Welcome back to Journal Week on the blog and today I’m looking creative journals. These can either be art journals/creative journals. With today’s method there ar no rules just creative freedom to do what you love when you love it.

Creative Journals

Creative journals are usually blank notebooks that you can paint, draw, sketch, stick things in (like a scrapbook) and there are very few rules other than enjoying your self and exploring your creative freedom. This is also the type of journal that you don’t need to do every day. It’s the journal you run too when you see something inspiring or you are trying to get into a particular frame of mind.

I also use these journals as a mix of creative writing with illustrations okay some quite bad illustrations but who cares it’s about the fun you have in creating. I also like the framework of a bullet journal so having a creative journal really threw me at first. “What do you mean I can do ANYTHING?” A creative writing journal is different but I like to mix prose with paint or sketches and see what happens.

How to Start a Creative/Art Journal

Select a Journal

This is probably the hardest thing to do with a creative journal and it really depends on the supplies/medium you would like to explore. If like me you like to try your hand at everything from ink to acrylics and watercolour then you are best sticking to art journals like Hannemule and as they can take loads of water thrown at their pages. I especially love their toned paper but it doesn’t hold water as well as their dedicated sketchbooks.

Your other option is to use a ringed planner like I do and stick to A5 sized pads like mixed media pads, Arches watercolour paper etc. and then add these into your planner how you would like them. This was the best option for me starting out and now I use a Hannenmule toned journal and I’ve ordered a for painting as this is what I usually spend my time on.

Select Supplies

I’ll hold my hand up here and say that my craft stash is starting to rival my yarn stash. You do not need expensive materials starting out. You can head to Tiger or Lidl and pick up art supplies when they are on special so that you can get a taste for different media.

I invested in a small watercolour set to start, inks from Cult Pens, Faber Castell Watercolour pencils which are great for journals that are more for writing (like paper blanks) and can’t take a tone of water thrown at them. I have a washi tape collection that is ever growing and I’m on the Notebook Therapy website at least once a day at this stage.

Don’t blame me if you suddenly start collecting pieces of paper or gift bags because you like the print and you think you will use it in your journal. My paper stash is now outgrowing it’s container too. There is no right or wrong here. Explore and as you hown down your skills and start to enjoy one medium over another you can invest more heavily in a set.

My only piece of advice is to invest in a good pencil and eraser and 1 or 2 nice paint brushes. There is nothing more annoying then trying to paint with bristles falling off into your work.

Prepare the Space

If you are really messy or clumsy like I am then creating a safe space to work on your journal is essential. I’m the type of person who will knock over the small water container because I wanted to do a tiny watercolour illustration in my journal beside my laptop while I’m waiting on an email reply.

I have a cardboard base that was once an IKEA box that I pop on top of my desk so that I can paint with ink and watercolour. I also use a cutting mat underneath if I’m worried about the cardboard sticking to my desktop as the cutting mat will wipe clean.

From here you can explore watercolor, acrylic, oils, lettering, sketching, illustrations or just have fun and whack your favourite colour on the page as a background and pick up a pen and see what happens. If you want to keep your journal neat and tidy you can or on the other hand if you want to get down and messy and cover everything in pink and rose gold embellished with lace, enjoy every second of it.

Photo credit: Get Messy Art Journal

If you want to know more about art/creative journals then why not check out Creative Bug and their classes on art journaling or pop over and join the fun with the Get Messy Art Journal Community. They have everything from backgrounds to composition and lettering.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing some of my favourite notebooks and materials so far.

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