ART JOURNALLING 101: i do not consider myself an artist of any stature or recognition, however i don't think you need to be anything even close to that 'label' to enjoy art journalling. because art journalling has no rules, no regulations. it is simply: create. and to be a creative is largely a subjective idea. so i thought i'd address a few so-called 'tips' i have for art journalling, as it is one of my most frequently asked requests i have, besides photography tips.
1. IF THE SHOE FITS: or rather, 'if the book fits.' picking the right sized sketch-book is key to creating in a way you feel comfortable with. for some, large pages are where they feel most at home as it gives them freedom and scope to do whatever they like. for others, smaller pages are best: they can easily carry it around with them, it is a pocket-sized bundle of inspiration, bursting with paint and papers. i personally don't actually have a favourite, although A5 sketchbooks are what I tend to use the most, and I very rarely buy them - usually i just make them myself, because then i can even decide what colour, texture and size each individual page is and it makes it that much more unique and personal.
2. DON'T THROW ANYTHING AWAY: everyone knows in my house now that any ephemera or ribbon clippings can be used for something arty by me. i have a personal collection of sugar paper from box stuffings and primark bags (the brown paper is wonderful). i take as many of my brother's train tickets as he'll let me. old stamps are pure gold in my house, as are air mail envelopes. postcards i will take in a heartbeat. everything can be recycled. those scrap pieces of paper from when you cut up a piece of paper can be used by turning them into parcel tags, or pretty shapes, or polka dots. one entire cubby in my desk is overflowing with scrap paper (slightly messy, but ultimately very useful.)
3. STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST: there is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from the world around you, or other creatives - you just need to make sure you do it right. don't just 'steal', but 'steal like an artist': Austin Kleon says it very well (p.s i still don't have this book. hint. hint.) bad theft:: degrade; skim; steal from one; plagiarise; imitate; rip off. Good theft:: honour; study; steal from many; credit; transform; remix.
4. ART ISN'T SUPPOSED TO LOOK NICE; IT'S SUPPOSED TO MAKE YOU FEEL SOMETHING (thx park/rainbow, you speak the truth). depending on what your creative aim is, art doesn't always need to look nice. especially if it is personal and hidden away in your journal. it could evoke emotion, it could be eye catching, it could be intricately detailed, but it doesn't always have to 'look nice'. and that is the battle you will always have if you are a perfectionist like me: trying to accept the imperfect perfection of your own work.
what are you waiting for, start journalling! and if you're stuck for ideas, why not join my creative project of 2016: #ohjournaletc