As a graphic designer and craft artist, I’ve had issues with forming my projects and ideas in the past. Sometimes I deal with what I call a storm in my head, a swirling tornado of inspirations, techniques, and visuals that keeps me from formulating a solid idea from which to start. If you’ve ever dealt with this, try to work it out in an art journal.
I started art journaling about three years ago and it’s a great way to work out all those thoughts spinning in your head. I work my pages up in stages. I tend to paint a few backgrounds all at once, then go through and collage those pages, and then doodle and journal. All of these stages help me to work out solutions. I usually just work in whatever stage I feel like at that time. And it’s not necessary to finish a page in one sitting or make that page about one topic. Most of my pages are worked on over a period of days or weeks, so they contain several days of writings and doodles. I also get new ideas when I look back through my art journals.
Recently, I was trying to figure out a design for a holiday promo. I was really stuck. Unfortunately, my holiday ideas always are born late in the season. This year was no exception. So I sat and doodled in my Moleskine:
I made notes to myself and played with lettering, colors and shapes. I came up with a promo idea, but decided to hold off until after the new year since it’s something more winter-oriented. That way, I’ll have more time to develop the promo! But just this process allowed me to sort out my thoughts and ideas, to develop as I doodled. And I may be able to pull even more stuff from this spread for next year.
So pull out a sketchbook, composition book, notebook or a handbound journal and start journaling. You never know what new projects and crafts may come out of it!
about dawn sokol
Dawn DeVries Sokol is the author of 1000 Artist Journal Pages: Personal Pages and Inspirations (Quarry, 2008). Her next book, My Doodle Diary, will publish in Fall 2010. An avid art journaler, she also designs books for publishers across the U.S. She lives in Tempe, AZ, with her husband TJ and dog, Lucy.