Thursday, 19 March 2015

When is a journal not a journal?

I find it really, really hard to put my inner thoughts into writing - this almost certainly relates to the fact that I find it even harder to put my thoughts and feelings into words and tend to bottle up emotions rather than expressing them like I should! Yet art lets me express my feelings and gives me a window to explore these feelings without feeling that I'll be judged.

Dancer from my sketchbook
There is only one page of 'real' journalling in my art journal to date. I hate that page. It feels impulsive, immature and most of all raw. I never read it because when I wrote it I managed to tap into a side of me I try and keep hidden. I'm unlikely to ever show that page to anyone. I'd like to create more written pages but it feels false to me to write down everything that I did in a day. Largely because nothing really that exciting happens!

Yet, I still consider my sketchbook to be a journal/diary style endeavor - every page represents a different day and mood that I was in when I created it. But how much worth does it have as a recollection of my life at this moment in time? Very little. There's no massive revelations in it or astute observations about the world. It's just me creating.

And that's ok.

It's ok to have a journal that's not really a journal. It's ok to have a space just to document your feelings and the odd day. And it's ok to never write if you don't want to.

Part of my ease with this probably comes from the fact that my smashbook documents a lot of the more personal things in my life - events, people and places. But still it's not massively writing heavy. Again my enjoyment of pictures over words wins out.

And that's ok too.


  1. I like to write more personal thoughts in a way that they can be destroyed in the art journal. I feel like it gives me that chance to be honest, even if the thoughts are trivial These methods allow the thoughts to become part of the art journal but don't allow the viewer to read the thoughts. Some ways that I do this are by doing the writing in watercolor pencil and then doing part of a wash. Or writing on separate paper and then cutting it up and collaging it back into the journal. It also helps at texture, and allows you to be inspired to maybe pick out and focus on a few words.

    1. Hi Marie, I like that idea! I shall have to try that. Thank you :) x


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