"If you’re going to be a writer,
the first essential is just to write.
Do not wait for an idea.
Start writing something
and the ideas will come.
You have to turn the faucet on
before the water starts to flow."
5x8" moleskine, watercolor, pitt pen
[originally posted january 2010]
A variety of wicked tricks to psych out your inner perfectionist so you can spend more time creating art. Trust that with practice and experimentation you will become more confident and comfy about your art journal work.
Try one or more of these ideas to break through the fear of the blank page.
- Start with a simple, inexpensive journal rather than the gorgeous leather-bound, monogrammed italian journal you received as a gift.
- Get out some acrylic paint, smear some on the page and doodle in the paint by scraping lines with a dull pencil, palette knife or edge of an old credit card. Just play.
- Consider your journal a place for experimentation. Call it a test or practice journal.
- Mix your mediums. Draw circles in ink and paint over them with watercolor and watch the ink run. Stitch a photograph to your page. Finger paint plaid stripes on your page with heavy body acrylics.
- Find inspiration in your day-to-day world. Draw a backgammon board with neocolors.
- Print a quote or lyrics and staple them to your page. Draw a frame around your words with a Sharpie.
- Hide a page you want to destroy. Revisit your decision in a week.
- Instead of a bound "art journal" use loose sheets of watercolor paper (i.e. Faded Blue), cardboard (i.e. Sunflower Kaleidoscope) or drawing paper (i.e. Art Journal: Summer). You can face a single page even if you get all wound up about "ruining" a pristine journal.
- Use an art journal prompt to get started. Let this be a constraint that you must work within.
- Use some journal pages to document your art materials. Paint a sample of each color of paint and label with the name or code number and brand. You can do this with colored pencils, neocolor wax crayons, pastels, watercolors and even fonts.
- Let kids design your background!
- Try creative experiments to venture beyond your comfort zone.
- Create art on an index card each day for a month or two.
- Try the Prompt6ix prompts with a focus on including all of the quirky prompts in one piece.
Grab some info on Art Journaling Materials and pop over to Art Journaling 101 for the basics on art journaling and there's even Art Journaling 101 for Kids/Teens and Other Beginners!