I remember how overwhelmed I felt when I first started adding little bits of art doodles to my journal pages, which were primarily text, a few pictures, receipts, stubs, etc. It wasn’t the actual act of doodling that overwhelmed me, it was things like composition, what supplies worked best, shading and perspective (things I’d forgotten over the 30 odd years since I had actually created art). I’m not a teacher, but I’m a natural at sharing so I thought the best thing I could do would be to share a bit about adding art, doodles, ephemera, etc to my journal pages over the past few years–especially what budget supplies I prefer. Part of which is via the video below, and the other part via this post.
I am guilty of seeing all the fancies that are out there–fancy watercolors, cameras, mini printers, colored pencils, Traveler’s Notebooks, pens, watercolor brushes, stickers, ephemera kits, and so many other things it would take me too long to list–and being tempted by them. I’ve purchased a few, dreamed about others. But what I’ve learned, the hard way, is that the only way to improve your art skills like drawing, painting, etc. is to practice. The only way to learn how to take great pictures is to take pictures. The only way to improve your handwriting is by writing. No amount of fancies will make my journal pages prettier if I don’t journal on the page to begin with, if I don’t practice with composition or drawing or painting, or if I don’t let go of my anxiety over the blank page. The best way to learn is to do.
My first attempts were not so great, but it was fun. Yep, FUN. When I first started I was gunshy about sharing the pages, about making videos. My first “flip-thru” was part of a video I did that showed what was in my bag, as well as my Filofax (which I don’t use anymore at all). I didn’t know how to edit videos back then. But it’s fun to look back on those old videos…
I remember being so very nervous when I first started sharing pictures of my journal pages, but then to show my pages via video… whew! that was a big step. A step that included talking about why journals and journaling is so important to me. You can see in the video below when things really started to change for me:
The above two videos are from early 2015. I’ve often said that I’m a work in progress, and these videos really show the progress I’ve made over the past few years. What they don’t show is how much courage it took for me to make those videos. My first video was posted on YT on October 14, 2014 and was about preparing for NaNoWriMo. I never intended to do videos about other things, just NaNoWriMo videos. Funny thing is, once I got on YT and talked about things like writing, journaling, and etc., people asked me to do videos about my journals. My first ever Coffee Chat video was on the 15th of January in 2015… And, I didn’t edit it at all.
I am not sure of when I made the Coffee Chats a regular thing, or when I switched from Wednesday’s to Monday’s, but I realized when preparing for the newsletter that I have been doing Coffee Chats from almost the beginning. As I sit here writing this post today’s coffee chat is uploading. And like my videos, my art journal pages have improved. The kind of supplies I use have improved, but there are some supplies that I will always use, always turn to, and many of those are budget supplies. Supplies like the Sharpie Fine Pen, Canson or Strathmore Mixed Media and/or Watercolor paper, notebooks with Tomoe River paper, my Platinum Carbon Desk Pen with Platinum Carbon Ink, PrismaColor Pencils, Derwent Inktense pencils, mechanical pencils, Faber Castell Pitt Artist pens or Sakura Microns, Pental Aquash Brushes, Sakura white Gelly Roll pens, Uniball Signo’s in gold and silver (and even white)… The list goes on but if you’d like to take a look at my favorite supplies here is the link to my Amazon Supply Page.
I’ve created a Journal Supplies Playlist, and I also have a Journal Series Playlist, for those of you who are new to “art” journaling, or for those of you who’d like to check out my take on some of these topics. While I know from my own experience that you have to find what works best for you the only way to figure that out sometimes is by trying different things. Trying different types of pens, different sizes with pen nibs (I prefer an EF or F (extra fine or fine) to draw with and a M (medium) or B/S (broad/stub) or I (Italic) to write with), to different kinds of notebooks, to different kinds of papers, watercolor, colored pencils, Traveler’s Notebooks, Traveler’s Notebook sizes, etc. No two journalers are the same. We all have different preferences and what I might love you might only sort of like, or what you love I might only sort of like. And that’s okay. It’s your journal, you’ve gotta do what you love.
Disclaimer: I often use affiliate links in my description to help y’all find products. If you discovered an item through my one of the Amazon links that you would like to purchase, please support me and my efforts to bring you quality content by using these links. They do not cost you anything additional and they help support me! Thank you, again. Burgess