Sunday, September 26, 2010

Step #1: The Empty Journal

A fresh start. A new beginning. The story of a lifetime. All of this between the covers of a book. The blank pages stare at you menacingly. You stare back. No ideas come to you so you walk away. This repeats. Again and again. I challenge you to make something different. Make a mark in your journal. On a random page draw a doodle, paint a background, collage a few elements on - do something to make this page your own. Create a page background in your own way. When I start a page, I normally start out with a layer of acrylic paint. Any color you like. In any shade you prefer. Add more shades. More colors. Wipe some colors away with a baby wipe. Then add layers of stamping. Any color. Any pattern. Anything goes in an art journal. Add collage elements. Photographs, cutouts from magazines, quotes, phrases, words, tickets, ephemera of any kind - I add them with Mod Podge, but you could use anything you like as an adhesive. Add more paint on top of the Mod Podge, along with more stamping, collage images, glimmer mist, glitter and anything else you can think of. Stamp with ink. Stamp with acrylic paint. Use clear, rubber, and foam stamps. Carve your own stamps out of anything you can think of. Wood, foam, rubber blocks, and erasers all make excellent stamps. Carve with whatever you like. Whether it be a special carving tool or as simple as a craft knife, homemade stamps add the perfect touch to any art journal page. You don't have to wonder if anyone else has another like it. It's a fact that they don't. Personalizing your journal in such a way is fun and inexpensive. To finish off a page like this, add a quote, a title, a definition - anything that is special and meaningful to you. In my own pages, the most common thing for me to do is add phrases and quotes from my favorite animated series, Johnny Test or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This personalizes the page as well because this quote is meaningful to you - it made you laugh, gave you a smile, or helped you through your day. Recording such a thing is important. When you flip through your journal, you'll have a book of laughs and smiles. So I challenge you today. Make an art journal page. Make it your own. And most importantly. Have fun.


  1. The beginning is always the best place to start! Looking forward to seeing how your blog and journal continue to unfold. Great start!

  2. Definitely a great beginning! Lovely new blog. I look forward to following along! :o)

    Anita ♥

  3. great advice! I started an art journal a few years ago but haven't picked it up in ages! I need to play with some paint!