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Art Journal Every Day: Art Journal vs. Scrapbook


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.

Today is my birthday.  And in the days leading up to turning thirty-five I've been thinking a lot about what that age means to me.  I wanted to make some art to commemorate the event and my feelings about it.  But I was caught between scrapbook and art journal -- which to do?

For me, art journals most often seem like the right place for in-the-moment thoughts.  Or perhaps some daily musings about the little things in your life.   But then again, that's the same way I use my scrapbook pages.  I like to just chat about where I am at the moment.

This, of course, brings us back to the question of what's the difference between an art journal and a scrapbook?  And I say, once again, only what you - the maker - call it.  

I created this art journal spread about turning thirty-five: 





 And this scrapbook page on the same subject:


One of the big differences between the two, for me, is in the content of my journaling.  When scrapbooking I usually have the intention that someone else will end up reading my journaling.  When art journaling I generally assume only I will be the reader.  So what does that mean for the content?

  • I write neatly (ish) in my scrapbooks.  I tend to scrawl and jump from place to place in my art journal.  And sometimes even cover up the journaling as I go.
  • I tend to keep it fairly light and positive in my scrapbooks.  I tend to be a bit more honest in my art journals.
  • The addition of a mysterious "ing" to the word "still" in my journaling on that scrapbook page is making me crazy.  I've thought about redoing the page because of it.  However misspellings and things that don't make sense, don't bother me a bit in my art journal.
  • Writing in my scrapbooks generally needs to stay in a certain confined area.  In my art journals I just put it wherever and write until I'm done speaking.

There are some other differences, of course.  

  • My scrapbook pages tend to be more graphic and use more white space.  My art journal pages are almost always filled to the brim.  
  • I almost always art journal in a bound book.  My scrapbook pages are almost always loose 12x12 sheets of paper.
  • I tend to manipulate and cover photos more in my art journal.  In my scrapbook pages the photos stand alone.

But maybe the biggest difference is in my intention in what each will become.  I mean for my scrapbook pages to be finished pieces.  When I'm done with them, they go into the book and I'm done.  My art journal pages are more fluid.  I go back into them months later.  I make additions and subtractions constantly.  I guess I would sum it up by saying that I'm marching towards a finished product when I scrapbook, and I'm meandering and exploring when I art journal.

What do you think?  What's the difference between art journaling and scrapbooking for you?

If you have an art journal spread to share, please use the linky list to leave a link.  And please link to a specific post (rather than your general blog url) or a specific photo (rather than your general flickr stream).

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