This is my first day of 31 Days of Happy Things…

I’m going to focus on Journalling today. Mostly because there are so many ways to keep a journal, and every journal is unique. Over the past two years, I’ve been keeping a kind of journal or writer’s notebook, where I sometimes scribble down pages of stream of consciousness writing, or write about something that’s bothering me, or even just do a bit of doodling or drawing. Journalling is a great way to become more comfortable with yourself – and nobody needs to know what you’ve written or drawn or created unless you want them to. Blogging is an extension of journalling – yes, it is not exactly private, but it is one of those things where you can write about or create anything you want to. You can talk about the worst day you’ve ever had, or you can do Outfit of the Day posts. You can be as anonymous as you want, or as open as you want.

One of my interests is Artist’s Journals, or journals that are made with mixed media, illustration and writing. When I did my Art GCSE, I loved collaging, using lots of different materials, using them to express feelings or a concept. I guess I’ve never stopped loving collaging and mixed media art. The thing that is so beautiful about mixed media and collaging is that it can either be kind of messy and all over the place, or it can be neat, with pieces fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle. There are lots of interesting books I’ve got on my wishlist about journalling in mixed media; I long to look through them and get my own plain paper journal and start doing it myself. I tend to stick with lined paper notebooks, but maybe it is time to break with tradition and start something new.

Some people think that journals are the same as keeping diaries. I would disagree, because diaries are usually recounting what happened that day, methodically, or date keeping. Whereas with a journal, you can let your mind wander, you can make things up, let yourself get lost in the ramblings of your subconscious, or imagine strange things. It doesn’t matter if you think you can’t write – of course you can. The thing about journalling is that nobody is judging your writing. It is a place where you can be yourself and be as stunning or as repetitious as you want. So many of my pages in my notebook are the same concerns and worries, over and over, until I think I’ll get sick of myself. Maybe one day I will look back and see that things have changed so much or maybe I will still be worrying and writing about the same things years later.

The most interesting books I’ve found about Mixed Media Journalling are:


The Complete Guide to Altered Imagery: Mixed Media Techniques for Collage, Altered Books, Artist Journals and More. by Karen Michel

This is the most comprehensive technique book published to date for creating altered imagery and covers a range from traditional art techniques to digital art techniques, showing how to blend and merge the two successfully. The technique section is followed by a project gallery that shows how to use your finished imagery in collage, journal, and altered book projects. There is significant crossover among artists who work in the areas of collage, artist journals and altered books and although there are books on each of these distinct areas of art, there is not a good comprehensive book that thoroughly covers all of the methods of visual imagery and manipulation that can be applied when creating collage, altered books, journals or even for framed art, until now. (Description from


Drawing from Life: The Journal as Art by Jennifer New.

Thirty-one individuals give a glimpse of their private drawings, doodles, scribbles, and stray thoughts–as recorded in uninhibited journals kept with passion and commitment. Each person is represented with a page of commentary and several reproductions of journal pages. Among the contributors are painters, architects, a volcanologist and a songwriter. (description from



1,000 Artist Journal Pages: Personal Pages and Inspirations by Dawn DeVries Sokol

Journals offer their makers a safe place to dream, doodle, rant, and reinvent themselves. They offer viewers rich, visual inspiration. There is a fascination with these revealing and often beautiful pages of self-exploration and personal expression. Journals offer a tantalizing, voyeuristic view of an interior life. This will be the first book to offer over 1000 journals in one eye-catching, visual format, and should attract a wide swathe of artists who fully embrace or experiment with this medium. (description from


With journalling, anything goes – so long as you have fun!

3 thoughts on “Journalling

  1. Happy days! I love this type of journalling – the scrapbook-y, arty, collage-y sort of thing…I researched a little into it when I did my GCSE art too…but think I was a bit too sort on time to actually make anything like it myself. Everything felt a bit rushed/crammed in during the GCSE days; especially with art, as it felt like there wasn’t as much time as there should’ve been…hey, diddle, dum, what’s new there?! At least we can still be creative and experimentive today…and there’s no grading involved – yay! xxx


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