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  1. #1
    just don't call me The Boss MaryAnne's Avatar
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    What made you start to do AJs?

    I have thought about doing an art journal for YEARS. I've even started them again and again but NEVER seem to be able to follow thru. I think it's because there are so many things I enjoy in my crafty life (scrapbooking OF COURSE, but cards sometimes, making printables, mini-books especially but also bookmaking and paper sculpture and 3d things, knitting and crochet, quilting....) that I get bored doing the same thing all the time. I tend to get some idea then do it to death, but then I am ready to move on.

    But over the holidays I made a few canvas wall art things for the boys in the family and really enjoyed it. Giving them away was hard But it was a bit like the penny dropped - I realized that with an AJ I get to KEEP my art, with there being no pretence it's for "someone else" Was that the thing that made you want to do it? Were you a journal keeper/diarist already?

    I also wonder about the sharing. You know I blog (or maybe you don't ) so that is a bit like a diary as I do post most days. And I ramble (a bit like this post LOL!) so it's not like I'm worried about not having anything to say... it's just that some of what I might say is clearly going to be too personal to blog about in any detail so I worry I will feel I have to both AJ AND do something else for blog-fodder and how on earth will I manage the time for both??

    But I feel the ... "need?' to get stuff out of my head and wonder if the self-reflection helps - is that part of it?

    I guess I feel if I'm not doing it for the right reasons it'll be like so many other failed attempts.

    And finally, do you make a plan to AJ every day or do yo only do it when you are driven/moved to? and if you DON'T have a regular routine, how do you keep from forgetting to do it at all??

    OR

    does it just boil down to making pretty pages? That's where I seem to disconnect. I don't want to just make pretty pages. I want i to be a useful process, to learn something, to work things out, to clear some brain space. I guess what I mean is I don't JUST want to make pretty pages. I don't mind if they look good, but that is less the goal I suppose, or I feel it should be for me.

    Frankly on some level I think I'm an idiot for even considering trying something AGAIN that I have failed at so many times before but what sticks with me is I DID enjoy the thinking and the writing and the arty part. It DID make me think about things, and when I DID make up my mind to work on a page I found I DID have plenty to work thru and just thinking about the symbolism of what I was using art-wise helped me look at things in a different way. That seems too good a possibility to just let go of.

    What I know I won't do is just pretty for pretty's sake - so tell me your AJ experience.

    WHEN did you start?
    WHY did you start?
    Did you fail a few times before it took root?
    Do you do it every day or only when you feel you HAVE to?
    How LONG have you done it regularly?
    Do you ever feel it's just another HAVE TO chore?
    Do you manage other crafty things or is it all-consuming??

  2. #2
    Dedicated Scrapper Suzycad's Avatar
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    I thought for years about art journaling before I started. It has become a real passion of mine and after having a bit of a "sparse" time on the mojo front with scrapping last year its actually sparked back the want to scrap - only now using some of the mixed media techniques I have learned.

    I don't do it every day but on the days when I do splash a bit of paint and ink around it makes me feel so much better.

    There are some pages I have done but haven't put on my blog as they are way too personal and only for my eyes or those of my "inner circle.

    Im no expert and still class myself very much as a beginner but I just love the whole process, there's no real rules and it feels very freeing.

    I'm a messy crafter by nature and it suits me to a t and yes Im the one with the painty pinny, gesso all over my jeans and hands that quite frankly make my fellow crafters laugh out loud. I don't care because dabbling in it makes me happy and lifts my spirits

    A few of us on my team art journal and we were delighted to discover the increased points for this on UKS this year

    I do get what you mean about there being a point to it - I do like the fact that there's probably no real point to it but looking at my journals makes me happy and I'm learning what works for me and what doesn't and then I can apply that to making canvases, layouts, cards and other altered items.

    I'd say go for it, its great fun and you just do what you want

    Ive joined in with a free year long project this year run by some very talented art journallers, theres one prompt a week and other than that you just note things in the diary or do some more in depth journaling or doodling - its great fun and theres heaps of inspiration on the fb group.

