Around Here: December 2017
Cutting Stamped Images with Your ScanNCut

Art Journal Every Day: Starting/Committing to an Art Journal

from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day #artjournal #artjournaleveryday

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.  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, use the hashtag #artjournaleveryday so that we can all take a peek.  Even if you're not on social media, you can see everything (from twitter, pinterest, instagram, and facebook) that uses that hashtag here. 

As I mentioned last week, January 1 is a date when we all decide to be better and do more.  Last week I shared a bit about starting/committing to a Bullet Journal.  This week I'm going to talk a bit about starting/committing to an Art Journal.  They're not mutually exclusive.  I do both.  But you may want to choose just one.

Let's begin.

Why Art Journal?

  • To improve your artistic skills.
  • To increase your art product knowledge.
  • To experiment with ideas and techniques.
  • To have a place to put all of those "art parts" -- leftover bits and bobs from classes, experiments, projects that didn't get finished.
  • To clear your mind -- that's the benefit of the journaling part of art journaling.
  • To ensure that you make some kind of art on a regular basis.
  • Also, read this post I wrote on the top 5 reasons to art journal.

But I don't have the time.

You do have the time.  I've been preaching the "ten minutes a day" method for years and years.  Watch this video from 2013, done in 10 minute increments:

I swear to you, it's shocking how much you can get done in ten minutes.  Over time, you can fill journal after journal!

So, how do I get started?

  • You need a journal and a pen.
  • Other things that are nice to have (this could be a really long list, so I'll stick with what I use on a daily basis): adhesive, paint, markers, stamps, and a black ink pad.  The fact is, any art supplies you already own can work in an art journal.
  • You can take a class.  You can watch video tutorials.  But before you get the notion that there's a "right" way to do things, I encourage you to block out all the noise about how other people are art journaling and just do it however it comes naturally.  There's plenty of time to refine and rework and control and improve.  In the beginning, you need to just do stuff.  
  • Open your journal.  Write.  Draw.  Color.  Stamp.  Paint.  Stencil.  Play.

I already art journal, but kind of sporadically.

  • First, good for you!  I will remind you that art journaling should be fun and not a burden and if sporadically works for you, continue to rock on! 
  • If you want to become a more regular art journaler, read on!
  • To ensure that art journaling becomes a regular habit, I encourage you to gather a very simple journal kit -- mine is journal, pen, and markers.  This way, even when you're strapped for time, you can grab it and make a little art -- sitting on the couch, at the kitchen counter, even sitting at the doctor's office, etc.
  • If you want to make a daily commitment, start with a small goal: 10 minutes every day this week.  See how it feels for a week.  Is it killing you?  Is there a time of day that works better?  Is there a set up you need to create in order to make it work for you?  You can learn a lot from just seven days.  
  • Consider a prompt system.  There are a ton of great "art prompt" lists out there.  When you sit down to create and draw a blank, a prompt gives you a jumping off point.  Here's a list you could use for January:


Some people love prompts.  Others find them stifling.  But they're a good tool to have when you're stuck for ideas!

So that you can see my art journaling journey.  Here are pages from January through the years.  You'll note that I was a sporadic art journaler in the beginning so there weren't always pages from January available.


2008 (October 2008):

2009 (not sure what month):


2011 (actually from September 2011 -- I couldn't find anything earlier in 2011):

2012 (actually from April 2012 -- couldn't find anything earlier):






What will 2018 look like?!

Also, keep in mind that I've been art journaling for TEN years!  Sporadically.  But, with fair regularity in the last 4 or 5 years.  Don't compare where you are in your journey with me or anyone else!  I hope that 2018 will be your year for art journaling!!

Thanks for stopping by!