February 10, 2020
More and more we’re feeling the pull to put down our phones, close our laptops, and make something with our hands. Whenever we feel that almost frantic device anxiety or feel a phantom vibration—we know it’s time for a break. It’s like our brains and bodies are pulling us to do something where we can focus our brains, relax our bodies, and get in the flow. Recently, we’ve been intrigued by identifying what it is that puts us in a meditative state. Is it flower arranging? Jogging? Cooking or baking? Maybe it’s organizing a junk drawer or reading a classic. All we know is, we’ve been missing the feel of paper, playing around with photos (printed ones!), and letting our minds wander. No rules, no expectations. Just creating stuff for the sake of creating stuff. That’s why we were so excited by Social Print Studio Super Fan Victoria Bigelow’s super creative art journal.
Victoria takes a journal she already has, uses Mini Photo Prints and basic craft materials most anyone has, and “photo journals”. Using techniques like collage, watercolor, and lettering, she overlays words and images she’s cut from magazines and old books with photo prints of people, places, and things she loves, to create collage art that lives in an easy-to-carry personal journal. Here are some of Victoria’s thoughts on her DIY art journal:
I often find myself from year to year going through different phases of expressing my art. Some years it's lettering, some it's watercoloring, others still it's scrapbooking or drawing. This year when I found out that I could essentially combine all of these and create a "journal" of sorts, I was ecstatic!
I typically use a Strathmore Vision mixed media pad since the pages are the perfect in-between of not too big but not too small for me to work with. And I just create! The thing I love with art journaling is that it has absolutely no rules, you can let your imagination run wild. I usually use a combination of old book pages, tickets, photos, stickers, even at times an old ikea catalog, to make a collage of sorts. These pages also serve as a sort of mood board that allow me to get a feel for the theme of a different project I may be working on. There are so many accounts on Instagram that inspire me with their beauty and creativity (such as @junk.the.journal, @softmagicc, and @paperpilea) and even just the things around us and in nature serve as such a wonderful form of inspiration.
We’re inspired by how inspired Victoria is! Here are the materials you’ll need to get started with your art journaling and photo collage:
• A notebook or journal. Thicker mixed media paper works best. Victoria recommends this Strathmore Vision mixed media pad
• Glue stick
• Old books, magazines, tickets, photo prints, yearbook pictures, stickers, mini photo stickers
But remember, there aren’t any rules. Try using ribbon, twine, pressed flowers or leaves, vintage stamps, buttons, photo pins, glitter, stamps, or even old calendar pages or Stendig calendar numbers. You could also write or draw over photos with black pen or these awesome Japanese POSCA paint pens. There’s no wrong way to art journal and collage.
Tip: The easiest way to make Mini Photo Prints for art journaling is through our Print Studio app, available for iPhone and Android. You can download it here.
We can think of lots of benefits of art journaling, but here are just a few reasons we think it’s worth a try:
1. Flexing your creative muscles
2. Collaging is fun!
3. Making stuff with your hands can be relaxing and relaxation is a great form of self care
4. Creating art can help ease anxiety and seasonal blues
5. Easy to customize your art journal and even bullet journal on the other side of each spread
6. Photo collaging can become a gratitude practice where you remember how much you appreciate the people in your life
7. Art journal pages can double as mood boards or vision boards
8. Alternative to traditional journaling if you’re feeling stuck with how to put your feelings into words
9. Keep them personal, share on Instagram, or give as a thoughtful card
10. Low stakes creativity exercise that could help you break into bigger creative ideas
Thank you, Victoria! We love the craft of art journaling for beginner DIYers to maker wizards. Do you like to collage or journal? Do you like working with your hands? What do you make? Would you consider it a hobby, a side hustle, or your business? We’d love to hear how you encourage personal creativity. Tag us or comment on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. We love hearing your feedback!
Tip: Looking for DIY Inspiration? Check out our DIY with Printed Pictures, Crafts & DIY with Kids, and Wedding DIY Pinterest boards and follow us here.