An Art Journal: Whatever You Need it To Be

I love Zom’s journal pages, and I love how she thinks about her journals. So I asked her to tell us a little about what they mean to her, and here’s what she says:

 Zom’s art journals

I began art journaling in 2008. Since then I have finished a dozen art journals of various types and sizes. My art journals keep changing and sometimes I find this disturbing. I seem to just get a form down and be buzzing along “knowing” what I am doing when an impatience will start to creep in. I have a feeling of “done this, been there” and another part of me will go “oh no…” because by now, after a dozen art journals, I kind of know what is coming. That is, I am being thrown off a cliff again. Well, that is pretty dramatic – but it has some of that feeling.


I will feel that I need to do something differently. Sometimes the thought “maybe I am finished with art journaling” will enter the mix. But I have learned over time that following that particular thought is a waste of time. It isn’t what this is about.


What is really happening is a change-up.

From the art journal where I was trying out all the different techniques I had read about online

to the journal where I was exploring my childhood and using lots of photos.

From the small moleskine journal to the large decorated art journal.

Then the mainly intuitive one full of spontaneous synchronicity and colour to the travel art journal full of paraphernalia to the art journal of complete simplicity with only words and drawings.


I rather envy those art journalers who have a series of identical art journals on their shelves. Each the same size and shape, each consistently following the next, often filled with wonderful illustrations and entries of their daily lives. It is so beautiful and elegant.


I like the idea, but I can’t do it. Perhaps I get bored or my needs change, and my art journal must follow. I give it no choice.


So, if you find yourself feeling limited rather than expanding with your art journal, it may not be that you have finished with art journaling. It may be the start of a new chapter. Give yourself permission to make your art journal into whatever you need at the time: journal, scrapbook, list-maker, autobiography, sketchbook, experimental studio, analyst, wish-catcher, anything.

It can be mundane

Or depth diving

Even one thing on one page and something else on the next.

It can be anarchy.

Whatever you need.


If you want to read more about the roles my art journals have played go to my post called My Art Journals Change with What I Need.

Zom lives, paints and journals in the middle of the Australian rain forest. You can see more of her work on her website and follow her musings on her blog.


Ricë also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.


* Find great books, DVDs, downloads & more for mixed media artists!
* Sign up for your FREE email newsletter for great tips, projects & more…
* Download free mixed media desktop wallpapers!

You may also like these articles:

This entry was posted in The Creative Life: A Mixed Media Blog and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to An Art Journal: Whatever You Need it To Be

  1. jennhorlack says:

    These are gorgeous photos!