab any of my most used tools or pens from the buckets you see below.

I never have to spend any time looking for a supply.  It's right there.  Same idea as a kit, it's just that my table becomes the kit.

Tip 4: Don't forget the supporting essentials.

One of the reasons that I always put "an apron" on the supply list for my classes is that I think my students paint and create more freely when they're not worried about getting their clothes dirty.  It's not really a class supply, though.  I consider it a supporting essential.  And I think supporting essentials are too important to overlook!

Lesley left a comment linking to these fabulous photos of her crafty space.  She has separate spaces for her various artistic pursuits (clever girl) and this is her "mixed media table."

I love that she has her table protected and her heat gun ready to go (not to mention her paints at her fingertips and inspiration on the walls).  But this way she can go straight into messy wet creating without thinking about it.

Here's a peek at my table (see the heat gun dangling on the right?):


I always have a rag at hand and a trash can right under my desk.  In the photo you can also see that I have a large teflon sheet taped down to my desk to protect the surface.  And I always have a glass jar full of water...

...which is not necessarily always clean.  Ew.  But it does mean that I'm always ready to paint.  If I walk past my desk I can throw a quick coat of paint down and walk away.  Just drop the brush in the jar and come back a day later.

These supporting essentials make it possible for me to do ten minutes of wet crazy mess in my art journal without even thinking about it. 

Look at your space and consider what you can do to be able to spend more time making art and less time setting up and cleaning up!

I hope these 4 tips were helpful to you.  If you've got a method for creating space for art journaling every day, please let us all know in the comments!

Now go spend ten minutes in that fabulous journal of yours!

Take a peek at the fabulous art journal pages in the Art Journal Every Day flickr pool here, on the 329 fabulous blogs linked here, or the links left in the comments of the post here.