Monday, May 24, 2010

i [heart] idea journals

Idea Journal: Don't leave home without one!

I was reading the May/June issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors the other day and the article Joseph & Me by Amy Hitchcock really spoke to me. One of her ideas, using a sketchbook to jot down creative ideas, really hit home because I am a huge sketchbook/journal believer. I carry one with me almost always (and cringe when I forget it and inspiration strikes). 

In the article, she mentions that when she first started creating that she used to fear that one day she’d run out of ideas. creative journals 009I think for me, the fear wasn’t so much when I would run out of ideas but rather that I would never really have any ideas.

But now that I’ve let go of those fears, I’ve come to realize that I’m full of ideas. Always. I find inspiration everywhere I go, with everything I read. From lit theory, to an article in an art magazine that prompts a blog post (see stickies on page) to other blogs or projects on etsy, to well, just about anywhere. What I’ve come to realize is that this journal/sketchbook is priceless to me because otherwise I’m forced to resort to penned comments in the margins, sticky notes, or folded pages to indicate that the page had something on it worth considering. (As you might imagine, the latter is particularly frustrating when it comes to memory retention). In fact, I believe in my idea journal so much that I have multiple copies (you know for wherever inspiration strikes or when I forget mine and buy a new one—shhhh, don’t tell my husband).

creative journals 027  creative journals 019Sometimes I stuff them so full of print outs and various inspirations that they burst at the seams, other times I spice them up with decoupage of whatever inspires me at the moment. But regardless of what they look like, they are are always a font of ideas, full of my own, or others, rough sketches, jotted down ideas, plot elements, outlines for art journal pages or longer projects.

For example: various inspirations and my comments to to with them (for those of you getting them, you can expect to see your xmas pressie wrapped up like this, this year):
  creative journals 012creative journals 014

 Scrapbook page inspiration:

creative journals 015 creative journals 017

Art journal outlines:

creative journals 016 creative journals 022creative journals 026     creative journals 024  creative journals 013

To ideas for an appliqué quilt that I’m working on. Even though I’ve never quilted before!

Years ago I started (though never finished, actually 2x) Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. In it, she advocates taking a certain amount of time (can’t remember the exact time) to write in a journal every morning in order to stimulate your creativity and nurture your soul (check in, see where you are, etc). At the time, despite my love of journaling, I found this task quite daunting. I didn’t necessarily have 3 pages worth of stuff to write every morning and thus, failed to see the use in the exercise.

Now, I start to see the merits in the process, albeit in my own way… As odd as it may sound, these little books (or not so little tomes) are vital to me. They nurture me and record my crafty evolution. Flipping through them, I see the ways my crafts have grown (I'm not going to say art because well, I don't buy into the high/low art BS. I'm happy down here in the low culture of crafty-land). It's like these journals are part of me finding my own voice and forging it into something that moves beyond being inspired by others to finding my own inner muse/inspiration. I highly recommend them to anyone. They can be like mine, all over the place, or they can be all your own. Anything goes....


  1. Hi! :).

    I'm one of your new pen-pals, and came to visit your blog! I saw the button on the side that said "Art Journaling" and had to click on it!

    Art Journaling is something that I've always wanted to try, but never knew where to start!

    Thanks for this post! I hope to read/see more!

  2. Thanks for dropping in! It's true, art journaling is a bit daunting when you're starting out. But I love it! And I'm no great artist.

    You totally reminded me that that I need to write more about art journaling! I've completely forgotten about it as a blogging topic!



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