Hobbies, Self care

Want To Start Art Journaling? Here Are Some Recommended Materials and Tips

by Kristen Proffitt

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This article was written by artist Kristen Proffitt. The artwork pictured above, created by Kristen Proffitt, was featured as the front cover of The Zillennial Zine’s September 2022 print edition Roots.

Some people like to journal to keep track of their habits and moods. Maybe they are type A, they like to keep track of stuff, and or they organize to have a clear mindset. It may be because they find it fun, or it’s to improve themselves and their lives, maybe as a new year’s resolution or just overall self-care. But not everyone has the time and patience for that sort of stuff. If you are like me, you’d rather make art and express yourself through it, without being tied down to a daily routine. If so, art collaging may be something you want to start doing. Art journaling is a fun way to collage with different pictures, share a message or even just vent. Yeah, this all sounds like fun, but where do I begin? I got you covered. Here are some supplies and art journaling ideas to help get you started!

Notebooks and Journals

First, you’ll obviously need a journal. There are many journals in the world, but how do you know which one will be the right fit for your art-making needs? You’ll need a journal that lays flat on your desk and one that has heavy enough paper that can sustain paint so it won’t bleed through. No matter the preference, there are many options when it comes to picking one out. If you are not sure what you’re looking for, that is okay. Sometimes you just need to test one out and see if you like it! With this, it’s all about experimenting and finding what works for you! I recently bought the blank paperage notebook, and it works great! As described, it can “lay flat for writing ease,” and it does so wonderfully! You don’t need to bend the spine for it to stay, which makes it look better overall. While I glue stuff into the book it is so helpful so I don’t have to put something on one end so it won’t flip close while I wait for it to dry.

Pens and Markers

If you like to write and draw over things you collage to accent the piece, you’ll need some good stationery. Pens are a great friend when it comes to journaling! You can draw some doodles, write lyrics to your favorite song, or do anything that feels right in the moment! Markers are also great for this, but you don’t want them to bleed through the page. In this case, highlighters are also a great option, and you can make your creation pop with the bright neon colors, (depending on the vibe of it, of course) or you may have a more neutral palette. Either way, they are a great way to spice up your journal.

Magazine cutouts, stickers, and scraps

No matter what you find, you can probably incorporate it into your art. If it’s a leaf, receipt, or a random drawing, you can find a place for it in your journal! The most common items are pictures from magazines. You can find almost anything, and you can turn these photos into something even more! You can use stickers of any kind – like ones that come in a pack or even off of a fruit – paint swatches, drawings, papers, etc. You can even recycle old school work and use it as a blank canvas to paint or draw on. The possibilities are endless when it comes to collaging, and the choice is up to you.

Make it how you want it!

art journaling ideas
art journaling ideas

Only you are in charge of how it comes out but don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t look how you want it. Art is art, and someone is bound to love your piece for what it is. Make the art you want to make. You can always start again and make another journal, as it is a form of practice to find your true style and inner aesthetic. Now that you have the basics and some art journaling ideas, get collaging!

What art journaling ideas do you have? Do you think these supplies will come in handy? Let us know in the comment section below!

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