“I do it to play”
I made my art journal and first mark in 2021. I immediately became an addict. I hand make my art journals out of watercolor paper and chipboard, stitching the pages together then gluing the chipboard to create the blank canvas cover and back.
I realized the abundance of wonderful emotions and creative imaginations I experienced when looking at other art journals on Instagram and was mesmerized by Laly Mille’s art journals @lalymille. I gained the courage to try it myself by taking her art journaling classes and highly recommend her classes to you. https://www.lalymille.com/classes
Now that I’m a veteran of art journals for a whooping 8 months or so, here’s what I’ve discovered about my own expression and process.
Opening my art journal is like escaping into the tall grasses of a meadow, blending into the ragged robin, hidden for a moment, without leaving the room. It’s a playground where I am “like a little child” where the emotions and imaginations of uncritiqued play are always more important than the process or conclusion.
I ‘art journal’ to play. Yes, I’ve made the phrase a verb. I art journal to simply enjoy the feelings I get as I discover textures, colors, hues, lines, and shapes. I allow whatever I just applied to the page to tell me what would be an enjoyable-- next.
I don’t photograph or share all my pages; some are a muddy mess! Like my clothes and shoes after playing in the mud as a child after a spring rainstorm. I’m smiling just imagining it!
My art journal is a place where I come home to childhood. The best part of childhood—before any manipulation or ridiculous expectations, like “stop squirming, sit still, be quiet, color inside the lines, erase those smudge marks” tampered down my zeal.
I even breath differently when I art journal. I do it because I enjoy playing. Play leads me to discover. Discovery encourages me to keep exploring. Exploration leads me to inspiration, and inspiration gently guides me back to the easel.
I do it to play; perhaps you need to play too? And, it has become essential. It’s just that simple.