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Art Journal Every Day: Back to the Beginnings

Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day If you're new to Art Journal Every Day, there is a short introduction here.  All of the previous posts can be found archived here.  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.  If you've done some art journaling this week and you've blogged about it, or put it on flickr, please leave a link in the linky list at the end of this post.  Thanks!

On December 20, 2010 I posted my very first Friday "Art Journal Every Day" post.  Today I thought we'd take a look backwards at my intentions when I first started the "Art Journal Every Day" thing almost five years ago!

For the past year I've been keeping a daily art journal.  (I talked about it a little in this post.) 

It's super low stress.  I *don't* do a finished art journal page every day.  That would be way too hard for me.  Instead I add a little something every day.  For me, the point is to open that art journal every single day and do something creative in it -- even if it's just for 10 minutes. 

I have schlepped that art journal with me on every trip I've taken this year.  It has come with me to Paris, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Los Angeles, and many places in between!

It's half scrapbook/journal and half artistic experimentation/expression.  I don't make any effort to make the pages look pretty.  (One of the reasons I rarely share it here on the blog.)  If they do, that's awesome.  If they don't, that's fine too.

I'll admit that I have missed a few days along the way.  Most of November seems to be missing.  But for the most part, I've kept up and at least put something in its pages every single day of 2010.  Wow!

And now we're heading into 2011 and I'm more committed than ever to make my art journal a part of every single day.

Want to play along with me?

Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day
I'm hoping that we can form a little bit of a community and support each other.  Because it's hard to do it alone.

Here are the basic parameters:

  • You need a notebook of some kind. 
    • I like to use a watercolor paper notebook because I use a lot of paint.  But you can get started using a simple composition notebook too!
    • If you've never art journaled before, check out the awesome (and informative) posts, tutorials, and ideas from Art Journaling Week!
  • You need somewhere you can leave your journal and some supplies out.
    • This can be a dedicated desk or table.
    • This can be a cookie sheet that you can stick under the bed or couch.
    • Just some small space that allows you to spend 10 minutes working on your art journal, not 10 minutes finding supplies.
  • You don't have to commit for the whole year.  365 days is a huge scary number!  Try it for a month and see if you like it.  30 days of art journaling every day is pretty darn awesome!  Wouldn't that be a great accomplishment?
  • The whole idea is to start a community helping each other and pushing each other, so be vocal!  Each of us has a unique perspective to share.
  • You do not need a blog to play along.  I will just say, consider a free flickr account.  It's free and easy and you can share what you make fairly anonymously.
  • I'll post about the project every Friday.  What will posts consist of?
    • I'll update on my status. 
    • I'd like to post photos of and/or links to other participants' art journals. 
    • I'll try to keep everyone motivated with inspiration, ideas, tutorials, or some rambling thoughts. 
    • I'd love to post comments/ideas/tutorials from others as well.
  • Remember, all you need is ten minutes a day.  Seriously.  If you have ten minutes and some art supplies then you can do this!  (If you have ten minutes and a ballpoint pen you can do this.)
  • This is a no pressure environment.  If you miss a day, who cares?  Get back on the art journal wagon the next day! 
  • Finally, this is not about creating a finished product.  This is about taking time to nuture your creative self every single day.

Wow.  That's quite a manifesto from almost five years ago.  I won't lie, I'm rather impressed with myself that I've managed to keep it up for so long.  Time really flies when you're art journaling!  Over the years I've definitely seen my style evolve.  Here's a look at one of my spreads from January 2010:

Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day

I see the elements of what's to come: color, pattern, hand carved stamps, stenciling, lettering, faces, working day-by-day, repeated elements, but it's not quite coming all together yet.  

In a mind-blowing coincidence, while looking for a recent page, I pulled up this one from February 2015:

Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day

Same color scheme!  Same weird long face!  Same wonky flowers!  Same script handwriting!  Same pops of red!

You know, I think we're always the same artists we begin as.  Perhaps we grow and refine ourselves a bit, but our essence never changes.  Isn't that lovely?  And a really major reason why it's important to embrace who you are as an artist -- the marks you make and the colors you love. It's who you are!  

My art journal has allowed me to explore my style and embrace all of its peculiarities while working on improving and refining it.  

What has your art journal done for you?

Here is this week's linky list:

Thanks for stopping by!