Art Journaling | Find the right spot to add your text

This is part III of III on how to use text in your art journal.

I love how letters are both beautiful (as art) and meaningful (as text) and then both of those things at the same time as meaningful thought provoking art! If I make sense, please let me know…

Do make friends with an Octopus… Interesting headlines from magazines is just meant to cut out and glue into your art journal, right? I love headlines that are questions to ponder or to take to heart, like this one.

So, part one was on journaling in art and the second part on adding text elements to that Art Journal you’re working in. This time, I’m going to be more random… This is part III (of III) on how to add text in different ways to your mixed media and Art Journal!

I could probably go on for ever about this subject, I think it is a huge topic and as I’ve said before. I love to explore my own journals… but I have other things to do in life (Hmm… I think I do? Anyway). Let’s just look at some more examples and be done with it. In that way we can enjoy our journals the whole week and play together (in spirit). Please add your favorite text tip at the bottom, I need some input and inspiration right now too.

Make space for later writings. This is acrylic paint in a altered book (my current art journal). Altering a book is a great way to always have text on your page when you start out. I hide most of it, with collage or paint, but love the glimpses of text that comes through between collage elements and here, see-through the paint.

This is one spread ready for journaling:

Altered Art Journal spread, April 2009.

If I really feel like writing I need several blank pages in a row for uninterrupted writing. That’s what I keep a separate diary for. What I do like to add into my journal is stream of conscious writing, including beautiful words or things I want to tell myself.

Text details (Copyright Hanna Andersson])
Here is a small portion of a text I wrote crossways. Turn your book in different directions and write where your text fits best without caring for readability! When writing in your Art Journal later reading might not be even necessary, it depends on what you’re writing off course. I write what ever comes into my head, and hardly ever try do decipher it later.

This is text I scribbled when listening to a podcast with SARK:

These kind of quick notes often end up on the nearest loose paper, a receipt or envelope maybe. Sometimes when that is something I like I’ll copy it down, sometimes I’ll glue it into my art journal:
My handwriting on scrap paper (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
A note in my own handwriting on a loose piece of scrap paper. There is also leftover paper with vintage handwriting under the crayon marks and acrylic paint.

Two ways to add text to your page here;
Text details (Copyright Hanna Andersson])
1) Use a text page from a magazine that has a interesting background color and make stripes, lacy border or decorative elements for your page.
2) Write text on the magazine page with a white fluid pen, find a favorite by trying different brands. White pens are tricky. This is written with a sakura-pen.

Because my journal is an altered book I get a lot of “leftover” text pages. Lately I’ve been looking at those and wanting to “keep” some of the information I tore out. So I cut out little text blocks and tape them back in again:
Text details (Copyright Hanna Andersson])
This text is about the hummingbird and the images are of the dodo – both very fascinating and beautiful creatures.

Another text book extract, underlining some words I like (just for fun);
Text details (Copyright Hanna Andersson)

More facts!

This is a taped in text from one of the many pages torn out from the Altered book that I thought had some interesting text worth saving:

Text details (Copyright Hanna Andersson]) Text details (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
This text extract is taped down in just one end, so it flips up to read a handwritten message on the backside. Life is sweet, especially for the hummingbirds. They can eat half their own weight in sugar – every day!

Interesting facts from magazines is fun to save and glue into an Art Journal or diary. This is factoid about the size of the universe.

One of the fun things about collage is hiding messages everywhere I think.

Collect beautiful words and use them:
Earth Spirit shoe label glued in too (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
My new black shoes are labeled Earth Spirit. This little tag with its bright green colored is a matter of course thing to save for indulging into the journal. Don’t you agree? I was kind of stupid to let Smilla play with it, but some scratches (here cat teeth marks) is something that also adds significance to the ephemera (for me).

If you don’t throw away paper you have a lot of them laying around in the end. I hoard all papers.

I try to use most of the papers I get hold of. This is last years never used calendar saved to be “scrap paper” for excess paint, quick phone notes or doodles. This piece never found his way to the recycle bin, poor thing.

Don’t forget to leave small spaces in between your collage elements:

Or make some space by adding acrylic paint. That is where you can write your message later. Just little spaces where you can write down a quote or a quick thought when you look though your almost-finished pages. This text is saying: To continue when nobody gets it. To share when others don’t give back. To be unselfish. To myself. To be selfish, when one needs to be.. I have no idea what it means. If you want to interpret it for me, go ahead! :-)

I hope you’re inspired to use text mixed in with your visual fun now. For more inspiration visit Crusade #30: cat got your tongue!

If you want to read a story that makes my heart beat faster with feelings that are beyond words go to Karlee’s blog and read her post about me (!) and her exploration into Art Journaling! Let me quote:

    iHanna has silently and unknowingly led me to the belief that it is ok to express myself through both words and pictures. Sometimes pictures are all I have for ways of expressing myself, because words often fail me. I’m not sure I’ll ever find the words (or pictures) to thank her, or even the nerve to contact her, but regardless, I’m eternally grateful.

