There’s More Than One Way to Keep A Visual Journal

You've met my friend Wendy Hale Davis, journaler and bookbinder extraordinaire, featured in Jason Thompson's classic Making Journals by Hand. Here's a podcast we did, and here's a recent post about the beaded headbands she creates for her journals.  Wendy has been keeping journals for many, many years, and I'm thrilled she's started to show the pages online. Go here to her blog to see them. Not only are they just really fun to look at and read, but I think it's important for people to see another way of keeping a visual journal. If you're new to the concept of doing something in a journal besides just writing, and if you go online looking for inspiration, you may well come away thinking that visual journaling means using a ton of supplies and collaging and painting lots of layers and just basically doing mixed-media artwork in the pages of a book. And sure, that's one way to add visual elements to a journal. But Wendy shows another way, a perhaps more organic way: if you've been keeping a written journal for years, maybe you don't want to give that up and go totally for pages that are meant to be viewed as pieces of art. Maybe you just want to start adding some little sketches and doodles and really cool lettering--visual stuff--from your daily life. And that's a perfectly legitimate way to keep a visual journal. It doesn't have to be about gesso and layering. It can be much more subtle than that, still focusing on what you have to say about your day and your life. Discover new tips from your favorite mixed media artists with the Create Mixed Media email newsletter. Sign up now & get a free copy of the Wired Up ebook.

journal spread by Wendy Hale Davis

As I said, I'm really excited that Wendy has started doing this--I'm one of only two people, she says, who's read every word of every one of her journals. (She sent them all to me I was writing about her for my third book, Living the Creative Life. She's completed lots more since then, so I'm kind of way behind, but one of these days. . . .), and I'd love it if you'd help encourage her to keep it up by posting a comment or two on pages you especially like. She's thinking about posting all the pages from this current journal, and I think that would be an excellent resource for people who are intrigued by the idea of creating a chronicle of their lives. Start here.   Ricë also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.
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