Art Journal, Junque Journal, Smash Book: What is the Difference?

I am still working on my Junque Journal. I hope to have an update very soon. As I was working on the cover and cutting scrapbook paper to glue in my Junque Journal… thinking how much longer everything was taking then I figured… I wondered, what is the difference between and art journal, a junque journal, a smash book and a scrapbook? And why does it matter?

This is strictly my opinion, but I consider a smash book to be a container very much like a junque journal. A place to put all the day-to-day things you accumulate that helps you remember your life. The difference I think is that most smash books are pre-made with decorated pages. You can find a smash book online or in a craft store, buy it, and immediately start “smashing” stuff in. Of course, like a junque journal and art journal… if you want, you can add your own art (and writing) to decorate and/or document your life along with your smashables. You can also buy lots of accessories to smash in. Note tags… stickers… papers… lots of scrapbooky kind of stuff. So it can become something like a scrapbook for yourself without all the planning. I kind of think of scrapbooking as planned pages where you use scrapbooking decorations and ephemera to decorate the pages. A smash book seems the same, except the pages aren’t designed to be so planned (so it takes very little time), and of course it is about you.

A junque journal keeps all your life spillage-but you make it. You make your journal from an ordinary composition book (or the like) then YOU prepare your junque journal with decorated pages to use to show off the “junque” you put in it. You can certainly add art and writing to your pages as you add your daily spillage and ephemera but you don’t have to. And like a smash book, you can add all sorts of store bought ephemera, bits bobs, and decorations… as you like.

With art journaling, your journal is a container for your art and your life. Lots of people use their art journal to strictly experiment and practice their art… I kind of consider that more of a Sketchbook type of art journal because the art is the emphasis. My art journal is my journal that includes written journaling, planning, art, and my daily junk… Instead of strictly smashing “junk” in, I make things and the junk fits into what I make. The point is more than putting stuff in. The practice is in the process of “making” the page. Of course, art journaling takes time. Whereas, junque journaling and smashbooking don’t have to take more time than taping or clipping stuff in.

I have met more than a few snobs, that consider anything other than Art Journaling to be kid stuff. I stick my tongue out at them! Ha! I doubt it! Anyway you choose to explore, spill, preserve, treasure… your life is GREAT! WONDERFUL! Don’t EVER let anyone tell you different! And if they do, DON’T BELIEVE IT! There is artfulness in ALL of these journals and books. No one art is better than another. And even if it was… that would hardly be the point! Your life is the point! How you choose to remember and work with your life is the point! What makes you happy, that is the point!

Too often I hear friends say, “I am not artistic, I can’t do that…” art journal, junque journal, smash booking… That nasty inner critic in their brain convinces them and they don’t do ANYTHING. Creative, wonderful people who love life and their memories… have convinced themselves they can’t do that… can’t have that. That is where Smash Books and Junque Journal’s really SHINE! They allow people to jump in… spill their life and have fun decorating. Maybe some, who are a little brave will actually try putting together a Junque Journal! They push their creativeness just a bit further… Either way is GREAT!

As for me, well I straddle the fence. I have an art journal that I have been committed too for several years and has fallen to the wayside due to life. But when I don’t art journal, I really miss the life I don’t record… it just goes by… So junque journal gives me a quick way get it done. To at least record the bits of my life… and add art… if I have time… and if not, no worries!

The process of putting together the junque journal is trying my patience because it is taking longer than I want… but in the end it will be worth it and it will be my creation. And of course, on my shelf, is an unused smashbook… which I am sure I will use someday, one way or another.

What do you think?

What do you use or what would you like to use? Why? Please let me know!




2 thoughts on “Art Journal, Junque Journal, Smash Book: What is the Difference?

  1. I won’t repeat my previous comments here as the answer for this is almost the same as the others.
    I as well have a smashbook and I love it (them) I have several on my shelf. I like the different themes they come with and I find myself documenting my life and papers, reciepts, pictures etc in them more than my other journals which I draw paint etc in. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s simply because that is the way the smashbooks are advertised to be used that way and art journaling to decorate yourself.
    The human mind. Haha.


    • Thank you so for your comment! I think what makes smashbooks so special is that they are completely unintimidating. It is not a work of art where you have to be afraid of “ruining” a beautiful art journal with “junk”. What is really neat is that the receipts, cards, movie tickets… the junk tells such a wonderful story of your life in a way that a strictly “art” journal can’t. šŸ™‚


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