Gluing and collecting in my diary

My visual style is spilling into my diary; my writing book. It’s a good thing, and it excites me. It’s like I can’t believe what I see when I look back a couple of weeks. Did I fill this book like that? Where does this rabbit come from? It’s still mainly my handwriting all over the pages, mostly in straight lines from top to bottom. But sometimes before I go to sleep I “prep” a page, like this:

In my diary

Other times I make a collage on a whole spread. They are very different from anything I’ve made on loose papers or in my Art Journal. I find this fact fascinating. That the “form” guides us when we create. Have you noticed? Do your art look different when you do it on a canvas for example? It’s like the size of the pages and the structure, how big the notebook is and how it’s bound matters to what I create in there! It will reveal a new way of making a collage or writing the text. Noticing this I understand how important it is the constantly be challenged when you create. Sit in different places. Write with different pens. Change the format of your art. Never go stale!

A spread I made after a visit with my friend E to the National Museum in Stockholm last month. We saw three different exhibtions, I fell in love with Anders Jakobsen’s incredible big and cool lamp and had such a fantastic time while filling the well.

In my diary
This is a blog post that I printed and glued into my diary. It’s about change and written by Heather Goldsmith on her blog A Creative Journal, a blog entirely dedicated to journal writing and diary keeping! I recommend you to subscribe to her blog if you have a diary, she digs up a lot of interesting news as well as serving writing prompts, thoughts on journal writing and links. I would love to find similar blogs, because writing is something that I’m really into and have been for my entire life. Let me know if you know of anyone else writing specifically about diary or journal writing.

I’ve recently made a revision of my diary book A Creative Year and ordered my copy from I hope I’ve eliminated a few more spelling errors and not created any new blurbs! I hope I now can leave it alone too, it’s so hard to “let go” and feel finished even now! At the same time when I bought my own book I also bought the first two issues of the art zine Pasticcio. Too bad I didn’t know the 3rd issue was coming out or I would’ve waited and ordered that too!

Do you keep a written diary? What do you write in it, and how often? Maybe we should create a diary club?

15 Responses

  1. I used to keep a diary but for the past year or so, I’ve been writing my Morning Pages (write 3 pages of uncensored thoughts first thing in the morning – or approximately 30 minutes) and keeping art journals. And between all of that, I feel I express myself more than enough (plus the blog and other art expressions.) So no more diary per say. But I still have all my diaries since 1990. It’s fun to look back and see how I evolved.


  2. I recently accepted that I was not so much a diarist, but that I often have a singular thought I needed to mull over so my diary has become home to collages. I limit the times and supplies I use in creating the actual piece, and allow myself to focus on the thought as I work. Blogging about it afterwards also hopes me sort out my real feelings on the subject. If I have a rant I need to get out, I put them in the same book.

    I think that sharing your diary is very brave and not for everyone. I don’t share everything I put in it, because if I knew from the outset, that something was definitely going to be made public, I may not be completely honest with myself as I made my collage.

    But I do love checking out other people’s work and sharing some of my own.

  3. Your diary looks imaginative and filled with art! I love the collages you make.

    I started to keep a diary in 1984 and it has become a habit I can’t kick :)I need my book & pen to think. Mostly I write/think about my projects but I also try to write about stuff that happens. It’s great – when me and my friends disagree on what happend “back in the days” I have my great big journal-stash as the key of all answers :-)

    Now I must go to the cupboard and pat my pile of diarys. mmmmm
    Hi from Carina

  4. I love journalling, and I love combining it with my art. I don’t necessarily write to “change,” but I do sort things out, whine, complain, celebrate, and the like. I’d like to think that some future grandchild will pick this up and find it fascinating, and maybe know the woman I was…not just “grandma.” Lord help me though, the books will probably end up in an antique/junk shop.
    Your pages are wonderful. Thanks for sharing them and for the links!

  5. I was a prolific diary keeper, until about 5 years ago when I realised the keyboard had replaced paper and pen for the majority of my writing-time. In high school, my (still) best friend Bell and I used to keep a shared journal/diary, and keep it for a couple of days each, then swap / write / read the previous entry. It was always filled with lyrics, poetry, drawings and a fair bit of angst!

    I don’t know if I would have time to dedicate to keeping a journal now, but then my blog is like a journal for me now.

  6. I absolutely agree that the ?form? guides us when we create – i find it much easier to work in a bigger journal or on big canvas than on the smaller pages. Maybe I should make it a challenge for myself and have a small A5 size journal just for extending my own boundaries, who knows? ^^

  7. I do keep a journal in a moleskin cahier (unlined). I don’t write in it daily, but when I need to mull things over, or make a list of books to read, or leave myself a note for further thought. I would like it to be more of a creative endevor, but as creative as I get with it is pasting in the tickets, fortune cookie fortunes or stray piece of fiber.
    Oh and I would LOVE a diary club!

  8. I’ve kept written diaries for nearly 20 years now. And I keep them for my kids too. Recently the diary and the art journal kind of blend and I’m not sure where one starts and the other ends. And why not? A diary club? Sounds like fun!

  9. I think a diary club is really an excellent idea. I’m going to go check out Anders J, too. I love Scandinavian design, if it’s possible to love the whole thing–I’m sure it’s as diverse as American design. I am going to Hawaii soon and I’m prepping a few pages of my journal to ‘talk to myself’ in during the trip.

    Your book is really wonderful, did you add more to it? I am almost finished reading it, but I’m going slow now because I don’t want it to be over. I know it’s just like reading your blog, but it’s portable and intimate this way. So I guess reading changes with the form, also!!

  10. that’s so cool about what’s happening with your writing journal. that happens in mine from time to time though it’s mainly with drawings and not with collage so much.

    i’ve always kept a diary, but lately i haven’t been writing as regularly and i’m just getting back into it. i like to write every day if possible.

  11. Have been doing “Morning Pages” for several years now, but it was only when I found your blog that I got the idea that the journal could also have some collages, art, or ATC type stuff pasted into it. Tack sa mycke for the inspiration Hanna.

    Have just posted one of my recent collages on my blog. What do I write? and why? well like one of the quotes in a diary page you posted, like Lord Byron, I often write to empty my mind.

  12. I use my diary as a sketchbook and as a notebook, but I find it very difficult to write down my deepest thoughts… I only started my visual diary this year, and I find it very exciting to see it evolve!

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