I see you all. I see you, buying dozens of notebooks, and letting them die unfilled on your bookshelf. You, stalking artists on Instagram, envying their creativity. You, ripping out every drawing, starting over and over, and still feeling unsatisfied. And you, freaking out and giving up every time you see this frightening blank page.
Guess you found out ? I am not spying on you. I’ve just been through the same rough situation, and I know how it feels.
That’s why for today’s article, I decided to give you all my tips to become a great « Journal Artist ».
STEP BY STEP
1 – Collect things in a box
Magazine pictures, dried flowers, photos… everything is good to collect ! (flat items preferably, so you’ll still be able to close the journal). Take a cookies box for example, and each time you find something, put it into it.
TIP 1 : The journal artists’ best friend is the tape. Don’t hesitate to use it, and make it visible instead of hiding it behind the thing you stick. Nowadays, it is a very trendy thing to use different tapes, with motives, colors, and different sizes !
2 – Choose a journal
Once you’ve collected a sufficient amount of things, you have to choose the journal in which you’re going to do the collages. This phase is really important. Search for a cute journal, that you like, with motives or not, big or small, with lines, only blank pages, or both…
You can find them every where ! Supermarkets, decoration shops, paper mills, on the Internet, or even in some basic clothes shops.I recently bought a lovely journal for a friend at CobalT, a decoration boutique in Nice. I also know that urban outfitters sells really nice ones.
- Vary the themes
Having several notebooks with different style and size is good, because you can use them for different reasons. Sketchbook, travel diary, journals for your thoughts, for your lists, for your inspirations… but also ones with no special theme, on which you draw and write everything that comes to your mind.
- Vary the techniques
Using different techniques will make this activity look funnier, and will bore you less. You can dedicate each journal to a technique, use different techniques in the same journal, or even mixing them on a same page – it’s up to you ! Drawing, painting, writing, collages… try them all !
TIP 2 : If you want, for example, to do a painting in a specific journal that has got lines or really thin pages, you can do it on a sheet apart from your journal, cut it into the right format, and stick it.
Having many journals will help you organizing your ideas, it is very helpful to develop your creativity, but also to express your feelings !
Getting started !
- If you already have an idea…
Choose the journal that corresponds the most to what you want to do (let’s say collages here) and just go ahead. Stick, draw, write, paint… Let your imagination guide you.
- If you’re lost…
Don’t panic ! Take your box full of things, and start bringing them together. It doesn’t necessarily have to make sense. You can associate different images that don’t have any commun point, but that will lead you to something. Don’t stick right away ! Try with different images first, move them in different parts of the sheet, until you find the correct match, and feel satisfied.
TIP 3 : If the blank page scares you, if you feel like inspiration will never come, or that you aren’t creative enough to make art journals, you can start filling them by copying someone’s work you like. We’re not at school, you’re allowed to copy ! Once you’ve filled some pages, you’ll feel more confident, and creativity will come automatically. Filled pages are always more encouraging than blank ones.
Here are some inspirations for you :
TIP 4 : Don’t do the same mistake as me : Never rip out the pages ! I know it’s hard to keep a page on which you drew something you’re not satisfied about. But trust me, once you have filled a few pages, the one you don’t like will appear like a detail. Besides, we learn from our mistakes. And remember that : your journal will always look nicer if there’re just a few ugly pages than if it’s totally torn away because you’ve ripped out all the sheets.
What you’re waiting for ? Start it now !
Here are some of my artworks :