When I painted the cover for this journal, I hated it! I was so disappointed that the girl didn’t come out exactly as I imagined her. I shoved the painting into a folder and forgot about it. Later, when I made this journal, I hunted through my paintings and was astonished to find this one. I totally fell in love with it. It’s now one of my favourite faces ever. Go figure. I think I just had to let go of my initial vision so I could see her for who she really is.
One of the things I love about having a face on the front of my journal, is that it really feels like the book is my best friend – a particularly lovely, glamorous, pink-haired friend. Very cool.
When I made this book I was doing a clean out of all my old papers. I had so many things I didn’t want to get rid of – newspaper clippings, photos of me as a child, pretty patterned paper that was too pretty to discard. I couldn’t throw them out. But they were just gathering dust in a folder. The great thing about journaling with this method I use, is that I prepare the pages ahead of time by collaging in found papers, and it was the perfect way to use up all those lovely pieces from my past. The book is full of happy memories from long ago as a result.
Have a look through it in this video if you like. And if you want to learn to make and use a book like this, check out my e-course, Make The Book Of Your Dreams.
I like to vary the page size in my journal because then larger pages layered behind smaller pages become a border or backdrop for the smaller pages. And sometimes there ends up a really interesting cascade of pages. Like this one here.
When I go to write on one of the smaller pages, I don’t have to do anything fancy to make it look good. In fact, it looks really cool and edgy if I just scrawl roughly. Because the book itself is so interesting, my daily journaling can be pretty simple and the end result is still a visual feast.
I teach an e-course in how to make and use a journal like mine, Make The Book Of Your Dreams. It would make a great gift for a creative person. You can download it online, or just between now and Christmas, if you want a DVD to give as a gift, private message me after you’ve bought the course, with your postal address, and I’ll send you the DVD for free.
I thought you might be interested in this flip through of my journal when I’d only just started using it. You can see a handful of ‘finished’ pages at the beginning, and the rest of the book shows how it looks when I’ve ‘prepared’ it.
I make my journals myself, using office paper and upcycled materials. The hard-cover for this book came from a book of dolls a friend left by my front door as an anonymous gift. It took me a while to track down who had left me such a delightful offering, and I was so taken with it, I decided to use it as the basis for my next journal. I even cut out some of the dolls and stuck them inside the pages.
When I prepare my journal, I fill it with collage and interesting papers so that even if I am too tired to make a pretty page, I can simply scrawl roughly and the page still looks fantastic. Another advantage to this method is that it makes the book so appealing that I am drawn to it and feel a big pull to spend time within its pages.
If you want to learn to make and use a book like this, check out my e-course, Make The Book Of Your Dreams. I’ve also got a Facebook group for the course in which I post mini-tutorials to inspire students to make certain kinds of pages.
One of the things I love about my journal is that it’s not just a memory bank. You know the feeling when you have a gazillion photos from a trip and you want to put them somewhere, and you want to make it look fabulous, but you just can’t seem to get around to it so it doesn’t happen? Well my journal is designed to avoid that kind of guilt trip.
Y’see, I hate working retrospectively. I used to write in my journal at night, too tired to make a pretty page, but later I’d be disappointed. There’s my gorgeous book full of colour and beauty, and then you turn the page and there’s nothing but boring black scrawl. So I’d take it into my studio and see what I can do. But it was annoying, because I’d want to get on with my new stuff, with the here and now stuff, not faff around trying to make my old stuff look better.
So I developed a new approach. It’s all about the construction of the book. By making in advance (when I’m inspired, not tired) the kind of book that makes even boring black scrawl look good, I rarely have to go back and fix anything. And right there, on the very night I’ve scribbled my heart out, the page looks fantastic. Ahh, I sigh… raw, edgy… oh yes, this black scrawl is working for me.
Anyway, that’s one of the techniques I teach in my online art journal e-course, Make The Book Of Your Dreams. Feel free to check it out if you’d like to give it a try.
I started this journal when I was in the middle of a building project. We were adding an extension to our house, and the entire thing collapsed one night. We opened the door to a mess of broken beams and broken bricks. Argh! I vented by painting the cover image for this journal.
Actually I did find order reasonably quickly, and my journal was an instrumental part of that process, as I wrote lists of things to do, expressed my frustration, and my joys when it all started to come together again. I’ve found my journal is like my best friend and a life coach, as well as being a beautiful place to spend time.
Have a look at this video flip through, if you like. If you want to learn to make a journal like this, check out my e-course, Make The Book Of Your Dreams. This course would make a lovely gift for a creative type.