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  3. #3
    You're never too old to try something new ;) TinkerHamilton's Avatar
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    I've been looking enviously at other peoples Art Journals for some time, thinking I would never have the courage to express myself in such a way. However a new job that takes me away from home quote alot has encouraged me to have a go.

    I started by zentangling in a little book in hotel rooms when I needed to relax (I always have this book and pens packed in my case) and then I started to realise that if I prepared backgrounds at home I need not carry too much with me to finish pages when down route.

    Although I still love to scrap, time is an issue. I never seem to be at home long enough to complete my usual chores, washing ironing and packing before I was off again. Finding time to scrap was always difficult, but now it's even harder. Art journaling slots so much easier into my lifestyle and I love the way I can express myself honestly and creatively in a journal that's just for me.

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  4. #4
    Maker of Stuff Efemera's Avatar
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    I love the art bit.... But hate the journaling thing ... I have absolutely nothing I would want to write down so for me it's just about the process of creating pretty pages.

  5. #5
    Unable to read a book without altering it.. Miss Lemon's Avatar
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    For me it's purely about having a place to experiment freely, and try new ideas/techniques out.

    I try loads of different things on loads of bits of paper, and then I keep, crop and bind the successful ones into a book. If the pages look good, that's a bonus. The main point is having the freedom to just try things out.
    Claudia

    I have 2 blogs now: one for Arty Stuff... and one just for Cards

  6. #6
    just don't call me The Boss MaryAnne's Avatar
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    Now see? those last two post really strike a chord with me! I liked my 52 BIG CARD arty experiments (one long project I actually managed to follow thru on LOL!) because it was just all about trying new things every week, pushing my supplies to the limit, and no pressure to "bare my soul" or resort to just using quotes as an excuse to make a page, in lieu of journaling. So maybe I am talking more about an Artists sketchbook and less a "journal"

    And now I found a cool (old - 2007) blog post that added something I love to something I had planned for something I have a lot of, taking up space, and I'm off. Will it last more than a page or two? Who knows......?

    But thanks for the input. Feel free to keep talking - I love hearing how others headed off in a new direction and why.

  7. #7
    Dedicated Scrapper Jibba Jabba's Avatar
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    For me it's simply being able to use loads of different techniques for one cause. I've never been a "one woman medium" and love trying all sorts, paints, crayons, inks or whatever I've a mind to use at any point in time. I love the freedom of it all and if I splash, spill or smudge it doesn't matter

  8. #8
    Unable to read a book without altering it.. Miss Lemon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryAnne View Post
    Now see? those last two post really strike a chord with me! I liked my 52 BIG CARD arty experiments (one long project I actually managed to follow thru on LOL!) because it was just all about trying new things every week, pushing my supplies to the limit, and no pressure to "bare my soul" or resort to just using quotes as an excuse to make a page, in lieu of journaling. So maybe I am talking more about an Artists sketchbook and less a "journal"
    And now I found a cool (old - 2007) blog post that added something I love to something I had planned for something I have a lot of, taking up space, and I'm off. Will it last more than a page or two? Who knows......?

    But thanks for the input. Feel free to keep talking - I love hearing how others headed off in a new direction and why.
    Bit in Bold: Words aren't a big part of things for me, so in my mind there's not much difference between sketchbooking and art journaling, but I know other people have the opposite approach, where the words are the most important thing and the art work is just the frame/decoration. I think some people find that confusing (they want to pinpoint exactly what an art journal is for), but I like the fact that my idea of art journaling can be completely different to someone else's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jibba Jabba View Post
    For me it's simply being able to use loads of different techniques for one cause. I've never been a "one woman medium" and love trying all sorts, paints, crayons, inks or whatever I've a mind to use at any point in time. I love the freedom of it all and if I splash, spill or smudge it doesn't matter
    Same here - I like to try out new techniques / different mediums / ideas just for the sake of it - without actually working on a project. Art Journaling is a good way to do that.

    I'm working on bigger paper now though (painting stuff, mostly flowers), so my experiments are too big to bind into a book. They are just in a boring pile!
    Claudia

    I have 2 blogs now: one for Arty Stuff... and one just for Cards

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