Monday, December 12, 2016

Journal it Out

"Isn't it mysterious to begin a new journal .......I can run my fingers through the fresh clean pages, but I cannot guess what the writing on them will be."
      ~Maud Hart Lovelace

If you follow my blog regularly (whatever that means in this day and age as blogging steps aside for Snaps and Instagram love) you know I am an avid journaler. I believe in recording life. I believe in the power of our stories and the power of our process as we take the time to record them.

I have been a journal keeper since I was a young girl.  But today I am going to introduce you to some other ideas for recording your life and spreading your creative wings.

An easy place to start is with the "Wreck This Journal" series by Keri Smith.
Each layout gives you a can follow it... or not. It is all up to interpretation.
Trust me when I say this is an addicting but easy way to start expressing your self a little more creatively. One search for Wreck This Journal on Pinterest will leave you in awe.... but don't let that stop you from starting your own. It is a place to explore and a place to get started. I highly recommend any of these books for someone making the switch from diary keeper to art journal filler. You can get this basic one on Amazon. 

An everyday art journal is also a fun, low pressure place, to explore your feelings creatively.

Right now the trend for creating collage bits takes the pressure off the need to sketch perfectly or paint something fabulous. An expressive face or gorgeous dress might be the perfect starting point for you to add a thought and play with some doodles or paint.

Layered papers, washi tape, or even smudges of a paint you like might be all the effort you have to add to an interesting photograph that helps you express something.  This is the beauty of art journaling...make a page, or part of a page, or two pages, and if you like it, great.... if you don't, move on. You don't have to show anyone and you can even go back later and change it, but in the end you have done something that honors the playful artistic part of your brain that longs to peek out and see the world.

(Side note! Because I was looking for more expressive bits to use in my own art journal, I started making pieces for myself to print, and finally put them on ETSY. Please visit my CocoGirlsArt shop for printables and more.)

Finally, my traditional journals have been a huge source of comfort and meditation for me, but I love the pretty edge and wavy page of an art I wanted to incorporate that into my everyday diary style journals as well. This is an example of how that might turn out:
Before filling the pages I will take a few minutes to add a bit of ephemera, washi tape, stamping or doodles to give my layout a little variety. Then I fill the pages with my writing as usual, but the end result is a much more colorful and beautiful book bursting with everything from pretty tags to a movie ticket.  I have loved the shift in the feel of my journals that decorating the pages has given to them.  Even though I keep a scrapbook for photos, sometimes a photo will find it's way to my pages. I enjoy the introspective nature of journaling, and it tends to be more about how I feel than it is what I did (as compared to a scrapbook recounting events).

The journaling world is a beautiful supportive place to connect with other writers and others who honor their life experiences through recording them. Search on Pinterest and Instagram for accounts that inspire you, and go from there.

Life a beautiful life.
Record it well.