I am a recent player in the world of art journaling. I have been following a few people on Instagram and took an interest in it. I was a little too intimidated at first because a lot of them looks really professional and I was reluctant to dip my feet into it. However the more diverse the people I follow, the more I could see that at the end of the day art journaling is about expressing yourself, it isn’t about how other people view your work or if you should have a constant style (for the sake of the gram, ya know!). Sometimes you want to voice an opinion, other times you want to walk down memory lane, and another time all you want to do is simply stack some papers and glue things!
So where to start? I started with my bullet journal. I have been doing bujo for a while and since I would sometimes end up with blank spaces, I decided to make use of it. I started with paper scraps because it was the easiest thing. I simply opened my bag and voila, lo and behold, some old receipts that I always forget to throw (don’t we all have those!). Then I searched the house for some newsletters and I was lucky enough to find some textured papers. I also remembered that some friends had sent me letters from overseas and I never had the heart to throw away the envelopes because I always find the stamps unique. I kept them but never knew what to do with them, so here was my chance! Then I started being more mindful of the things I got from friends, like birthday gifts and souvenirs. If they were food, I didn’t want to just eat/drink it and forget about it, so I thought of a way to keep the memory by keeping a part of the packaging.
I then started gluing things and just to see if I liked it. I tried playing around with acrylic paints as well. There is not one rule that must be followed when it comes to art journaling, I really think it’s about re-using the things you already have. All you need at the beginning is really some papers, a glue stick, and a pair of scissors (and honestly I don’t even use my scissor that much since I love the texture you get when you rip paper).
One of the advice that I can really give to you is to start with what you have. Also, while it’s great to look for inspirations online, don’t get too distracted. Often I feel like I have to equip myself better with that gorgeous stamp or that amazing brush pen or that set of stamps. This leads to buying things and forgetting that the whole point of art journaling is to be creative. I won’t deny that these days I do love supporting some local shops in buying their art journal supplies, but the buying part isn’t the focus of art journaling (believe it or not!).
Art journaling has given me the chance to express myself in ways words just won’t do. It has allowed me to connect with like-minded friends. I found that some communities have some prompts ready to use and this has helped me a lot especially when I don’t have any ideas. Prompts are not cheating, by the way, don’t feel this way when you are using them. I find these prepared prompts help me in exploring the things I didn’t think of before. For me personally, art journaling is a meditation. I like to take out all my supplies, set them on my table, listen to my favourite songs and then just start ripping papers and gluing this and that. It sounds so simple but I feel really good afterwards when I have some sort of byproduct of my feelings.
In the next few posts I will share more of my experience with art journaling. If you have a love for papers and preserving those little memories, then I really hope that you will try out art journaling too.