Art journal ideas can be simple or complex depending what you like. If you are an artist, you’ve probably created at least a basic portfolio of your work. This is especially important for those who create art professionally, as it is a useful tool for showcasing your skills and finding new clients. However, you may consider crafting an art journal as well. An art journal can be used professionally, but for many artists it is a personal collection that allows them to reflect on past work and experiment with new ideas and projects. An art journal can be a therapeutic way to handle the stress of your current jobs or help you break out of a frustrating creative block. One of the advantages of an art journal is that there are no rules that must be followed – you can keep it as organized or haphazard as you like depending on your motives behind building one. If you are considering putting together a journal of your own, consider some of these tips to help you get started.
Art Journal Prompts that inspire
Try taking one or two words as a prompt to stimulate your thoughts. Try to envision the words in a drawing or painting. Each word can be an inspiration starter. A picture may paint a million words, but many say that a word can also paint a million pictures.
Determine Your Motivation Behind the Journal
Before you start putting something together, you should decide why you want to make this journal. Is this for stress relief when you are feeling too much pressure? Or perhaps you want to use it as the creative spark behind your next project. You may simply want somewhere to store your past artwork so that you can look back on old ideas that may be useful in the future. Determining why you want to create a journal can give you inspiration for the design, theme, and organization (or lack thereof) within the journal.
Choose Your Materials and Art Journal Techniques
Every journal is different, and you may even decide to create several journals based on your needs. Each journal should have a distinctive look and feel – a mood that surfaces when you look at the cover and as you turn every page. How you decide to draw this mood out is up to you. Perhaps you’re going for a rustic, nostalgic feeling. In this case you may opt for soft, warm page colors bound by a timeworn leather cover. The pages could be yellowed and textured, giving a layered look and providing an aged appearance. On the other hand, you might want to create a more modern journal with smooth, straight lines and a polished black leather jacket. The makeup of your journal is up to you, but you’ll want to find the materials that bring out your personality and accentuate the beauty of your art.
Pick Your Supplies
Once you’ve come up with a plan and made a decision on your materials, you’ll need to find the right supplies to complement these. If you’ve gone with a binder style journal, you’ll want to purchase paper that fits and looks good based on your material choices. In the event that you don’t want to use blank pages as your background, you’ll need paint and other art supplies to create an original and fitting background. You may also decide that you want to screen-print your backgrounds for a more professional look. Acrylic paints and watercolors work great for journal backgrounds, and artist’s pens are an excellent choice for adding accents and text to your work. You will also benefit from obtaining an effective adhesive product, as you will be attaching many pieces of art to this book. Ultimately, the design is up to you, but you should choose supplies that go along with your theme and complement the art journal pages of your personal story. Non-abrasive, light substances are often the way to go when choosing the supplies for your art journal.
Plan out your Format
Even if you are going the chaotic route, you’ll need some sort of basic plan to keep your art journal techniques cohesive and relevant. Determine how you want to put your art journal pages together and what works of art you want to put into your book. If you are organizing it, choose your themes and pick the order that makes most sense to you, leaving blank pages at the end so you can continue to contribute to the journal as you create more art. You can break it up into sections based on dates, art style, or moods.
Gather Your Art Journal Ideas
If you are in fact using old art to start this journal, get it together and evaluate which pieces you will use in your journal. If this is simply a jumbled journal of all of your work, go ahead and put it all in there. If there is a specific theme for your journal, assess which pieces match the theme and which ones should be saved for another book or another time. Once you’ve chosen your favorite works, decide how you want to showcase it. You can keep similar pieces together or separate them throughout the book based on the theme and design that you are going for.
Begin Placing Your Art
When you’ve determined how you’re going to put the book together, you are ready to start placing your artwork. You may take smaller pieces and make a collage out of them on the first page, or you might decide to produce a single new piece for the opening page that sets the tone for the rest of the journal. This can be done by painting a design, producing a new separate piece that gets glued inside, or just titling your journal in an artistic manner. You might consider painting a quote at the beginning that matches the theme of your journal. As you work on each page, keep your plan and motivation in mind, carefully placing your art to produce a work that represents who you are and what you’ve done as an artist. This doesn’t require the precision and extensive planning of a professional portfolio, but you should still take care to assemble a comprehensive and unified journal that pleases you and builds confidence in your work. After all, you may be using this for inspiration in the future or as a reflection on your career. You will want to remember it fondly.
Keep Creating Art journal ideas
Chances are you won’t fill your entire journal with old art work, so keep this journal in mind as you work on new projects and produce more art. You are certain to find items that fit the theme and appearance of your journal, and now you will have a living diary of your work as you continue to move through life. Some days, you might even paint something that portrays your current mood and place it directly in the journal. Every project is a new chapter in your life, and even seemingly failed pieces of art could have a place in your journal, allowing you to look back on your progress and reflect on how your mind was working at the time.
Revisit and Revise
Look back through your book from time to time. Do this not only to admire your own work, but also to keep notes and add more as you see fit. Just because something was added over a year ago doesn’t mean that you can’t revise it or add more. Perhaps you’ll come upon a certain piece of art from years back and remember something that wasn’t there before. You could write your feelings on this page or add a new piece of art to complement the old work. The opportunities are endless, and you are the ever-evolving author of this ongoing and fantastic story of your life in the world of art. Coming up with Art journal ideas can be fun and exciting.