Thursday, July 30, 2015

Getting Started with Art Journaling

My first Art Journal Page. Funny enough, I posted the process of making this page, but never the finished product! 

I'm kind of new to Art Journaling. I've been at it for less than a year. When people find out that I Art Journal they ask questions. Some of the most common questions I receive are:

What is Art Journaling?

(The easiest way to answer this is to show them. And I have plenty of resources on my phone, friends. I'm kind of the Grandma who has an album of her 19 grandchildren. And I'm ready to show it at the least provocation.)

Why Art Journal?
(The answers to this question will have to wait until another blog post.)

Where did you learn?
(The internet, baby! I got hooked on it when I saw some on Pinterest. Since then I have a board so large that I am now separating it out into two boards - One for Journals, the other for Art Journaling Videos.)

How can I get started?
(This is the question I am going to answer in this post!)

My Art Journal Journey

Click here to see my Pinterest boards. 

Pinterest. Pinterest is the root of thousands of women finding new hobbies and neglecting housework.  Some of you Pinterest enthusiasts dutifully perform your responsibilities before pinning that delicious  chocolate cake recipe. I cannot claim to be one of you. Pinterest is a form of meditation for me. It reduces my stress, which is a good thing. 

I pinned Art Journal pages that inspired me for months. I wanted to join in, but didn't feel I had the time. So I looked at photographs and watched videos. (I am shy to admit that I bought a few books, ok more than a few.)

And then Rae Missigman changed all that. I saw one of her 15 minutes of Art Journaling videos. It blew my mind. In a mere fifteen minutes she created a whole spread. I sat transfixed. I was absolutely changed and charged up. I would recommend anyone to watch her videos if you want to believe you can start. If she could do a whole spread in 15 minutes, surely I could slap down one color of paint.

So I started. The first day I gessoed a page spread. I left my space set up. Each night I came home and added something - or not. Some nights I just looked. I just played. Eventually pages emerged.

Now I have several journals going at once. I work on what I feel like working on. I use a page in one journal to wipe of the paint brush I used in another. I love this.

Finally, I was fortunate enough to take a course with Kelly Kilmer in June. I learned so much from that in person experience. It was great.

My recommendation to those who want to start Art Journaling:

1. Go on Pinterest and look at Art Journaling. There are many people posting photographs. Make a board yourself of the ones you like. You'll start to notice what techniques, colors and styles you are drawn to. Give yourself a little time to do this.

2. Watch some videos. Do not miss Rae Missigan's videos. You can really see how much can be done.  Watch some others as well.

Favorite books that add to my knowledge of Art Journaling, Geli Printing and book making. 

3. Check out some books, Art Journaling magazine, the library and the bookstore are your friends. 

4. Get some paint and start playing. Pay special attention to tutorials that show you how to make tools out of ordinary materials you have around the house. Don't start investing in a lot of stuff until you see if you actually like it. Bubblewrap is a great first texture tool.

5. Join some groups online. There are a lot of free Art Journaling challenges/classes/groups. Joining a group that has prompts and sharing of work will stretch you. You will also have a chance to learn from the other members. I've done some of this.

6. Make an effort to do Art Journaling in person. Take a class. Invite a friend to journal with you. Find a group or start one. I find that Art Journaling is great to do alone. It is also great to do with others. They are different experiences and you get different things out of them.

Did you find the courage to move ahead? Does it seem approachable? Do you still have questions? How did you start? When/how did you first hear about Art Journaling?

Thanks to Ricki Treleaven for asking me about my favorite Art Journaling books and inspiring this post. 

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