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#100daysofArtTweets: Days 8-19

Art Journal Every Day: Getting Started (part one)

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. 

Wanting to get into the art journal habit?  Today, I'm kicking off a series of art journaling posts that are all about getting going with an art journal (or perhaps re-started?).  Think of this as a FREE "Getting Started with Art Journaling" class.  I'll be continuing the series for the next few Fridays, so be sure to check back.  :)

We're beginning with a few of the most commonly asked art journaling questions (feel free to leave any additional questions in the comments):

What is an art journal?

Any book into which you put art and text.  It can be a notebook, sketchbook, pad of paper, homemade journal, found book, bullet journal, traveler's notebook, antique ledger -- whatever you want.  You can use any and all materials you wish inside the book: pen, pencil, crayon, paint, paste, pastel, etc.

What do you do with an art journal?

This is a personal question and it's different for everyone.  There isn't a right and wrong way to do it.  You can use an art journal for:

  • sketching
  • writing 
  • lettering



  • spilling your feelings
  • working out problems
  • testing art materials
  • playing
  • relaxing
  • capturing scenes/travel


  • gathering ideas
  • thinking
  • sharing

In a pinch, use it as a paperweight.  ;)

Why should I art journal?

I can't tell you why you should art journal, but I can tell you what it has done for me:

  • allows me to vent my feelings
  • creates a safe space to experiment
  • allows me to connect with a community of creative people
  • has pushed me towards learning (and teaching) bookbinding
  • has made me a better artist -- continues to make me better
  • has helped me to find my style
  • has helped me to become quicker at making art

Do you art journal every day?

No.  But I art journal most days.  I strongly believe that the (mostly) daily practice of art journaling has been the key to much of my growth.  The major tenet of "Art Journal Every Day" is that you can spend as little as 10 minutes a day art journaling and get all the benefits.

Really?  Ten minutes?!  That seems impossible.

Not impossible.  You can watch this video or check out this post, which both show (two different) art journal spreads coming together in ten-minute bits and pieces.

Do I have to write on my pages?

No.  You don't have to do anything you don't want to do.  I like the journaling -- both because it's a brain dump and because I like the aesthetics of text on a page.  How little or how much you write is entirely up to you.  

For inspiration:

Side Note:
People often ask me about the text on my pages.  It's not anything particularly exciting, just the blatherings of my daily inner monologue.  I blur the text for privacy and propriety: I'm sure no one wants to read the details of why I'm mad at a stranger who stole my parking spot or how gross the pimple on my chin is -- for example.

What do I need to get started?

Notebook, pen, 10 minutes.

Optional: Stamps, paint, ink, stencils, pencils, ephemera, glue, photos, tape, craft knife...I could go on and on.  An art journal can be used with any kind of art materials that are fun for you to use!  But you don't need any of it!

One of my first art journals was a regular college ruled glue bound notebook from CVS.  I gessoed the pages and masking taped them together for strength and made lovely things with watercolor and spray ink:

I strongly encourage you not to wait until you know what you're doing or you have all the supplies or you're completely ready.  Part of the wonder of art journaling is finding your way.

Let me know if you have other art journal questions.  I'll be hosting a LIVE YouTube art journaling Q&A hour on Tuesday, April 24 at 3pm EST (convert to your timezone).

Thanks for stopping by!