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Art Journal Every Day: My Three Best Tips

ArtJournalEveryDayLogo-150 If you're new to Art Journal Every Day, all the posts can be found here.  Please read this post first.  There is a flickr group for sharing right 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! You can join the linky list for July right here.

There were some comments left on the last Art Journal Every Day post asking for this month's theme.  I did respond to those comments, but I also wanted to let everyone know that there's never a theme for Art Journal Every Day.  Last month I was doing an experiment with the faces, but it's entirely up to you what you want to do.  And the reason for this is that I personally find a theme to be difficult.  I don't know why, but I have trouble creating with prompts.  So I wanted this challenge to be open and not put any restrictions on anybody's creativity.  Hope that clears up any confusion! 

For today's post I thought I'd share my top three absolute best and most useful art journaling tips. 

1. Prep every page with masking tape down the center seam and a coat of gesso.

This prevents paint from leaking through the binding of the book to other finished pages.  It seems insignificant, but it is the one and only "rule" I adhere to when I art journal.

2. When you have no mojo and no ideas, make pretty backgrounds.

Making backgrounds is just good clean messy fun.  And by engaging in the act of creating one of two things will most likely happen: (1) Because your mind is empty and your hands are full of paint, you'll be struck by a great idea while you're playing, or (2) You'll have an awesome background prepared for when you are finally ready to create.

3. Try something new.

A few of my recent experiments:

I cut out a ton of squares and rectangles from a magazine, stitched all the squares and rectangles together, and then pasted it into my art journal.  Totally new idea that I had never tried before.  Love it!  Definitely going to do it again!

I experimented with a really fat calligraphy nib.  Wanted to try the alphabet.  But it didn't work out.  Hate the way it looks, but I learned.  I will definitely try this again!

Experimented with some different paint colors and seeing what I could blend.  LOVE the way it turned out!  Definitely going to do this one again too!

In my opinion, you'll never improve if you keep doing the same thing over and over.  Plus, I get bored really easily.  So I'm always up for a challenge and trying something new.  And amongst the failures, there are always lessons and fresh new ideas!  And, of course, this is how I come up with new techniques to share and ideas for larger projects.  By playing and answering the question, "What if...?"  I see my art journal as a playground for my imagination.  It is a workbook, meant to be experimented in and marked up.  No perfect pages.  Just artistic freedom and adventure.

So there they are.  My three absolutely-guaranteed-never-fail-iron-clad art journaling tips!  I'd love it if you'd leave your three best tips!  Think what a great list of advice we can compile together! 

Thanks for stopping by!


P.S. I got the okay to share that I'm going to have a column in Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine, starting in January 2012!  Yipee!