An Art Journal spread with lots of text (this is part I of III in a series of posts about text in your Art Journal). I finished this page this weekend as I sat outside in the sun and thought about what music means to me;

Art Journaling journaling: Can you hear the music
Art Journaling to me is working with art in book form. Most of the time it’s a combination of visual elements, colors and text.

It can include doodling, drawing, acrylic painting, watercolors, stamping and gluing with all kind of papers! It’s especially fun when you start making collage papers of your own, cutting them up and combining them on a page. I’ve made “backgrounds” using my new brayer, water soluble crayons and gesso and bubble wrap for example. Any method you prefer works fine!

Can you tell I get carried away with this subject?

Text details (Copyright Hanna Andersson])Anyway. Journaling is the writing you add to the page. Combining the visual elements with writing is one of the most difficult things to master when you’re new to Art Journaling if you ask me. If you start with the writing part it will be difficult to fit in any images later. Crayons or paint added after the journaling takes place will mess up the writing. When you add texture it might be difficult to write on top of that. You’ve got to find the right kind of pen for your surface. And then if you get caught up in creating you’ll fill the page and there will be no room for words. We want to be in that state of creative playful flow, but still find room to add journaling? That is a lot to ask of yourself.

When I started to keep an art journal I got rather frustrated with this, wanting to write but never finding the right spot to do it on. Still I would rather be in the creative flow than plan my pages and get stuck! Always.

And as the months passed I did find my writing spots amongst all that color. As I continue to experiment with many different styles I always find that I add text to my pages. Handwriting or other. I have found that there are several good ways to add text elements in your journal! Some easier than others. They also work in your mixed media art. I think chunks of text is an important part of my collages.

I’m dividing my thoughts into three posts, so stay tuned this week. I’m trying to run out of posts, to take a blog break over the summer… I will have a break, soon, but to run out of things to say? I can’t. I will never. Ever.

I totally agree with Michelle Ward who thinks that Visual Journaling is not about writing, it’s about the creative art process, something she says in her latest post on the Street Team blog. This month with Crusade #30 Cat got your tongue, about adding journaling/text to your book. Because I’m a writer at heart I love words. So let’s start with a look at my latest spread.

Here is the same spread, but before the writing was added:

Journal Spread Before Writing

Very inspired by Kelly Kilmer’s style, not my normal messy self this time. Gluing things down like this is mindless to me. I sit with a file folder of papers and just chose pretty ones and random magazine clippings. It is a joyous and easy process to me, kind of like cleaning out old images and finally using them. I can do quite a few of these pages in a row, and then later, I come back to look at them again. With a pen, some acrylic paint or more collage details. Little stickers, or cut out words… Anyway once again, to go back to today subject: adding the text… here are two ways to journal on your finished page.

What to write: pick a subject and write down a few thoughts about that subject. On this page I’ve written about music. What is in my ipod, how it makes me walk faster and almost dance and sing out in public, how I used to feel that I inherit music from other (and now claim it as my own) etc.
Where to write: Write on scrapbook papers! Scrapbook paper is great to glue down and write on, especially if it is pastelish or mellow. If it’s to bold and patterned you can mellow it down with gesso paint.

What to write: Make a list! A list always works. If you don’t know what to write on a page but still want to add the element of text and letters I suggest you write a list. A simple what-to-do-today if that’s all you come up with. Otherwise, your favorite anything. Favorite music for example. Here I’ve listed a few bands & artists that makes my heart sing right now.
Where to write: Magazine images! I love to write on the smooth surface of a magazine page. Find images that has a lot of bright space around or inside them. Go back to my spread above to view the b/w woman photo again. I’ve journaled on the white space surrounding her but also letting it overlap her face and blouse when I needed more space!

That’s two ways to make space for your writing and two ideas for what to write. I’ll be back soon with more ideas.

Usage of text in Art Journaling

Check out part II on How to use Text Elements as backdrops for collage and part II on how to Find the right spot to add your text.

Further inspiration elsewhere

Go visit;

*Cat got your tongue? – Crusade #30 and it’s contributors (I’m just one of many thinking about this in April)
* Kelly Kilmer’s blog – always lots of art journal inspiration with a great sense of combining lots of her journaling writing with lots of yummy visuals!
* Ateljer XT’s journal – I was looking through her cool sketch journal with collage and writing today, and I love every single page! Mucho lindo!
* SuziBlu Daily Vlog – Suzi has a 365 project! She inspires me ever day by talking about writing morning pages, thinking big, doing art, wearing wigs, enjoying life, etc.

Also, a humongous Thank You for humoring me by eating cake with me, celebrating my birthday and my 1000th blog post! Love you! Friday is next big date: this blog will become five for heavens sake!


Take care, until next tutorial.