Art Journaling: Let’s Get Started!

I really adore art journals, ATCs (artist trading cards) and decorated mail. Don’t you? I love the time and effort that goes into creating them and the mixed-media collaging that tends to take place. I’m kind of new to the scene, I have to admit, and I was never much of a scrapbooker so I figured a great creativity challenge for myself would be to start an art journal.

Why don’t you start one with me? (If you already have one start a new one, we’ll be doing more spreads in the future.)

First off, if you don’t have a journal (I needed a new one) you’ll need to get one. Composition notebooks work great and they’re inexpensive. I’m using a small Moleskin because I like to do things small-scale. If you have an old notebook lying around with some old notes that you don’t need anymore feel free to use it. You can always cover the notes with paint, marker, paper and decorations.

You’ll also need to prepare the pages beforehand with gesso, glue sticks or rubber cement and maybe some Mod Podge to paint the page with when you’re finished?

Let’s start the journal off with a self-portrait or representation of you, your name and 5 things you love (this is to inspire your decorations!). For this spread you’ll need to cut out photos of things you love either via magazines or your printer, to find patterns on scrapbook paper and fabric that you like and a colorful selection of paint/markers/pens.

first art journal attempt

My list of 5 things I love was coffee/tea, hearts, stars, unicorns and Japanese candy. I am represented as Rainbow Brite because my brother wanted to name me that when I was born. Also, my name is in Katakana because once upon a time I left my heart in Japan.

How did yours turn out? Please email it to us so I can post it here.

If you’re interested in learning more about Non-Digital Art Journaling there’s a great article to get you started here and an AMAZING ecourse I just found out about (and that I really must participate in) here — looks like a great class to get your inspiration juices flowing and to learn a lot about yourself!

Here are some gorgeous journal pages I found while surfing Flickr to get you inspired.

Art journal happiness
journal 07 10 11
ICAD #22
Oslo Travel Journal_Day 3
Art Journal Page

You May Also Like


  1. 1
  2. 2

    I too am a big big art journal nut! I swear I lay in bed at night trying to sleep and all I do is dream up pages!! ๐Ÿ™‚ colors and swirls and girls and washi tape! ๐Ÿ™‚

    xoxo Jenny Holiday

  3. 4
  4. 5
  5. 6
  6. 7

    Oh wow, you are super talented. I’ve never done an art journal, because I don’t think I’m very artistic in that way. I bought ‘Wreck This Journal’ though which is a little similar maybe? I really want to finish every page of that book.

    Anne recently blogged Meerkats!

  7. 8

    So pretty! I love Rainbow Brite… We have a family joke about my brother as that’s what he wanted for Christmas one year when he was about 3 or 4. I wanted one too but he REALLY wanted one…so he got it. Punk. ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, I’m just stopping by to say Hi ๐Ÿ™‚ Your blog is bright and pretty!


  8. 9

    Super like your journal! It is so cute!!!! I remember my childhood with the first drawing, what was the tittle of that cartoon movie? Thanks for sharing.

  9. 10

    I donโ€™t think Iโ€™m very artistic in that way. I bought โ€˜Wreck This Journalโ€™ though which is a little similar maybe? | ๐Ÿ˜›

  10. 11

    So cute! These are great art journals! I wonder if I could make one as good as those! Thank you for sharing! It inspired me to try and be creative for a change!

  11. 12
  12. 13
  13. 14

    I did my first art journal in October. Committed to a page a day, and made it! What made it do-able for me was to limit myself to just one sentence (no points deducted for grammar!). It was a great experience that I’m continuing in November. I highly recommend it as a quick way to keep those artistic muscles toned!

  14. 15

    I think your art journal is going to be awesome! Be sure and keep us posted with lots of photos!! I am not a artist but have been dabbling with a art journal. I am my own worse critic.
    kraftykj recently blogged Chili night

  15. 16

    This post is very positive. I can feel the happiness in you. You did such a great job. Keep the good work up. God bless you.

  16. 17
  17. 18

    Another thing I learned from your blog ๐Ÿ™‚ I only had a very vague idea about how an art journal works. Thanks to you and your links, I now have better idea and think about trying a small journal in the future. I only wonder where I’ll find a useable journal around here (Sometimes I get the feeling, in Germany it’s really hard to find supplies for “newer” forms of art.)

  18. 19

    Those are some of the coolest and most unique things ive ever seen. I absolutly love the rainbow bright ^^ You did such a good job with that how cute your brother wanted to name you that <3

    Hope all is well

  19. 20

    Amazing! Always so inspiring! Would love to see more of this! I think im going to work on some art trading cards soon! Lovely idea! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  20. 21
  21. 22

    Creative output! ๐Ÿ™‚ I really love to learn how to be more creative.. Thanks for sharing the great pictures.. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  22. 23
  23. 24

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge