Monday, August 31, 2009

Art Journal queries answered *Edited espesh for Ink Fairy

Woww, I love that you all love the journal step bey step. It was just a spur of the moment thing and I wasn't at all sure how it would turn out. I was really tired when I was posting about it and uploading the photos was soooooooooo slow. I need to confess that when I woke up after my customary 3 hrs sleep(don't ask cos I don't know, lol), I almost deleted it all. All I could see were the things I didn't like or wasn't particularly happy with. I wasn't sure about the photos because the colour was all wrong. But most of all I was really concerned that I would be teaching you all how to suck eggs, lol. The only reason it wasn't deleted was I didn't have time before having to drop our Tom off. And lo and behold, isn't it a good job I didn't?? The number of comments and emails (non stop emails) saying how useful they felt it in demystifying the process was overwhelming. Have I finally got you all well and truly hooked. Yayyyyyyyy...!!!! As Jim Reeves would say


I thought I would take the opportunity to answer a few questions for you.

You can journal in any book or journal of any size. I have about 7 on the go all at once. Most of them are handmade from recycled papers because I just love the feel and the texture. It is also satisfying to know that I was responsible for all of its creation. The one I am using a lot at the moment is my Moleskine journal which was my treat at the airport on the way to Egypt. Moleskine is a very old and revered brand of journals, you can ask for them in W H Smiths. there are lots of sizes and structure of paper. The one I work in the most is an approx 5 x 8 in notebook and it stands up really well to all the paint it gets thrown at it. I also have a 6 x 8 sketchbook which has thicker pages and a baby notebook for my bag. They aren't cheap, my size are around £15 but I do feel that it was money totally well spent. But saying that I was very nervous about putting something in it and that is a major problem when you are starting out. You are so afraid of spoiling it that you just look at it and give it the occasional stroke..!!! Oh yes you do. I bought Bezzie Su one and I give her at least a month before she dare, lol. Go on then prove me wrong..!!! lmao.
So why not make your own and bind it with book rings so you can work on each page one at a time..?

People also get confused and feel that they have to journal like me. No you journal from the heart however you wish. You can use any medium to add colour, magazine images, stamps, stencils, pens, felt tips, dabbers, ephemera, photos, just writing or just images. There is no right or wrong. It is only just taking off for most people in this country so there is no precedent to live up to, anything goes. But if you fill yours with peel offs and 3d decoupage and then bring it to me to show, don't be surprised if I come out in a rash and a sudden attack of the vapours...!!!
I like images and it is very rare that my journals don't contain one. Mind you I have enough magazines to rival W H Smiths...ooh 2 plugs for the same shop. "Other high street stores are available..!!! " Wtf..??? Why do people have to say that, lol. But buy good quality glossies, they are worth every penny.

* EDIT * Instead of trying to find an image that fits your journaling, turn it around. Find an image and see what springs to mind and then journal. If nothing comes to mind file it away for another day when it suddenly becomes the most perfect thing you were looking for. Thats how I do it, dont make the image fit the words , make the words fit the image.

What to use ro stick things down. It is very important not to use a wet glue, like PVA, because it will make everything ruckle. I use a gel medium, gloss or matt, whichever I pick up first, because it sticks beautifully without being sticky and going everywhere.

Don't forget that I hold monthly art journal workshops, tues and Sun, because to be quite honest I give you all the kick up the backside you need, lol. Plus there is nothing nicer than art journaling and swapping ideas with great company. The ability to get really emotional and cry at the drop of a hat is not compulsory, but seems to really help the day along.

I get asked over and over again if I am going to start online classes and the good news is YES - woop woop, but the not so good news is I have no idea when, sorry. I exist on the minimum of sleep as it is and just not sure how I can fit it in. But I am exploring all avenues. But you know what I am like I don't do anything half hearted, it has to be right and of the best quality. If you haven't already, sign up for the newsletter (top left of the page) where you get all the latest news and gossip first.

