The Joy of Art Journaling Part 3
When I began art journaling, I started slowly, buying some cheap acrylic paint at the discount store, and I already had a pretty good stash of colored pencils, crayons, and markers because of my coloring. I had an old sketch book from the Dobby days when I tried to paint the first time, and that became my art journal. Now that I’ve been art journaling for a couple of months I bought myself more acrylic paints, and I love stencils because I don’t have to worry about my drawing skills. A lot of art journalists use stamps, but stamps are expensive and I haven’t gotten there yet. You can make your own stamps, but I haven’t tried it. I’m happy with my acrylic paints, colored pencils, and stencils. I’ve also started doodling (there are many easy to draw examples of doodles on Pinterest). I added a few paint markers to my stash, and I had a box of patterned scrapbook paper because I’ve created scrapbooks on occasion. Art journaling is simply about playing with what you have and allowing yourself the freedom to express yourself in whatever way you feel in the moment.
Now, if you’re anything like me and have suffered from compare-itis, you’ll find it’s very easy to fall back into that trap when art journaling. Many of the people who make art journaling videos on YouTube or post their artwork on Pinterest are professional artists, so it’s very easy to look at their examples and think, “Well, I suck. What’s the point?” But that goes against the very purpose of art journaling. You need to look at the examples as what they are—examples—and then do what you can do in that moment. You can make your art journal pages look however you want—you can make them more like scrapbook pages, calendar pages, bullet journals. You can paint flowers, stencil flowers, doodle flowers. If you try something and don’t like it you can either paint over it with gesso or try to work with it. You can’t do it wrong. How cool is that?
I feel as if art journaling was invented for someone like me—someone who loves to play with paint and color but doesn’t have much background knowledge about how to actually make art. I’ve been having a lot of fun playing around in my art journal, and that’s all that matters. Some pages I like more than others. For some pages I use examples I’ve seen on Pinterest or YouTube as my inspiration, and some pages come completely from my imagination. Some of my pages are kind of cool, and some are kind of weird, but you know what? It’s all good. Anything I do in my art journal is right for me. So there, all you Dobbies of the world!
While I will always be a writer first, I’m enjoying having other artistic pursuits. I can’t write all day, and coloring and art journaling give me something to do that is stressless, fun, and still creative. It can be stressful being a university student. There's so much to keep track of and so much to accomplish. Having a hobby like art journaling is a great way to relax, have fun, and feel like a kid again. What more could you ask for?