I’ve started a new art journal, and I wanted to share what I’m doing. As a journal lover, a writer and an avid reader, I’ve been really fascinated with the idea of altered books.
I recently came across this neat old French text-book when clearing out a really old cupboard at school. I think it’s from the 1970s. It’s fantastic as an altered journal because the pages are sewn, not stapled, so they will hold up well. It is sturdy and bound well, and the paper is quite thick.
Most of the writing is in French, but there is some English inside, plus lots of interesting pictures of Paris and other French things I can incorporate into future journal pages.
The reason I’m creating this altered book journal in addiction to my other art journals is because I need something low-stakes I can make a mess in. It cost me nothing and there are lots of pages I can play with. I simply slap on a coat of gesso, then set about using my gelli plate, paints, stamps, stencils, washi tape and pens to play.
My other art journals are a bit more precious, and I find myself wanting to create something that is pretty, rather than actually playing and exploring different media. I felt like I needed a place I could make a mess and be ok with it.
This, of course, is going to be a pretty strong theme throughout!
I want this journal to be sort of like a normal journal in that I can explore and express how I’m feeling at the time, but visually. I’m new to art journaling so I’m just trying to teach myself various techniques and things as I go. But, the point is, to keep doing. Keep making a mess, because from that mess comes something interesting.
Here are a few pages I’ve made so far, and a few close-ups on details I particularly like.