Are you a lover of notebooks and journals? Do you have some creative way of documenting your life? Maybe you scrapbook or have a colorful planner? Or you just like doodling on notepads or coloring with your kids. What about looking at other people’s sketchbooks and journals–finding inspiration on the how-to of keeping a visual journal? I know, I love all of the above! I’ve always been a lover of visual journals and notes.
I have shoe boxes full of old junior high notes written by friends (you know the kind that you fold into a triangle and pass to your friend secretly hoping not to get caught by your teacher.) Most of these notes are pretty hilarious–details of my latest teenage crush, this changed weekly by the way, and cryptic notes written in a made-up version of “Pig Latin”. I even kept a scrapbook of my favorite boy band crushes using “Teen Beat” and “Bop” magazine cutouts. This sounds so silly now, lol–but it was fun at the time.
In high school, I kept a highly secretive illustrated notebook with a friend where we doodled, colored, gossiped, and discussed our weekend plans, heartbreaks, and dating adventures. Most of the “people” in the notebook have a secret nickname–some I can’t even decipher now. What type of journals did you keep as a kid? Do you still have them?
It has taken years and years to finally figure out which notebooks I love and what form of journaling works best for me. For years, I obsessed about having the “perfect” journal. I even ripped out pages and pages of half-filled notebooks because the notebook wasn’t “right”, now these old written notes are kept in zip lock bags. But at last, I have discovered what works for me! These are the three types of journals I keep:
- Art Journal
- Creative Notebook
- Visual Inspiration Notebook
Art Journal: This is where I practice collage techniques and get messy with art supplies. I’m a little bit more sporadic and less strict about art journaling than I am with my creative notebook. This is kind of a “junque journal” and a lot of incomplete painted pages. Some journals are homemade while others are in Moleskines, cheap Composition notebooks, or spiral bound sketchbooks.
I use wet materials like Modge Podge, acrylic paints, Gesso, Glimmer Mists, and watercolors. I layer collage and scraps of paper to build texture–mostly from magazine cutouts or decorative scrapbook paper. If the notebook paper is thin than I glue pages together. Other materials I use are stencils, crayons, color pencils, markers, stickers, washi tape, die-cuts, bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard, and stamps.
Creative Notebook: My creative notebook is my most beloved form of journaling. I love the intimacy of this journal. There is something satisfying about looking through the pages and seeing moments being recorded in sequence. You see ideas unfold and certain reoccurring patterns. I have a few rules with this notebook–this is my dry notebook. I use glue sticks or decorative tape to paste down images from magazines, scraps of paper, and daily ephemera. I always write the date, number the pages beforehand, decorate a cover page, only use a black rolling ball Precise V5 pen and a Piccadilly Essential Large Notebook for writing, and never tear out paper.
It’s a self-made planner and glorified journal all in one. I doodle, draw, make vision boards, take notes from books, write about my goals, dreams, and list all of my creative ideas and plans for the future. I write affirmations, gratitude, quotes, and ramble about my frustrations and struggles.
Visual Inspiration Notebook: This is my “gluebook” where I paste visual inspiration from magazine cutouts. I randomly glue images down through out the notebook using a glue stick. No wet glue like Modge Podge. I doodle around the images and add washi tape. I do not journal in this notebook–it’s only for visual inspiration to spark my creativity. It’s very relaxing and fun looking through old magazines and ripping out pages that catch my eye to put in this notebook. I use the Black n’ Red Hardcover Executive Notebook because I like the size of the notebook and thickness of the paper, it’s great for gluing down a full magazine page.
With all this journal talk I hope you are inspire to create! Please share your journal ideas and pages with me! What are your favorite notebooks and journal techniques?