No Excuses Art Journaling

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If you are anything like me you have an ever growing collection of art journal books.  Some you go back to time and time again.  Others sit there collecting dust getting no love at all.  Usually, I am so full of excitement when I get a new art book that I read it right away but don’t implement the ideas and techniques.  I might do some of them eventually but I am very sporadic about it.  Can you relate?

This year I’m selecting ONE art book at a time and doing the work.  Being consistent.  Not worrying about the outcome or creating a masterpiece but enjoying the process.

Let me tell ya, I am loving the book, “No Excuses Art Journaling” by Gina Rossi Armfield.  It is amazing!!  I started with this book because most of the ideas and concepts in it are pretty simple.  And I already do a lot of them one way or another either in my creative notebook or bullet journal.  What I love most about this book is that it provides the framework for keeping a colorful, juicy yearly planner with monthly, weekly, and daily prompts and projects.

I love that I can spend anywhere from thirty minutes to five minutes a day on my journal and overtime see progress.  Because lets be honest some days I just don’t feel like journaling or being artsy, but I have five minutes I can spare.

The ideas and concepts are super easy to follow and simple enough that you don’t get overwhelmed–making the task of journaling actually enjoyable.

Gina discusses the tools and supplies needed, how to prep your journal, gives additional journaling techniques, and provides a manageable method for working on your monthly, weekly, and daily prompts and assignments.

She recommends using a day planner as the structure for your journal but I really didn’t want to go buy a day planner solely for the purpose of journaling.  Plus, I have so many unloved, half-started notebooks and journals filled with colorful painted pages that I knew would be great for this.  I grabbed one of my old notebooks and began prepping my journal for February and March using the monthly inserts and recommendations.

At first when I started gluing down collage and magazine clippings to the previously painted pages, I cringed because of the crinkly non-prestine page.  But then, I thought I must continue and work through my inner critic. Otherwise, I won’t follow through and complete this project.  Now a week into it, I am actually liking the look of the decorative, crinkly pages and I know my journal will be fun to look at the more I work in it.

Gina suggests doing the weekly assignments in watercolor but right now, I’m all about journaling on the couch using markers, colored pencils, colorful pens, and occasionally watercolored pencils and a watercolor brush pen.

For February, I kept things pretty simple because I am in the middle of turning my craft room into a nursery for baby number two.  I don’t want to worry about setting up paints and water when I am in the middle of transitioning.

That is the beauty of this book, you can adjust and do what works for you.  For March, I prepped my weekly assignments for watercolor by creating a watercolor paper insert with Washi tape.  We’ll see how that goes!

Most of the work goes into prepping your monthly beforehand but once you’ve prepared your journal it is so easy to continue and follow through with it daily.  This book encourages me to draw or paint a bit of art everyday in a very non-intimidating way.  I am enjoying the progress and finding out what works and doesn’t work for me.  I highly recommend this book if you want to create a beautiful, fun filled journal throughout the course of a year!

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