There has never been a better time to be reflective, whether you are looking back at the special moments in your life or using crafting as a therapeutic art for mindfulness and to help find your inner peace. The wonderful Lesley Wharton from Chocolate Baroque is here to give some of her top tips for creating an art journal, read on!

To many of us, art journaling is a relatively new area in the crafty arena, but it is centuries old. Many famous artists kept a form of art journal, including Vincent van Gogh (a moleskin notebook), Picasso (a sketchbook) and Leonardo Da Vinci; whose prolific sketches and journal writing you will be familiar with, especially the Vitruvian Man.

So, why a journal? Here is just a short, but by no means exhaustive, list of what your journal could be used for:

• Rough sketching or illustration to build a ‘library’ of your drawings to use as reference for art projects.
• It could be a collection of memorabilia, such as a travel journal that records your holidays, trips, days out (keeping tickets), photos and your own writings.
• You may want to record different art techniques or experiments that you can then incorporate in your day-to-day craftiness.
• Therapeutic journaling can be very comforting for many reasons and may also be a great stress reliever for some people.
• Use it as a place to just let your artistic ideas flow. A place where you can paint, stamp, ink stencil, write without any constraints.

Whatever your reasons are for journaling there is no right or wrong way of doing it. It is personal to you and reflects your uniqueness and most importantly, if it makes you happy, that can only be a good thing! Here are a few of my quick tips and ideas to help you start, or indeed continue, journaling…

You don’t have to rush out and buy an expensive journal. Below, I am going to show you how you can make one out of something that is relatively easy to lay your hands on.

This is an old store catalogue. It has quite a few pages and the paper is thin, but don’t let that stop you. Glue two or three pages together with Mod Podge, gel medium or PVA. Allow to dry and then you can gesso over the top ready for your pages to receive your creativity.

Now, most of us read magazines. Have you thought of using these to help with your journaling? Get yourself comfortable with a selection of magazines (it can be anything from gardening to fashion to home etc.) and start going through the pages. Don’t dwell on each page but look at the photos and also the words or headlines. Anything that jumps out at you, or resonates with you, just tear it out and put to one side.  You can spend many an hour happily building up a stash of inspiration. Once you have finished, don’t throw the magazines away because you could go through them again a few weeks later and different things could pop out at you. Separate them into words and pictures and keep them safe in a bag or box ready for your next journaling session.

How about adding secret doors or hidden words to your journal? Below is a photo of one of my pages and written under the hearts are some things only I know. This is the therapeutic part which you may find beneficial. It can be a very cathartic experience, believe I know!

Finally, I expect many of you have used paint in your journal and you can’t wait for it to dry. To avoid pages sticking together whilst you work on several at once use greaseproof/silicone paper or baking parchment between the page. It will stop them sticking together.

Feeling inspired? Start your journaling today and stock up on all your crafty bits at the Chocolate Baroque page!

Join Lesley for her upcoming Craftalong on Hochanda – find out more here!

By admin