SHOW+TELL: Art Journaling Through The Years

SHOW+TELL: Art Journaling Through The Years
This article was originally posted last year over at Punk Projects. But because art journaling is so near to my heart, I thought I’d share it here on Adventures-In-Making too!

SHOW+TELL: Art Journaling Through The Years

My high school art journal.

I’ve been art journaling ever since I first discovered this book by Sabrina Ward Harrison in high school. It was the first time I’d ever seen an ‘art journal’ and I was hooked. I cut up my Seventeen magazines, old National Geographics, and used watercolors, chalk, ink, and anything else I could get my hands on to fill my precious art journal with song lyrics (I was obsessed with Jewel and Alanis Morissette), quotes, collages, and all sorts of angsty teenage FEELINGS. At the end of my senior year, I gave my precious art journal to my English teacher to keep as a time capsule to send me 10 years later. Boy, was that a trip to get in the mail at age 28!

SHOW+TELL: Art Journaling Through The Years

Crazy collage from my high school art journal.

SHOW+TELL: Art Journaling Through The Years

Pages from my high school art journal.

I’ve kept many art journals since then and now use it as a safe place to create intuitively. Whenever I’m feeling lost or overwhelmed by life, I get out my art journal and start filling pages. Doing this calms my nerves, and helps me to reconnect with my true self. I use many of the same techniques I loved in high school. I collect vintage National Geographic magazines, old books and postcards. When I’m working in my art journal, I don’t question or judge myself, but just let my mind and body relax and reflect on where I’m at in life.

SHOW+TELL: Art Journaling Through The Years

Pages from my current art journal.

SHOW+TELL: Art Journaling Through The Years

I’ve been enjoying using color as a main theme.

Since college, I’ve been using vintage books as my art journal medium. There’s something about drawing inside the pages of a book that feels so satisfying. There are no blank white pages staring at me saying “this better be good” and I love choosing an old book with a title and cover that speaks to me.

SHOW+TELL: Art Journaling Through The Years

I now use vintage books at my art journal medium.

SHOW+TELL: Art Journaling Through The Years

I still collect magazine clippings and other ephemera to fill my pages.

What are some of your favorite art journaling supplies, techniques and inspirations?

DIY: Art Journal Techniques with Katie Smith

Hey everyone, This is Katie from Punk Projects and today I am taking over the Adventures in Making blog! Last year Rachel guest posted on my blog sharing a peek at her art journals so today I wanted to share a peek into mine! More specifically, a couple of fun techniques I like to use.

I love drawing and painting people in my art journals, but some days I’m feeling a bit lazy or I want to do something different, so I grab a magazine and pull pages from it to use. I like to cut around some of the people/models in the pages and use them in my journal, but being an artist I like to alter them a bit.

Today I want to show you 2 ways to alter cut outs from magazines.

1. Gesso’d and Doodled.

If you want the look of a hand drawn person but perfer to trace this is a good technique for you! Start by finding some people or objects in your magazines and cutting them out.

Next glue your person down onto your journal and paint over it with a light coat of gesso. Most gesso’s dry slightly transparent so you will be able to see your cut out underneath and easily trace it.

Once your gesso is dry, take a black marker and trace your cut out. If you can’t quite see through the gesso in places, use your imagination! It won’t be perfect, but that’s okay! The result is a fun, doodled look and can even be colored in as well!

2. Packing Tape Transparency

I like using this technique when I have a fun background I don’t want to completely cover up. You will be able to see a bit through the magazine transparency.

Start by covering your cut out in clear Scotch/packing tape. Depending on the size of your cut out, you may need to use multiple pieces of tape, which is fine. Just make sure the edges of the tape pieces slightly overlap each other.

Next soak your cut out in a bowl of warm water for a couple of minutes. This will wet the paper and make it easy to peel up.

After 2-4 minutes pull it out and flip it over so the backside is facing up. Use your fingers and rub the paper off. Be gentle, but persistent and you’ll remove all the paper and end up with the image on the tape transfer!


Do you like to use magazine cut outs in your art journals? Do you have any other favorite techniques?

Thanks for letting me share! If you get a chance, come stop by my blog for more crafty inspiration! I’m hosting a free 8 week craft challenge this Summer and I’d love to have you join!