Many of you feel it is too far to travel for a workshop so I have been toying with the idea of an Art Journaling weekend. Let me know what you think. And unfortunately it wont be in Egypt in 40 deg heat, but in my studio with your thermals But you will get fed, watered, supplied with enough croissants, cupcakes, choccie biccies etc to feed a small army. Not forgetting, of course, that essential piece of Art Journaling equipment, turn your tongue blue lollipops. That is if you feel brave enough to try and prise them from Bezzie Su's extremely tight grip. On your own head be it, I say.!!

So I hope that has answered a few of your queries, and given you the kick start that you need. If you are still unsure then copy mine to the letter. Yes I know a few of you think I don't like that so I will just reassure you. My main passion is educating, by whatever it takes to set you off. I would say 90%$ of my student have to do everything, at first, exactly the same as mine, and that is cool. As long as you are learning, enjoying and gaining confidence, that is what matters. Students need to learn, educators need to teach..Simples..!!

When you hear me complaining about people copying it is not aimed at you lovelies. It is aimed at the few who take my ideas, teach them and pass them off as their own. That is totally unacceptable and is not fair on me or the student they are teaching. I feel you can only teach with a passion if it comes from the heart and not the recycled bin. I just wish other tutors would respect me and themselves, rather than trying to wing it with a sample they have only made once. I get so excited in some of my classes that I nearly pee my pants ( or is that just old age creeping in..??, when I see the enjoyment in peoples faces and the level of "wow I did that" . So don't worry copy away for personal use as much as frikkin well like, babes.

Oh and don't forget to let me know about them. Got a lovely email from Maggie this morn and I just want you to see it because this is what drives me to do blog posts in the early hours with matchsticks propping up my eyes. Maggie sorry haven't asked your opinion, hope you don,t mind..???

Hey Dyan

Hope you managed to get some sleep!
I know you must get thousands of pictures of peoples work but I thought Id like to share my very FIRST journal page with you.

Yesterday i was cleaning out the bedroom and found a bound journal- pages are hand made paper and bound in alovely fabric cover... so my mind wandered off the tidy up and today I put myself in the conservatory with some inks and pencils and got cracking!

I am very chuffed with myself and reading your blog this morning and the step by step instructions of how you assemble your pages fired me up. Its a small book 9 x 6" but I absolutely loved doing it and who cares if its drivell! I enjoyed doing it and I just went with the flow. Ive been cutting bits out of magazines for ages now so I had a little store and I kept my utensils to what could fit on the conservatory table I did sneek out a couple of times to my studio to get bits ....

BTW I loved the Jim Reeves video ... I cried.... my dad loved all of his records and used to record them on his reel to reel tape recorder and of course he used to sing to me as a child too so my brother found the tape to tape recorder and I want to see if any of the tapes work - I will be back in ireland next week so it could be an emotional time!

Love all the Christmas bits you have been tempting us with so when can we expect the paper pads!!??

Take care of yourself

Peace and love and happy creating!


Don't you just love the enthusiasm in that..??
Forgot to say the most important thing, to journal from the heart you have to be honest with yourself and remember unlike mine which are public property, lol, you do not have to show yours to a living soul if you don't wish. So journal as though no one will ever see it ...Simples.

Oh and I nearly forgot. Stick your tongue slightly out of the side of your mouth, to aid concentration, eat chocolate becaus its the law, and don.t forget to BREATHE...!!!!

Enjoy xx


Michelle said...

Hi Dyan,
Thank you so much!! :-)
I just got through reading the post and refreshed the page, I don't know why.(Spooky!!)
Thought I was seeing things at first,which is not unusual, major lack of sleep in this house also, mine is due to baby, but he's so gorgeous I don't mind. LOL!! :-)
AaaaanyWay!!!! Back to the point you say!!
That makes a lot more sense, I knew I was doing something wrong.
Loved that ladies e-mail, sounds like she's hooked.
Would love to do a weekend of classes with you, not sure how I would manage it though.
Hope you get some sleep tonight.
Big Hugs,
Michelle xx

Virginia said...

