Art Journaling: an addiction

A little bit of everything make its way onto my pages – stamps, sketches, doodles, a baker’s logo cut out

I am not a trained visual artist.  I took only one Survey of Western Art class as a freshman during my undergrad, and that I struggled to get a B in.  Even when I was very young I was not prone to doodle in the margins of my textbooks.  So sketching, in the form of art journaling (words-sketches-collage), does not come naturally to me.  But after experimenting a bit this past year, and forcing myself to produce an effort everyday or so, I have been able to start this 2013 off with an onslaught of art journaling that even surprised me – once I came up for air and had a look at the pages I was accumulating.

My first page from last fall

Art Journaling is a great hobby in which to while away a few hours at a Tokyo cafe, kill chunks of time on the job, or focus on when insomnia strikes.

Sometimes a doodle can lead you down strange pathways of the mind

For me it takes the form of venting frustrations or exploring bizarre themes with words, doodles, pasted scraps from a day’s travel, stamps, stickers, and anything else I feel looks good on the page.  My tools are simple:  12 Faber Castel watercolor pencils, a  HB led pencils, a few black pens, scissors, and a glue stick.  All this, along with my art journal, are carried with me pretty much everywhere I go- all the time.

Coffee cups and food – two of my stock sketches when I’m blocked

I don’t always have a theme to my pages, or even an overall direction in which I am heading – mostly just casual observations about my surroundings.  Even mundane things like coffee mugs and a stack of pancakes has a place in my art journal.  It is simply there for the doing, the accumulating, art to be proud of, shared or unshared.

It’s a way to spew forth from yourself anything you want, mash it up, make mistakes, develop for a later date, and most importantly – a means to keep you going- as an artist or as a human.

It is my new addiction, one I hope continues well into the future.

Nothing is off limits – even the morning commute
I keep a envelope pocket pasted to the back cover – for “later-on” collage making
Tools of the trade