Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Art Journaling: Instant Happiness

So how many of you art journal? Do you art journal AND scrapbook -- or do you prefer one over the other? I used to view art journaling as something I just didn't have time for. I would admire the work of others, but felt like it wasn't a necessary thing. (I viewed my scrapbooks as necessary, and frankly didn't have any extra time left for other hobbies.)

Over the last year or two, I have drastically changed my opinion of art journaling. I view it totally as a necessity now! You know why? It's so fun! It's therapeutic, it's quick, and there is an end to each page that I complete. There is absolutely no pressure with art journaling. Each page is a mini-canvas that can be light and whimsical, or really deep and serious -- whatever fits at that moment. It can be messy and liberating (or not) and hey, it's a great place to experiment with new art supplies and techniques. There's no need to have a set color theme, an album topic (think school album, baby album, etc.) No pressure or big commitment. It's a joy to sit down and make art that speaks to you in a nice little compact journal. AND you can carry it anywhere!

I have to thank the talented Donna Downey for introducing me to art journaling a few years back at her legendary art event called Inspired. At the time I took Donna's class on art journaling, I was strictly a scrapbooker (for the most part) and thought her thick, colorful art journal was the most gorgeous, interesting thing that I'd ever seen! Being amazingly artistic, she made it look so easy. The thing I love most about Donna's philosophy with art and art journaling is that she really doesn't have any rules. She just does her thing! I found that very freeing and refreshing as I watched her create. Check out Donna at

The next group of people that I need to thank for getting me more into art journaling is my Art Sisters (you know who you are!) We all met at a workshop at Donna's Studio in North Carolina. We've known each other now for several years and we are the best of friends. They are there for me always, and are constantly inspiring and challenging me creatively. We check in with each other almost nightly, share art we've made, talk about our day, and we're even planning an art retreat at the beach at the end of the Summer! I feel so lucky to have found these amazing group of ladies.

Last year they told me about an art journal project they participated in each year called the DLP. (Documented Life Project.) It is a free class offered by Art To The 5th -- an AMAZING group of artists! My friend Christine, in particular, really shared her enthusiasm about the project and her work that she did in her art journal last year. It's GORGEOUS and it instantly inspired me!(Maybe I should see if Christine would share some of her art journaling here on my blog? Hint, hint, Christine!) I started with the DLP class in January and couldn't be more pleased with the results and the journey. It is such an enjoyable class -- I highly recommend checking it out at

I'd like to share with you some of the art journaling I've done so far in 2015. This is the cover of my DLP journal. We're using a Dylusions art journal and the first assignment was to decorate our cover. (It comes in kraft brown.) This was so fun to do!

Another art journaling class that I'm really enjoying, which is more technique driven, is Donna Downey's Inspiration Wednesday. Every other Wednesday she posts a video showing a new art journal technique. (You can find out more information on Inspiration Wednesday on her website.) I don't always get around to doing the latest technique right away, since life can get busy, but it's a great treat knowing that it's there for me to do all throughout the year. The thing that is interesting about Inspiration Wednesday is that Donna pushes me outside of my creative box. These pages are a bit more messy that what I usually do -- and I love it! Such a learning experience! (Note: the cloth journals shown at the very top of this blogpost are actual journals that you can order from Donna's website, and just start painting in them when they arrive. They're so stinking cute!)

Regardless of the source of inspiration, one thing is for sure: art journaling is MOST enjoyable! You can spend a few hours in your studio and complete something you just love. Try it! :)