I recently got back into art journaling. With my recent planner obsession and trying to keep up with my Project Life 2015 album, I hadn’t art journaled in a very long time. I’ve done a few minibooks this year that are almost like art journals, but I missed the image transfers, playing with gesso and paint and just journaling. I was inspired recently by Gretchen Hope, owner of Cake Paperie, where she sells handmade Fauxdori notebook covers. I follow her on Instagram but I just discovered her YouTube channel and I absolutely adore her art journal. I never really kept a daily art journal before. All of my previous journals have been themed or composed in a minibook fashion. Never did I have just one that I created in daily and was in the same place for an extended period of time. So a took a few cues from Gretchen and decided to start a new notebook solely for daily art journaling.
I absolutely suck at keeping journals, just in general. Every time I would start one, I would drop it for something else like a week or two into it. Sitting and writing about whatever just isn’t my thing. I tend to want to write fiction, never about my day or how I’m feeling or any of that. But with art journaling, I get to express my day or what I’m feeling visually as well as in writing. I’m not much of a sketcher, but playing around with various mediums is my favorite, so it was obvious that whatever notebook I picked it would have to take mediums well. I have a few empty notebooks lying about, but the minute I saw that they were all lined, I knew they wouldn’t work. Lined paper is just too distracting. I’ve grown very fond of grid or graph paper, so I knew then that I wanted a notebook with grid pages.
In one of her videos, Gretchen mentioned the notebook she uses, a simple black Moleskin-like notebook from Peter Pauper Press, so I decided to check it out. I’m very particular about my notebooks. Specifically, I like them a certain size. The regular Moleskin notebooks were never my favorite because of their long rectangular size. My preferred size is 5×7 or 6×8. Small and squared enough to carry around with me easily, but also big enough to suit my journaling preference. I’ve always loved this size. So I decided to check out the Essentials Notebook from Peter Pauper Press. They were 5.5×8, an A5 size, which was right in my preferred range and they made one with grid pages! I was still hesitant about it, but since Gretchen mentioned all good things about it, I decided to buy it and purchased it from Amazon. With my brother’s Prime, it came in two days and so far I’ve been quite happy with it. I like the size and the paper quality is better than I expected it to be. I glue two pages together however only because I do use gesso and acrylics on it, but so far it’s held everything well. My only pet peeve about it is that it only comes in black. I’m not a little black book sort of person. I like bright colors, so I just made a very simple canvas fabric slipcover to put the notebook in, decked out with a Midori-styled elastic band closure and cute charms from my August The Planner Society kit.
So my process is fairly simple. I glue two pages together and once a day, I take some time to sit down and do whatever comes to mind. If I want to try something with a magazine cut out–usually a transfer–I do. If I want to write about something, I find images or compose something that illustrates whatever it is I want to journal about. If I have a photo from that day that I really love, I’ll print it out on photo paper, sort of like a faux Polaroid and scrap it in first then journal about it. I always formulate my image base first and journal second. Then I make sure to stamp the date at the bottom before it’s considered finished. Sometimes I just do the image base, whether it’s an image transfer with some paint splotches or a collage or a scrapbook page and just leave it for a bit, and maybe do the journaling the next day. It’s whatever I’m feeling up to that day (or night, as my creative juices flow better at night).
My intention for this journal is to journal something everyday if I can. I have the last week and a half of August so far, so hopefully I’ll journal everyday in September and the first half of October before I go off to Southeast Asia for 3 months. I won’t be bringing this journal with me as I won’t have my art journaling supplies at hand, so from mid-October to late January, I’ll be on hiatus in this journal, but I’m hoping to continue on to fill it up in 2016. Hopefully I create the daily habit of taking some time out of my days to sit down and be creative. This journal will be my substitution to Project Life for 2016. This is how I’ll be documenting my year and I’m wishing it goes well! So far so good though! Here’s a little flip through of what I did in August. Be sure to follow #artofjournaling on Instagram for all my journaling magic.