So how often should you art journal? And why am I even asking that question when my goal is to practice art journaling every day? Good questions. The reason I ask is really due to formats. Formats? What the heck are formats?
When I have been true to my art journal practice and actually journaled everyday it didn’t mean I did a page everyday… and it didn’t mean I didn’t. What? At certain times I “art journaled” as I could, everyday. And there was a time when I did an entire page each and every day. That’s where a “format” comes in. It really isn’t so much a strict set of rules on what to do but rather a guide.
For example: I had a job not too long ago where I actually had a full hour for lunch. While I was at this job I actually worked on an art journal page at lunch every day. My format was daily. And I look back at my journals from this period and am truly impressed that I was able to do so much art journaling. Also, because of this hour of time, doing a page didn’t feel like a chore at all. In fact it was a really nice way to blow off the steam and stress of a busy day. What I loved about this format was that I got lots of art journaling practice. I was able to complete lots and lots of pages. I was able to make lots and lots of really cool art with some journaling added in. When I look back at these art journals, I can see my art skills and style really develop.
Then my job changed and my format changed as well. There was no more hour lunch breaks. Bummer! Half hour was all I get and that leaves little to no time for art journaling. So, I started out preparing background pages in a journal. I did about 15 pages per week. So I would have something on the page to start out with. Then my art journaling was more of a journal entry style. I would add collage, lettering, doodles, journal entries based on what happened of note during the day. I might use a quarter of a page one day and two pages the next. And it made getting something down every day really easy. This was a Daily Open-ended format. What I love about this format is that it was more of a hybrid art journal/written journal. There was less focus on the art and more of a focus on reflecting my day using art and writing. My Daily Open-ended art journals really reflect my daily life during the period more than any other format I have used.
The format was changed abruptly when I decided to do a “Weekly Challenge” and after I took Dawn DeVries Sokol’s Art Journaling Class (thru Creativebug). I started doing a weekly art journal challenge, so during the week I collected bits to add and make my pages and on the weekend I created them. I loved the pages I made. I actually did lots of painting and drawing with my bits from the week. But jamming all the creative work into the weekend didn’t really work for me. After I took Dawn’s class, I changed how I did this weekly format. I actually made a background on a two page spread on Sunday. Each day I added something that happened, a picture, a receipt, a doodle… by Saturday I had a finished page that reflected my week. This was a weekly format. I look back at the weeks that I worked in this journal. I really loved how it came out. There is a certain style I developed, learned from Dawn’s class, and practiced on my weekly pages that I just love, love, love! What was really nice about this format is if you are limited in time you can spend 5 or 10 minutes a day adding a bit or two to the spread and by the end of the week you have something wonderful. I wish I would have finished this journal and filled in every page… but I didn’t… but I still could!
Then I changed again, as I often do, and ended up doing a daily doodle kind of journal out of a Junk Journal. I had started getting burned out and wanted to do at least something everyday. During this time I also explored Bullet Journals and new and improved Junk Journals. Then I stopped. I stopped doing any journaling and took a break due to burn-out.
When I started journaling again, my goal was different. I didn’t set a page amount, or a daily amount, or any of that. I set a practice. I would practice art journaling everyday. It didn’t matter what that practice was… or how long I spent on it, as long as I practiced in some way. I didn’t want to burn out again so I was gentle and set a very open-ended goal. So my most recent pages, the ones I have been sharing on this blog, are the result. They are kind of a Daily/Open-Ended hybrid format.
So what format do you use? Does it work for you? Do you love the results? I would love to know!!