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Art Journaling and Sketchbooking with Abandon

Art journaling is a great way to let down your defenses and creatively do art with abandon! The only rule is there are no rules, and what and how you journal is completely up to you.

There’s something so freeing about a sketchbook for your art, which when finished isn’t intended for framing or anything beyond just staying put inside there!

My favorite way to journal is using a sketchbook for a variety of artistic applications. Some people make a distinction between different uses for an art journal and a sketchbook, but again, there are no rules. It really is about what you want to do and how you want to do it.

Children are fearless when handed a blank piece of paper and paint to create something. As adults, we can talk ourselves out of even trying something for fear of failing, and this often includes art.

We won’t all be serious artists whose works hang in galleries and museums, but believing there’s not a place for art and creativity in your life is unfortunate because it’s a wonderful outlet for both expression and enjoyment.

My favorite sketchbooks are made by Stillman & Birn, with various lines for different art applications. I tend to most frequently use the Beta Series (extra heavy weight cold press paper, strong enough for mixed media) and the Zeta Series (also an extra heavy weight paper but with a smooth finish). Occasionally, I’ll use the Epsilon Series (more for pen and ink, and a light wash of watercolor), as well as another popular brand, Moleskine.

In my sketchbooks, you’ll find all kinds of applications, including watercolors, pen and ink, fabric and other collage, markers, pencil, molding paste, heat embossing, three-dimensional stenciling, alcohol inks, acrylic paint, wax relief, and more.

No colorful page is the same, nor should it be!

These pages from some of my sketchbooks (before journaling on them like a diary) are to say with pictures that it’s all about having fun and experimenting with new things!

Don’t listen to your inner critic voice saying you can’t draw or paint – it’s likely you can! The way I look at it is if there was only a white page, and now someone looking at it can see a turtle or tea cup, then you’ve made art!

Following these sample sketchbook pages, at the end of this post are five art journaling books I recommend if you need a jumpstart. I think you’ll enjoy the abandon in art journaling and sketchbooking!

Recommended Books

These five books on art journals and sketchbooks are ones I recommend from my bookshelves. Be sure to notice the title of one in particular: No Excuses Art Journaling – Making Time for Creativity!

No Excuses Art Journaling – Making Time for Creativity
Author Gina Rossi Armfield (North Light Books)
The Art Journal Workshop – Break Through, Explore, and Make It Your Own
Author Traci Bunkers (Quarry Books)
Journal Fodder 365 – Daily Doses of Inspiration for the Art Addict
Authors Eric M. Scott and David R. Modler (North Light Books)
Journal Spilling – Mixed-Media Techniques for Free Expression
Author Diane Trout (North Light Books)

Do you creatively play in your art journal or sketchbook? If so, what do you enjoy most about it? Please share below!



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