This makes me feel proud, teary, happy and very grateful!

15 Responses

  1. hanna – another terrific post. i know you put alot of time and heart into this. you had me at “beautiful” and “meaningful”. perfect. thanks for sharing with the team, and getting us to think more about text/writing. what a lovely connection you made with karlee. that is the icing on the cake. have a lick :)

  2. to continue when nobody gets it. ( don’t give up )

    to share when others don’t give back. ( do not give
    to recieve, be a cheerful giver, do it out of love,
    because you enjoy it )

    to be unselfish. to myself. ( Love
    yourself, treat yourself with kindness )

    to be selfish, when one needs to be
    ( to say no when you need to say no ).

    Hope I got it. I

    Your a great teacher, Hanna!
    and yes you are making sense.

    God Bless You and Yours!!!

  3. Hi Hanna, thank you so much for this series of tutorials on art journalling and incorporating text, it’s so helpful and inspirational.

    Speaking of text, and quotes etc to include in journals I came across this one recently quoted in a crime fiction novel of Mari Jungstedt.
    “you are not alone. if among a thousand stars only one looks at you, believe in the star’s meaning, believe in the gleam in its eye…”
    Carl Jonas Love Almqvist.

    I’ve used this quote in my journal, i love it, and I think it says something similar to your own piece of stream of consciousness quoted in your post.

  4. PS. Make friends with an Octopus reminds me, to make peace with my passed, make peace with what is, or to make the best of what is
    going on in life that isn’t so good. An example might be; instead of avoiding what is and being fearful, have faith and pray and press on.

    Like being understanding, of where someone is coming from. If they make a remark that makes you feel hurt, understand it is coming from fear and forgive them for it.

    If it is jealousy, feelings of lack or not enough, it is coming from what is called, fear. So we need to understand and let go of the little stings in life and continue to love, what one could call the octopus.

    I am sure there is more to ponder about this
    headline of, make friends with an Octopus.

    I love what ainelivia found in a book had to say.

    God Bless You and Yours!!!

  5. Wow Hanna! I really like your post. I love the quote and think Flassie has the meaning right. I needed to read your posts and comments this evening. It has been a hard evening and I’m going something in my journal I haven’t done in a while – I’m writing about the evening and my feelings about it. I may paint over it tomorrow night, but at least tonight, I’ll be able to go to sleep, knowing that my internal debate and angst has been captured in my journal and I don’t need to wrestle with it in my sleep.

  6. Hi Hanna! BEAUTIFUL, thought provoking journaling going on at your home! I really like what you’ve done with your altered book/journal… now I’m inspired to do something different than my usual, thank you!

  7. Text tips:
    1) Write some words backwards.
    2) Use Rubber Stamp letters.
    3 Use Rubber Stamp Words.
    4) Stencil letters.
    5) I bought a couple of vintage ad newpaper templates
    at a yard sale that someone found while digging in their yard.
    If you have something like that you could print it in your journal. Seen a group of them on ebay from the 60’s.
    6) Isn’t there a way to write a secret message with milk?
    Have you heard of that? It will appear over time on the page.
    I think there is a way to bring it out.
    Some of these ideas you might of already used.

  8. Text tip: How about adding a stencil with words on it.
    Add the stencil itself and glue it onto the page.

    Do you remember when you were a kid making a
    page full of different crayon colors and than coloring
    all of it over with a black crayon? You draw over it.
    How about writing over it in words, poem, quotes,
    sentences. I don’t know what that is called. But some
    of the black crayon is taken away and the color shows
    through. You could probably even just use one color
    under the black.

    God Bless You and Yours and Your Creative Life!!!

  9. I always enjoy looking at the complex imagery on your pages, and seeing your writing. Something about your Swedish, too, makes it so visually cool!

  10. Wonderful and informative post! Love the bits of foreign text. Obviously, you can actually read it, but for those of us who can’t, it adds that extra bit of mystery.

  11. Click Flassie and Check out the interview at Anglea’s.
    Violette gave me the added insight to continue when
    no body gets it.

    God Bless You and Yours!!!

  12. Hi Hanna! I meant to do this a very long time ago, I have been a regular reader of your blog for a long time now, but somehow could never come up with a meaningful comment. Your blog is wonderful – I have never imagined a person can be so devoted to crafts and working so hard to achieve and develop so much in such a short time. You have inspired me in so many ways – from starting to create my own little things at home and think about projects to creating my own new blog.. Thank you very much for all! I have marked your blog in my blog list – hope this is ok ;) Please come to visit when got a min to spare:

    Warm regards,


  13. What a great way to start a new day. Thank you so much for your ideas, your advice, your never ending inspiration and your generousiry! Love r

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