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Art Journal Every Day: The Everything Book

ArtJournalEveryDayLogo-150 Today I'm going to talk about a different kind of art journaling.  One that doesn't necessarily have all the paint and ink.  The focus is more on the journaling with a smattering of the art. 

For me, this kind of journaling was the bridge to the kind of art journaling that I do today.  In many ways it was a bridge into scrapbooking for me as well.  Most importantly, it was the bridge into the daily art journaling habit for me. 

And given the wild acclaim at the Craft and Hobby Association Show for the Smash Books from EK Success, I think this is something that may appeal to many of you!

I have intermittently kept a daily diary since I was a freshman in college.  Those diaries have morphed into a series of notebooks I call "Everything Books."

My Everything Book is a book that I carry with me every single day.  When I'm home it sits on my desk.  When I'm out, it's in my bag.

Composition books, moleskines, fancy stationery shop notebooks...

...they've come in a variety of shapes and sizes over the years.  Lately I've been favoring splitting "everything duty" between a small notebook for my purse and my larger daily art journal, which stays at home.

What's in an "Everything Book?"  Well...everything.





...creative ideas...

...life ephemera...


...clipped cartoons (above and below)...

...phone doodles (doodles you do while on the phone)...

...class notes...

...big plans for my apartment...


...notes and cards from other people...

...and things that inspire me!
Doing anything daily is a difficult task.  Think about how many times your Mom had to say, "Did you brush your teeth?" Having an Everything Book is a great way to get into the habit of putting  the flotsam and jetsam of your life into a notebook.

Most pages look like this:

An e-mail, a card from someone, and a diary entry.  Just a big mashup of memory and feelings without a lot of thought about how it looks.

This is the current Everything Book that I carry in my purse:

It's a small moleskine that I've stuck a pencil in.  Having the pencil in there means it's super easy to doodle, write, draw, or muse at a moment's notice.  The elastic band around the book holds the pencil in the book really well.

Open your mind to a bigger definition of an art journal.  Take the pressure off yourself to achieve perfection.  Take the pressure off yourself to make every page a page you love. 

I read so many comments and e-mails from people claiming that they are not artistic enough to do an art journal.  Or that they did a page and then hated it.  Stop it, people!  Collect your memories, collect your thoughts, create your art, and do it any way that feels good and makes sense for you!  People art journal for so many different reasons.  If you just want to paint and color and not put down a single word, that's awesome!  If you want to write today and color tomorrow, that's awesome!  If you just want to write and write...guess what...that's awesome!  It's just a notebook.

I'll say that again: It's just a notebook.  Turn the page and move on.  Whether it's brilliant or babble it's just a page. 

So grab a notebook, a pen, a colorant of some kind and get cracking!

Hope you have a great week of art journaling, whatever way you do it!


P.S. If you're new to Art Journal Every Day, here are some resources:

  • A list of all the posts can be found here
  • Please read this post first. 
  • There is a flickr group for sharing right here
  • You can sign up to participate in the month of February here
  • Remember, it's just ten minutes of nourishing your creative self every day!  No need to finish anything or even like it.  Just play!