My Corner Online


Assorted Challenges


40. Art Journaling

Create any art journaling page.

This lesson was written by Bernie Tuffs.

Tasked with bringing some knowledge of Art Journaling to the site, my first port of call was google. It soon became clear though that there was waaaaay too much information out there to try to pin this down! There are so many sites all willing to help us along our art journaling path, and they all have helpful ideas and pictures!

So, I thought, back to basics! What do know?

I’ve been doing art journaling for a while now, and the good thing about it...perhaps the best thing about that there are no rules! An art journal can be a personal thing that you never show to anybody, or you may like to show it to anyone and everyone! It is an art form that combines the visual with the written word to create a page that is pleasing to the creator, with no thought to anybody else! It’s all about YOU!

You may like to journal about one little thing that has happened in your day, or about the big things in life! You may prefer to use inspirational quotes, or use your own words. You don’t even need to use whole sentences if you’d prefer something shorter and punchier!

And getting that perfect drop shadow? Forget it! No need! Not if you don’t want to!

A lot of art journal pages made digitally are ‘flat’ with no shadows used. It gives a whole different feel to the page. It might take you some time to get used to this if you have done a lot of digital scrapbooking, where, of course, we try to make shadows look as real as possible!

Some people prefer to get messy and use a sketch book or specially made journal to actually paint and stamp in. There are loads of supplies that work well for this and your physical art journal can be a great place for experimentation!

Whichever way you choose to do it, the whole point of art journaling is to be free to do as you please! It’s your journal, your art and your words. No rule of thirds, no arranging of elements in odd numbers or in a ‘Z’ shape to help draw the eye across the page – unless you want to! No shadows, no descriptive journaling – unless you want to!

Art journaling can be a way of getting a quick creative fix, can be very therapeutic, and relaxing, and can also be a useful way to record innermost thoughts and feelings.

So in a lot of ways it’s not much different to scrapbooking...a story of some sort is usually being told, whether it is about an event or just how you felt when you got out of bed today! The difference comes in the way the story is told; the pages created - whether with paint and stencils and bubble wrap, or with your computer!

Looking around at all the art journal stash available out there, it’s hard to actually put my finger on what exactly is different about them, but they do seem to have a certain ‘feel’ to them. As always, it’s a matter of personal preference as to whose style of kit you prefer! That said, the kits you already have in your collection will probably work perfectly well!

I have grown to love art journaling! Mine may look different to most people’s, but that’s the joy of it for me! I appreciate seeing other pages though and am constantly amazed at the imagination and creativeness of other people’s work!

I hope I’ve given you a feel for art journaling and also inspired you to want to have a go yourself!

I’d love it if you’d post some examples either of your own pages or any that you find online that inspire you! Art journaling can be a lovely thing to do together, and a page that helps you through a difficult time might just help someone else as well! No pressure though! Just do as you feel inspired to do!

Here are some of my pages.

Just for fun, this was the announcement when this lesson first posted.



My Art Journal Pinterest

Traci Reed Art Journaling


e-scap and scrap

Tangie Baxter's Art Journal Caravan

Daily Digi

Hummie's layout.

Here's my first thoughts:

Bernie is quotes as saying: "It is an art form that combines the visual with the written word to create a page that is pleasing to the creator, with no thought to anybody else! It’s all about YOU!"

...... I think this is a great quote to begin a focus of art journaling. 

1. I totally agree that it combines written word with the visual. So this would be the first point in that art journaling is "journaling" or text or letters with graphics. I do note that for Bernie, she generally uses only quotes in her graphics, but these quotes must mean something to her that she portrays in the rest of the graphics. So the text could be your own words or that of others. I am assuming that something called "journaling" would always have text in the art.

2. Pleasing to the creator. So I understand that art journaling is a "personal" thing, not something we are doing to "leave to the future generation," as we often do with scrapbooking, but something we do to grow personally, to learn about who we are inside.

3. All about YOU! Although an innocent comment, I have trouble with these words. For me, it is hard to be selfish and make things only for myself. That "me time" is hard to spend. In addition, I sometimes worry that art journaling has come from the "new age religion" which encourages us to help ourselves, rather than rely on Christ. Certainly there is nothing wrong with self-reflection and personal growth therefrom, but for me personally, I would want to always be careful walking the fine line of self-help vs. Christ growing me. Yes, we have "all about me" challenges where we record where we grew up, etc., but art journaling is different in that it is introspective and not facts. An art journaling page can have nothing to do with religion, of course, but for me personally, the inward motive behind the page is something I want to keep in check.

I have always said I do not feel like I was gifted with the talent of "art," but that my PSE makes me artistic! Love those sliders! So I think art journaling by computer would be easier for me than with paper.

Quote: "They are a visual way for me to share the hard times, the trials, problems; a way to work through some my thoughts and feelings" ..... I think this is another way of saying it that is good. It is similar to keeping a journal or a "diary" in which we write to feel better or get out those thoughts and feelings and struggles to feel better. I've always known this is something good to do, even since I was a child. I guess physiologist recommend it. So art journaling is the same thing, only done using art and not text only.

So what would an art journaling kit contain?

I think I have the answer!

What makes art journaling on paper so hard is that I am not artistic enough to by hand draw something that represents what my words are saying.

With digital art journaling, those things can be provided for me.

In general, art journaling is not seen with our own photos, but with objects that represent what we feel.

As you know, I am very much into analogies and this is what I see art journaling as -- objects that are an analogy for my thoughts.

So an art journal kit would contain things that can be related to thoughts and feelings, such as clocks for time, flags for freedom, trees for growth and being rooted, faces for feelings.

I was thinking about what I could do for a first art journal page and realized I might have trouble coming up with the graphics for what I want to say.

By Kiki Cole:

Captivated Visions, Tangie Baxter and Tracie Stroud are 3 of my favorite Art Journaling designers.

And Art Journaling doesn't necessarily HAVE to have journaling. The "journaling" part comes from originally creating pieces of art IN a journal. You know, those blank sketch artist journals. A lot of art journal enthusiasts usual visual images alone and/or maybe a couple words in their art pieces, as well as quotes and full-fledged diary type journaling. The beauty of art journaling is that it can be anything and everything! 

I think a key compnent is that the pieces used look like "real" things...and I mean that differently than us, as digiscrappers, trying to make a leaf have a realistic shadow. This is more "real" as in an artist in her studio putting paint or chalk on paper, creating pieces and cutting them out, cutting out magazine photos and combining them, taking real objects from nature or around the house and adhering them to the page. But it's all digital! I think the best AJ designers are the ones that do just that....create them in their studio, scan them in and create digital images for us to work with. I'd love to try my hand at something like that!


Here are your digital scrapbooking layouts!