Saturday, January 2, 2016

Introducing my new daily art journal

Evidence shows that art journaling and other acts of creativity increase human happiness.
I really love having an art journal which also has space to incorporate daily journaling. I've done this in different forms over time, and miss when I don't have somewhere to document happy or important things happening in my life (as well as the little things like what I'm reading/watching). Here's some examples of how I've done it in the past :
I first started Calendar journaling with Kate Crane in 2011 and did that for18 months until June 2012  - this was my last spread :
Now a group on FB if you are interested in joining in.
Then I did other things until September 2013 when I realised how much I missed incorporating that daily record and started the first pages of my regular practice:
Interrupted by December Daily 2013
and followed by my Watercolour Calendar journal (27 Jan-Sep 2014) : 
I tried something different with my Stitched Paper Daily Art Journal (Sept-Dec 2014) : 
In 2015 I committed to the Documented Life 2015 project and was really happy that I managed to complete a spread for almost every week : this is the first and the last
I created a Flickr album for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE and you can see all my posts about this project HERE.
Also last year I did Life Book for the first time. I loved the weekly inspiration, and completed many projects which helped me grow in confidence and joy as an artist. They were done on separate sheets of {mainly} watercolour paper 
You can see all my posts about Life Book HERE and I've created a Flickr album for all my Life Book projects HERE
In 2016 I am going to combine the Life Book 2016 projects directly in a journal with Documented Life 2016 (only US$12) and daily journaling. This way I'll be able to see my artful journey in one place, and can also incorporate other art along the way. I decided that rather than buy a journal this year, I would repurpose a second-hand book. This one was purchased at a library book sale some time ago and has been waiting for the perfect project (would not have spent more than $5 on it)
As you can see the top of the spine needs a little repair, but it's only the outer covering, and the covers are nicely blank for future creative inspiration (I usually leave decorating covers til the end of a project anyway). There were a few criteria I wanted for the journal which made this the perfect candidate
1. The paper has to be thick enough to withstand wet mixed media treatment. There were a couple of fold-out pages in the book, so I was able to tear one out for experimentation with dylusions sprays - they turned out a lovely colour with no treatment on the page, and no bleeding through.
Having said that, the first time I use new media in this journal I will probably leave a page between and then stitch them together on the edge.
2. The pages need to be stitched into their binding - this will help with the journal staying together as I use it without pages falling out (wet media can weaken glued bindings), but also I can tear pages out if the journal gets too thick, as long as I don't tear out the middle of the signature (this worked well in my previous journal). 
3. I love text, but didn't want the distraction of too many illustrations - this book had coloured plates that were attached with a thin line of glue which made them easy to remove.
4. I thought I would like to work a bit larger - these new pages measure 13 1/4" (34cm) x 9 1/2" (24cm) - that makes a spread of 13 1/4" x 19". 
Here are some comparisons of size with my 2015 journals :
My documented life journal (11 1/2" x 8 1/4" = 29cm x 21cm)- and here's a current page opened on the new
And Life Book 2015 :
I can also work smaller since in DLP 2015 I worked on the full spread each week - this year I'll be able to work on one page or a partial page if so moved....
I am so excited to start working in this book - I know I will probably need to remove some pages as I go so it doesn't bulge out of the cover (although I don't mind that look!), I would like to add stitch to some pages so will be able to join pages on the edges to disguise what happens on the back, and I'll also be able to work on pieces outside my journal, and then glue them on within the margin of the existing pages if I wish. Lots of possibilities...Another new FREE class development for 2016 : 
This weekly art journal project has just been taken over by Effy Wild. Journal 52 is a FREE online Art journal community project to inspire you with 52 weekly prompts - go HERE for the blog of all posts. There's a Facebook community which you can join HERE
Effy has also generously uploaded information for you to create your own journal - she includes FREE instruction for a Sweet Trash journal (altered composition notebook) AND a handbound journal HERE
I have added this information to my list of cheap and FREE online art classes that you can always get to top right in my sidebar.
Here are some other options for daily journaling that might inspire you :
Julie Fei-Fan Balzer AJED Art Journal Every Day - free tutorials HERE and her online classes HERE.
Martha Lever's Big Grid style (class info HERE)
Lollapalooza 3 - Martha Lever
Michelle Remy from Lost Coast Post : her Snippets daily journal HERE.
Janet Joehlin - Daily like this - class through Brave Girls University HERE.
What creative projects are you excited about for 2016? 
Talk to you again soon...I'm off to start page 1 :-)


  1. Wow, you've got so much planned for 2016! It will be an amazing journey! I really had to resist joining Kate Crane's FB group - I'm a member of so many other groups. I feel a bit overwhelmed sometimes with all this inspiration around me - in a good way! I like your idea of using an old book for your pages this year. I've always wanted to do that, but my fear is that it would restrict me from using certain media and my pages would get too bulky for the spine - but I'll be keeping an eye on how you do it to get some tips! I enjoyed looking at your older projects - you have a huge body of work accumulated already in all these different journals! Wishing you all the best in 2016!


Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I will always respond to you so check back here in a couple of days.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...