I’ve been following and writing about the trend towards art journaling in the papercrafts industry for quite some time. But being an observer and being a participant are two different experiences. Recently, after admiring them for a long time, I decided to take the plunge and try out some of the industry’s hottest products and techniques – Dyan Reavely’s Dylusions – for myself.
Diving into the concept of “art journaling” was a bit intimidating. Dyan makes her techniques look so easy and fun but that word “art” just brings to mind all of the highly skilled things that I will never be able to do, like drawing and painting.
But with Dyan’s voice fresh in my head from her basic how-to video, I closed my eyes (well, ok, maybe not really!) and jumped in.
I was not only stunned with the results I got on my first try at playing with my new Dylusions sprays, but the experience itself can only be described as a revelation. I thought I would be lost without my photos as a basis for my creative process, but the opposite was in fact true – I found not having to work within the parameters of photos to be unexpectedly freeing.
- Ranger Dyan Reavely Dylusions Spray Ink (Pure Sunshine, Crushed Grape, Funky Fuschia, White Linen)
- Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Picked Raspberry, Chipped Sapphire, Antique Linen, Aged Mahogany)
- Ranger Archival Ink (Wendy Vecchi Orange Blossom, Cobalt)
- Ranger Time Holtz Tag Stencils (Bubble, Sun Ray, Coffee Ring)
- Ranger Inkssentials Tag (#8 manila)
- Small spray bottle (for water)
- Tim Holtz for Stamper’s Anonymous Stamps
- Seamless Experience
- Words for Thought
Another thing that was freeing was that I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my usual papercrafting projects. But the very nature of art journaling is that it is all about imperfection and happy accidents. There’s no need to measure perfectly straight lines or find the perfectly coordinating color tone. Randomness and just plain play rules! I was really surprised at how much joy I found in that freedom.
For this first experiment I used a spiral bound Canson Mixed Media XL journal. I worked extremely wet, with lots of water, and the pages curled quite a bit as a result. My 12 year old daughter also experimented in the journal (you can see her page soon on our sister site Craft Critique) and it stood up much better to her work than to mine because she used much less water. She’ll be inheriting this album for our summer vacation art journaling project together while I will be working from now on in one of Dyan Reavely’s Dylusions journals which have extremely heavy pages in them.
I chose to use a very dark blue ink for the stamping instead of black on this page. The color difference isn’t immediately apparent to the naked eye, but the overall effect is less harsh than a bold black.
I found my first experiment with art journaling to be immensely relaxing (particularly surprising considering I wasn’t sure what I was doing). I really am looking forward to spending more time in my art journal over the summer and trying more mediums out!