Gifts for Artists | Art Journaling

There is nothing I like more than giving or receiving books for gifts. I love that they are bearers of information and ideas that can be passed on from person to person until the pages fall apart. Maybe that’s why I like journaling so much, too. I journal for myself, as much as for the people who may one day come across those journals. Over the past few months I’ve started incorporating art journaling into my traditional journaling, and since creating art in my journal is something new for me, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at art journaling books for inspiration. Here are some of the many art journaling books I’ve used as a creative springboard. Share them with the art journaler on your holiday gift list!

Art Journaling gift1. Dreaming from the Journal Page: Transforming Sketchbook to Art by Melanie Testa

Melanie Testa has got a beautiful aesthetic and it translates from the art journal to projects outside the page. This book reviews the basics of blending colors, drawing and making stamps, but also moves on to more unique techniques and combining those techniques in “The Throw Downs” chapter. Plus, there’s a gallery of gorgeous art inspired by art journal pages.



2. Journal Fodder 365: Daily Doses of Inspiration for the Art Addict by Eric M. Scott and David R. Modler (the Journal Fodder Junkies)

This book is FULL of inspiration for art journaling. If you get stuck in a rut, as I often do, whip out this book for a fresh perspective on where to take your journal (excursions!), adding photos in unique ways, switching up your writing styles and much more (that would be where the 365 comes in).



Art journaling gifts3. Alternative Art Journals: Explore Innovative Approaches to Collecting Your Creativity by Margaret Peot

This is a fantastic book if you’re itching to take your art journaling to a new level outside of the traditional journal. Projects like Envelope Journals or File Journals for collecting ephemera, to making accordion book journals that can be displays, or Charm Journals are ideas that can be used in so many ways. If you’re looking to make gifts this year, give this book to yourself first and you will have no shortage of ideas.



art journaling gifts4. Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art by Quinn McDonald

What I love about this book is how it encourages you to embrace mistakes. That coffee spill on the page? Doesn’t have to ruin the page. It’s raw art! Add to it; design around it. This book reminds me that art in my journal doesn’t have to be perfect. It has to be meaningful to me.



art journaling gifts5. Art Journal Freedom: How to Journal Creatively with Color and Composition by Dina Wakley

I guess it’s probably cheating to put a book on this list that isn’t published yet, but I couldn’t help it. This one will be available in January (perfect for all you resolution-makers!) and it absolutely worth pre-ordering. Not only are the journal pages beautiful and incredibly colorful, but Dina teaches you the techniques for how to create those pages, then how to manipulate those techniques to give it your own style. Check out her blog for a ton of samples.


P.S. I’ve been using this journal and these watercolor paints to great satisfaction. Some would say that the journal pages are too small, but I find a smaller page less intimidating and it fits in my purse.

Be sure to check back for more in our Gifts for Artists series.


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