10 Reasons Why All Creative People Should Keep an Art Journal
by Yvonne Hanson
Wikipedia tells us that an art diary, art journal or visual journal is a daily journal kept by artists, often containing both words and sketches, and occasionally including mixed media elements such as collages. Yvonne Hanson has been keeping an art journal since she was a young girl, working on the books daily. In a restaurant she might pour coffee on the pages and pull out a little brush to use the watery brown wash to colour a sketch. At home she'll sit in her garden and paint her much loved flowers and mosses. During study Yvonne will take many breaks and work in her journals. As an SFU student, Yvonne often combined her journals and school notebooks in one volume.
You can find many of Yvonne's journal pages as well as inspiring tips and information on her tumblr - click here. As well you can find Yvonne on instagram where she posts images of her garden as well as her journal pages and paintings.
Many famous artists are known for their art diaries - the sketchbooks of Leonardo da Vinci are probably the best known example. We have a local artist, Christina Nick, who creates amazing art journals and sketch books during her travels. You can find some samples in her Sketch Book Gallery here.
1) A written journal documents the facts of our experiences, an art journal documents the inspiration we glean from these experiences, and the creative process of acting on that inspiration.
2) Adding an entry to an art journal every day gives us a reason to use our creativity on a daily basis.
3) An art journal is a place where we can experiment with new mediums and techniques without fear of failure or judgement.
4) Art journals document the way our creative ability progresses, we can look back on old ones to see how much our styles have improved.
5) Art journals help us preserve every aspect of a memory- small trinkets like ticket stubs and receipts can be complimented by a creative expression of how we felt at the moment being documented.
6) Our journals give us an excuse to save all the little things we would otherwise have had to throw away- a flower from behind an ear, a note left by someone we love.
7) Because creativity comes from the world around us, art journals allow us to include more of the outside world than written journals. Newspaper clippings, photographs, pamphlets, and magazine articles can be included to provide the context in which each art journal is created.
8) Because of their disorganised nature, art journals can serve many functions. Your journal can be a class notebook, a sketchbook, a diary, a day planner, a scrapbook, or anything else you might need to use it for.
9) There’s an amazing art journal community on Tumblr that can give great feedback and criticism on the entries that you choose to share and also provide inspiration for sufferers of artists-block. Its a great way to get involved with a creative community.
10) Finally, a well loved art journal becomes an extension of your soul. It gives comfort when it is near and is a source of personal pride. It is as close as we can come to preserving ourselves, and is therefore a necessary part of the creative individual’s life.