The Joy of Art Journaling Part 2
Last year I started coloring, which I enjoy. It’s stress free because someone else has done the drawing. All I have to do is choose which colors I’m going to use and have fun. Then earlier this summer I was watching one of my favorite craft shows, Scrapbook Soup on PBS with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, and she had a guest on who talked about art journaling. Art journaling? What’s this? Certainly, I knew what journaling was. Like most writers, I’ve been keeping a journal for years, but art journaling was something new to me.
If you’re not familiar with art journaling, it’s really the same as writing journaling except you’re using art supplies like colored pencils, paints, stencils, and stamps. Just as with writing journaling, art journaling is about the process and not about the finished product. When we keep writing journals we don’t worry about what we’re writing—we’re just writing. In Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg calls it writing practice. It’s the same with art journaling. It’s art practice. We’re not trying to create completed pieces of artwork for display. We’re playing with the supplies, trying out different paints and different styles and different color combinations, not worrying about the final result. We’re doing it just for the enjoyment. You can art journal on whatever paper you have handy—a bound journal, a composition book, even junk mail, old books, or magazines. You need only a few basic materials to get started. You don’t need to take art classes. It’s the same learning by doing mentality that helped me become a writer, and since no one is going to see what’s in my art journal but me, I don’t have to worry about some little wide-rimmed Dobby hovering over my shoulder shrugging as if I had no business even passing an art supply store.
With my interest in art journaling piqued, I began watching videos on YouTube. Mimi Bondi’s videos are great. Mimi is a French woman living in Australia, and she’s nothing like Dobby. In fact, she’s exactly the opposite. Her art is all about having fun. She’s the one who taught me that art journaling should be about playing as if you were a kid again. She spreads the paint for the background on her pages with her fingers, and now I do the same. If you’re interested in art journaling, check out Mimi’s videos. There are a whole lot of great art journaling examples on YouTube. I found a wealth of inspiration from Pinterest too since there are thousands of examples of art journal pages to see and learn from. Finally, I started feeling like an artist.