Dyan - 'teach us to suck eggs?' you must be joking - I love how you've deconstructed what looks like a very complicated page to show it step by step. As you said Art Journalling is personal and there is nothing you can do that is wrong, I love it from that aspect, if you do something you don't like you can just add an additional layer to cover it up, it is the most rewarding experience to write to your hearts content and not worry about what your saying. I also agree on letting the images lead you rather than the other way around because they take you in directions you probably never would have imagined! I only have one art journal on the go at the moment, but thinking I have now been given permission to have as many as I want, in whatever size regardless of the fact that I've not finished the other ones! Hope you are having a fabulous Monday and have managed a little more sleep! I'm off to work playing with numbers all day - booooooo! But promise to come home and play later yey!



PS Many thanks for the comments on my blog last night - I almost fell off my seat - I did a little bowing action doing the 'I'm not worthy' action - my husband thinks I'm mad but was amused at how pleased I was - can't wait for the new papers!!!!!!

somebody who needs to love herself said...

dear dyan,

thank you so much for sharing your blog, I simply love your art journals!! I always wondered that I can take inspiration from it (ie its still a form of copy yet subtle) I click here almost daily various times just to admire everything!!!

wish I can fly to the british isle to take your classes


Traceyr said...

Dyan you are an inspiration - thank you.


Unknown said...

Glad to see that you have become a moley girl too! Welcome Aboard, its good to have ya with us!

The sketchbook (purple label) is much better for taking paint than the notebook and Sharpies definitely don't work so well on the notebook paper!

In the UK, you can get the Large Moleskine Sketchbook (8x5") for around £12 and there is one specialised journal shop that do 2 for 3 as a permanent offer, so that is much better value.

Happy journaling folks!

Sharon said...

Ace blog post today!! (they are always ace BTW)
I can feel your energy - so inspiring!!!

ForgedinPaper said...

My close friends are LTAO that I have actually found a crafty outlet for my glossy mag addiction now. I bought my first Elle when I was 13! At uni I was remembered as the girl with the cool mags in her folders. 4 days to go..... Challenges are done, shoes are looked out. Have a safe trip up.

Lesley Edmonds said...

Hi Dyan,
I too wanted to thank you for showing us how you go about doing your journal pages. I've wanted to get started for so long but found the idea very daunting. I was so inspired after your post that I had to start immediately and although I haven't gone out to buy a book or make one I did have a little watercolour book just sittiing in the cupboard waiting for something so I took the bull by the horns and had a go. I love it and will add to it whenever I feel the need. My first page is here is you'd like to have a look.
Very many thanks for all your inspiration.
Lesley x

Anne Essex said...

Hi Dyan,

I hope you decide to do an art journal weekend and am keeping my fingers crossed it's on a weekend when I don't need to work.

I enjoyed the class for the journal made from a diary and as it looked a bit rough (in a nice way) and was nice and small, it's not so scary. It's still a bit hard to use but I'm enjoying 'learning' how to doodle and have discovered a love of borders. I need to let go more and not worry about what anyone else thinks. Perhaps some vodka would help get me started - LOL!

I loved the Jim Reeves video, though it made me cry.

Kind regards, Anne E

The Crafts House said... can't ever stop!!!where would i go on my bloggie adventure if i didn't have your inspiration..i have promised Elaine,Dianne,my 2 daughters,michelle and uncle tom cobbly and all!!we will one day get to your studio for an art journal class,I have never had a go yet and look at all your lovely work day i'll have a go...sandra (ps thanks for your lovely twitter)

Suzy said...


Thanks so much for this insight into how to start art journalling

I have been following your blog (lurking) for a long time but like most of the others wouldnt have had a clue where to start.

Will buy myself a journal and start.

One question though - I did try to make my own pages with several layers of newspaper pva glued together and painted with gesso but these did seem rather thick and a bit ripply if you know what I mean - Is there a trick to this?

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