There are an infinite number of ways to utilize words in your art journal. But where should the words go? What form should those words take? Any and every layer of your art journal page can contain words. They are a way to transfer your ideas to the page, yet more importantly, the experience of searching for words, collecting phrases and documenting quotes adds dimension to my art practice.
Here are some ideas for incorporating words on your art journal pages. Like the rest of the page, it’s simply a string of small decisions. Although many of my art journal pages have no words at all, I find that words, symbols, numbers and phrases add depth, meaning and texture to my pages.
1. Plan Ahead. Leave space for words that surface while working on the page or weeks later. Stamp circles with a lid or draw boxes and work your magic around those spaces.Try dipping the edge of a plastic card in fluid acrylic paint and stamping lines. You might leave a few inches of margin space around your page for journaling. Or include a swatch of blank paper in your collage as a predefined journaling box. The paper is like a maraschino cherry on top, inviting you to write.
2. Write off the page. Type a quotation and print on your printer, then attach to the page with glue, washi tape or staples. You can write on anything from a yellow legal pad to a vintage recipe index card to a receipt. Tear off part of your to-do list and attach to the page.
3. Draw or paint your words. Let bold words be the focus of the page. Hand-letter a quotation that covers much of the page, write thoughts in your flowiest cursive handwriting or include interesting typography from brochures. Try writing with a bold, permanent marker or a white gel pen. You can paint words on lush and uneven layers with a thin brush and Golden high flow acrylic paint.
4. Stamp or stencil your words. Use big, bold alphabet stamps to express your thoughts or add a title to your page. Stamp a few paragraphs about your day with tiny alphabet stamps. Describe a dream using alphabet stamps from un-matched sets. You can also dab paint, spray ink or target spray paint through a stencil.
5 Writing stripes. Drip opaque paint down your page vertically or horizontally and when the paint is dry, write on the lines created by the long drips. Try rolling standard office supply store correction tape across the page to create quirky journaling spots.
6. Find your words. Create interesting combinations of phrases on your pages in the form of found words or found poetry. Keep a collection of intriguing phrases, icons and symbols clipped from magazines and ephemera.
Adding words to your art journal pages can seem daunting at first, but it is a worthwhile component of your journaling process. Experiment with a variety of techniques and look for ideas and inspiration in illustrated journals, advertisements, product packaging, published art journal pages, as well as books on typography and graphic design.
Tammy Garcia is a mixed media artist who writes about bringing creativity into your life. Tammy doodles, sews paper, snaps photographs, works in her art journals and blogs at Daisy Yellow at http://daisyyellowart.com.
For more amazing incite into art journaling please check out some of these great Create Mixed Media art journaling books: