Art Journaling FAQ

Discussion in 'Art Journaling' started by mishou, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. mishou

    mishou mishou

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    Here are some of the most common questions I hear about art journaling . . .

    I don't get it. What's the point of art journaling?


    Everybody does it for different reasons. There's no single, correct answer to this question.

    Some creative types are happy to create art just for the sake of art. An art journal doesn't have to have any point other than for the pure enjoyment of creating. I could happily spend a whole day sitting at my art table getting paint all over myself and creating up a storm without it having any point at all. It's so zen and relaxing!

    Some people use it as art therapy - it's a place to get their feelings out. It's not uncommon for therapists to recommend that their patients keep journals. It's a way of acknowledging, validating and processing thoughts and feelings. It can be very cathartic.

    Many artists use them to practice techniques and skills, or to experiment with new ones. It's a safe place where you throw perfectionism out the window and free yourself to try new things.

    These are just a few examples - this is by no means an exhaustive list! The one thing all of these of "purposes" have in common is that none of them are focused on the end product! Of course we are still proud of the work we do. But ultimately the real value of the exercise or the "point of it" is somewhere in the process of creating.

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    I don't think I'm an artist. I don't think I have the "right style".


    First of all, stop being so hard on yourself! If you love to create, then you are an artist. End of story.

    As for having the "right style", well I'm going to poo poo on that excuse too. It's true that there are various styles and trends that appear in art journaling, just like in scrapbooking. But there is no singular defining "style" of art journaling, and no reason why you should feel like you need to change your own creative style. There's no governing body of Associated Art Journalers of America that is going to come and reprimand you because you didn't put fairy wings and pointy hats on your art journal page :giggle

    If there is a particular style that speaks to you, inspires you, intrigues you - then go for it! Give it a try. It's perfectly fine to be inspired by others. But I cannot emphasize this enough: You are free to art journal in whatever style you want. You do not need to go out and buy all new supplies just to imitate a style that doesn't suit you. The Lilypad is a wonderfully diverse and welcoming community. There are designers and scrappers here that run the full spectrum from uber grungy to clean minimalist, and we all admire each other's creativity in the gallery. You will find support and encouragement here no matter what style you use.

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    What if I don't want to bear my soul? Are all art journals deep and dark?

    As I mentioned above, everybody keeps an art journal for different reasons. Art therapy is only ONE of them. Light, happy, uplifting art journals are just as common and valid as the moody ones!

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    Art journals seem so personal. I'm not comfortable putting myself out there like that. I want to protect my privacy online.


    A very valid concern! I have a few suggestions . . .

    I'll start with the most obvious answer: Don't journal about personal things! Ha! Or, if you do want to use your journal for thereapeutic purposes, just keep them private. As members of an online community we love to share. It's easy to forget that we don't have to :) If you think you could benefit from the therapy of art journaling, don't let the fear of posting online stop you.

    If you really want to share and the journaling is too personal, there are ways of hiding it. Use the Gaussian Blur function in Photoshop or cover it under layers of digital paint until it's illegible.

    And don't forget you don't necessarily need to use your own words to tell a story. Perhaps you would feel less exposed using quotes, poems or song lyrics to get your point across? I do this a lot. Take this page for example. I was obviously having a bad day. The colours, photos and song lyrics tell that story without revealing anything personal about why I was feeling so bad. Only I know that secret :)

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    What are the Art Journal Musings here at the Pad? How do they work?

    The Art Journal Musings are a new series of prompts we will be posting here bi-weekly. They are not part of the monthly challenges. There are no deadlines for these and they don't need to be done in order. I just thought it would be fun to have some casual inspiration. I hope you'll join us! Feel free to jump in at anytime with any prompt. If you post your layout in our TLP gallery, leave a link in the corresponding prompt thread so we don't miss it!


    Have any other questions about art journaling? Ask away!

