Art Journaling – A Non-Lesson


My friend Robyn said to me on my Facebook fan page about my Big Ideas collaboration, “WOW! This looks fantastic; it’s so vibrant and full of energy. I just wish I could get my head around art journaling; I can’t seem to ‘get it’ at all.”  That got me to really think, “You know I create all these artsy/art journal kits, but I haven’t really explained anything about what IS art journaling.”  I just seem to create a kit and have left it at that.  Not everyone is familiar with Art Journaling or if they are, comfortable with it, even if they think it’s beautiful and amazing.

I called the title of this article a “non-lesson” because it’s almost impossible to teach what art journaling is.  Many people do, but each person sees something different. But, one common denominator in what everyone teaches is…anyone CAN do it.  By explaining what it is, or better yet, what it is not, maybe you can feel more comfortable experimenting with art journaling.

The best way I can explain to go about art journaling is to just…do it.  There are no rules.  There is no perfection.  There isn’t always beauty.  Sometimes they are filled with thoughts, prayers…words that have meaning.  Sometimes it is just a picture that conveys a thought or mood.  Sometimes it doesn’t have any meaning at all and it’s all about artistry.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  This is why I called it a “non-lesson.”

The beauty of art journaling is ANYONE can be an artist…ANYONE can do this.  Even children.  In fact, I highly encourage children to try this.  Even boys.  It’s a wonderful creative outlet.  My oldest son Stewart does it.  He writes silly stories or poems and has silly pictures and characters on the page.  That is his way of art journaling.  You don’t have to be a good artist to produce awesome art journal pages.  I tell Stewart over and over when he complains that he can’t draw like I do.  I tell him he doesn’t have to.  His work is amazing, funny and super creative.  Art is ingrained in all of us.  It is a part of what makes us human.

Let me tell you a story.  When I was in high school, I started art classes and started to major in the fine arts in college.  I gave up on it.  Not only did I change my major, but I gave up art all together…up until a couple of years ago.  Why?  I can draw.  I can paint.  But, art class pushes you to create a certain way, usually realistic…at least back when I was learning.  I know you have to start somewhere and I’m thankful that art classes have taught me the basics of art.  But, in reality, all it did was make me lose my confidence in my creations.  Between studying these fantastic artists to watching the person next to me in class draw more realistically than I could and more easily just left me frustrated.  I told myself, “why bother.  I will never make any money doing this anyway.”  So, I gave it all up.  Boy, how wrong I was!  Now I am painting, drawing, etc. for my digital scrap kits and art journal kits.

The moral of the story is you don’t have to be perfect.  Just create!  Come up with an idea, a word, a visual and put it down to paper.  Then wreck it!  Paint on it, smear it, put paint drops and splats all over it.  Draw a face, cut out images out of magazines, modge podge!  In other words, do whatever you want to do.  This is for you!

Don’t have time or money to buy all those art supplies?  Do it digitally, which is what I do!  It conveys the same message you want to create without getting your hands dirty :).  But, most importantly…just have FUN!

Here are some digital samples I have created:

Hide & Seek
Using Creative Inspirations
Using The Call
Claudine & Fifi
Big Ideas
Please Note that these kits are older products no longer available for sale.

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