Tuesday, 11 September 2012


So, remember this post Fear of the Blank Page?

Well, I procrastinated about starting an art journal all summer.  My six year old lept on her journal in delight, ripped out most of the pages and either cut them in to small pieces or made 3D objects with them - a table, a cupcake, a cocktail (for me....she knows me well!).  My first reaction was,  huh I didn't want her to do that with it, I wanted her to use it for recording, sketching, collaging and journaling.  And then of course I realised that you can't give something to a six year old (or anyone else for that matter), say "do what you like with it" and then be disappointed when they, you know, do what they like with it. 

So, I have accepted that with my book I would like to record, sketch, collage and journal.  And that I really wanted my daughter to do something with hers that I could then copy.  You know, adapt a bit because I'm not six, but pretty much take her ideas and run with those. Hmmm.

I finally sat down at the weekend with a set of watercolour pencils (one of the best pieces of advice I got from my original post was get some colour on the page - thank you, Viv, you were right!), a pile of magazines, some pens and some stamps.  I started off with a really clear idea of what I wanted to do but pretty much from the off that went out the window and I didn't even really think about what I was doing.  I just ran with it and waited to see what I ended up with.

Now, I'm not claiming this is an amazing piece of art (ahem!).  But I have made a start and I am intrigued that the biggest obstacle to me ever starting art journaling - perfectionism - is the thing I subconsciously honed in on.  I guess we've spent a while taking about perfectionism over at Blogging from the Heart so it is fresh in my mind, but still I find it fascinating both that it came out and in the form it came out - sooooo much messier than I am really comfortable with!

So, a start.  Phew.  Proof to me that process really is more important that the end result.  But it is really fun and a great way to tune in to creativity and intuition.  If you've ever wanted to give it a go, I encourage you to do it.  Process is everything.  And, in the words of Steven Pressfield (Do the Work):

Don't prepare.  Begin.

There are millions of blogs and websites dedicated to art journaling and some absolutely gorgeous art journals out there.   You could really spend your entire life reading about them rather than doing.  Here are one or two that I found helpful.

Everyday is a holiday (currently running a free art journaling series)
The Art Journaler (lovely inspiration)
Daisy Yellow Blog (especially her Art Journaling 101 list)
A Beautiful Mess (I also have my eye on their e course Art Journal All Year)

I find myself really, really hoping that my pages will get prettier. And don't worry, you won't be seeing any more (unless there really is some sort of epic transformation!).  But I have begun. :)


  1. Oh, I completely understand. In my rubber stamping days, I created several art journals but continually struggled against the weight of perfectionism, dragging me down. Big congrats to you to beginning.

  2. Good on you for getting started, I agree that it can be the hardest part. Love the message of this first entry. & love what your daughter did, as you said in your other post- maybe you can be inspired by her creativity!

  3. How lovely. Sounds so therapeutic.

    And, by the way, i LOVE your commentary about your 6-year-old. I'm afraid I relate all to much.

  4. I love that you want ideas from your 6 year old ... and that your 6 year old did exactly as she wished with her journal but it wasn't what you wanted her to do. I couldn't help but laugh at that -- because it's just so what we do isn't it??? I love your honesty -- and the cocktail for you. Your daughter sounds such a treat!

    I don't like art journaling. I've tried it many times and don't like it. I've never stopped to think "why" but reading your post made me realize just why that is -- I never like how it looks. I spend too much time comparing it to what other people create and how good their's are and mine looks so blah. And the thing is...it's only going to look as good as I make it -- the time I spend, the way I allow my creativity to flow. And the thing about perfectionism is that we'll never attain it will we?

    So maybe we both take a page from your 6 year old daughter who just does what feels right and let it keep flowing that way and then we need to work at being satisfied that we've done the best we could do -- on that day. Because the next day might produce something even more wonderful than the day before.

    I like the page you did by the way! And I want to be more like your 6 year old daughter. I think she's a champ!

    1. Hi Sherry, thank you for your comment (and your sweet comment about the page). I really want to be more like my six year old too! As I said in the post, I am loving the process of art journaling but I'm absolutely with you on the comparison thing and it's really, really hard to let go and let creativity flow and then stick with it when it's not quite what you were expecting/hoping for. Add perfectionism into the mix and....oy! Still, I have my six year old muse to learn from. :)


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