    :thumbsups
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  2. naughtsncrosses

    naughtsncrosses Active Member

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    Very cool examples, Michelle! It can be overwhelming if you're first looking at art journaling, but once you feel comfortable expressing things your way (and your way may take lots of experimentation to discover) you'll have a ball. :)
     
  3. mishou

    mishou mishou

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    Agreed!
     
  4. grrfluudy

    grrfluudy This? Oh it's just my million dollar pen.

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    WOW!! Thank you so much! I could hug you right now! :perfect
    I have been art journalling for awhile now - and I have had all those doubts run through my mind. It is so nice to hear someone finally put those yucky meany-face inner doubts to rest. Everyone else's pages seemed so deep and meaningful and I was like "oooh I think this looks pretty - I'll put this here... but I must NEVER TELL that it wasn't a purposeful-deep and meaningful element placement." LOL Especially with my traditional art journal, I am so concerned that it doesn't look "right" that it's not the style that the "real artists" are doing. I love making my layouts and sometimes they do have a lot of meaning -- but a lot of times I just think they look cool. And I am finally hearing that that is ok. So thank you. Thank you so, so much. Oh, and let's just keep this between us, my pages are all very deep and meaningful and every element is a testament to a deep, deep feeling. :giggle
     
  5. MamaB

    MamaB Active Member

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    Michelle, you have done an amazing job explaining!!!!!! Now everyone can see how much fun it can be! Go play with your digi-stashes ladies!!!!
    :idea2 :stash :byay
     
  6. Karen

    Karen Wiggle it, just a little bit!

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    Okay... I don't consider myself an art journaler... yet... but I've been playing along with Anne's challenges. I just finished week 2 and I can't wait to post it (used some SOSN stuff due out weds) but I do have a question. How strict are you about keeping track of products. I have a list a mile long of things that I used on my page. I really really enjoyed making this week's skinny, but I kept getting into what I was doing and then had to stop to add more products to my used list and I felt like it was crimping my style a bit.

    When you're art journaling do you keep track as you go or do you think back when you're done and just try your best to list what you used. Do you just use one kit usually? Do you mix and match as much as I just did?
     
  7. AnneofAlamo

    AnneofAlamo Slippers IN sunshine? Even better!

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    this is my bone of contention...because I draw from everything...I usually will say, I used a ton of Michelle Godin's things, especially this one kit, and then I picked up a few from this remarkable designer, and I opened about 1000 more folders and even though I might not have used them on this page, I did touch them!! lol
     
  8. Karen

    Karen Wiggle it, just a little bit!

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    Good to know! Thanks Anne! :) Glad it isn't just me on this.
     
  9. AlliJ2008

    AlliJ2008 Downsizing!

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    Love your explanations Michelle! I just stumbled across this section having come back this month to TLP/digi scrapping after a year+ long break. I am so excited to give this whole art journaling thing a try & your post is super helpful. :)
     
  10. Serendipity

    Serendipity New Member

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    I add and remove elements a bazillion and a half times. By the time I'm done I have no idea where anything came from =\ Some people may be shy and not want to upload their art because of some personal reason... I don't like to upload mine because of credits.
     
  11. Lynne-Marie

    Lynne-Marie there is beauty in everything

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    Great answers to some important questions! Thanks for posting this!
     
  12. grrfluudy

    grrfluudy This? Oh it's just my million dollar pen.

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    I just write down every single thing I use and what it is. If the designer said it was "element 3" well, that doesn't tell me anything - if I decide not to use it I need to know which one it was so I don't have to credit them. So I will say "purple swirly" instead. But on the layout I might just say "Mr.Magoo - Happy Fun-Time Kit". That's what I do at most sites. Since I am new here I am not sure what the rules are so I have been saying - "Mr. Magoo - Happy Fun-Time Kit - Purple Swirly" but I don't know if you need to put what element it was. Again, if I were to put "element 3" no one would know which ellie came from Mr. Magoo's kit and so they wouldn't know what kit it was from or who made it, since I use a million bajillion kits and designers. I like to know where the ellies come from because I'm like, "I LOVE that ellie!! Where did they get it?!" And then there is nothing. :(
     

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