Tag Archives | art journaling

Thoughts on a First Experience with Art Journaling

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.

Just Make Stuff art journal

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.

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Ranger Announces Dina Wakley Signature Line

Ranger has announced that mixed media artist Dina Wakley is being added to their line-up of signature designers. Wakley joins a cast of Ranger signature designers that includes Dyan Reavely, Claudine Hellmuth, Wendy Vecchi, Vintaj, and of course Ranger Creative Director Tim Holtz.

Wakley is developing a line of mixed media products with Ranger which will be called Dina Wakley Media, presumably to be released at CHA in January.

Dina Wakley Stencils

Previous to the Ranger announcement, Wakley has designed stencils for The Crafter’s Workshop, stamps for Stampington & Company, and check products for CheckAdvantage. Her book, Art Journal Freedom: How to Journal Creatively With Color & Composition, was released in February 2013 by North Light Books. Wakley also sells online art journaling classes through her personal website. Her new contract with Ranger is exclusive, ending her partnership with The Crafter’s Workshop.

Wakley, who is known for her artsy mixed media and art journaling work, lives in Arizona with her husband and three sons. She’s an experienced instructor who loves to travel. In her spare time, she volunteers as a docent at the Phoenix Art Museum, giving tours to school children.


Exploring Art Journaling

Editor’s Note: Anyone who has heard me talk on Paperclipping Roundtable the past six months or who attended my seminar at CHA Winter 2011 knows that I am both a personal fan of art journaling’s value as well as a believer in its increasing importance to the paper crafts industry.

Karen Stockham, today’s guest author, is the former owner of Tumblebeast Stickers and a licensed family counselor. She uses art journaling with her clients in her private counseling practice. I’ve asked her to share from her perspective as a mental health professional why art journaling is so useful to her clients.

For readers who wish to learn more about art journaling, enrollment is currently open for Karen’s new class at Big Picture Classes, called “Write Down To The Nitty Gritty“. Because it is a topic that I so strongly believe in, I will be appearing as a guest instructor during the class, sharing some of my own personal art journaling and the journey that it has taken me on.

Life’s challenges and the stress they bring are an unavoidable part of living. And sometimes the weight of certain challenges seems almost unbearable. There are many ways to help keep our buckets full and filling even when we are dealing with substantial grief.  Friendship, activities, hobbies, non-perfectionism, acceptance for what and who you are, a place to vent, family connections and friendship connections are all helpful.

And at our fingertips, we have yet another tool to use. People have long used journals to record feelings and thoughts. We use scrapbooking and crafts as a tool to record memories. Putting the two together in art journaling is a therapeutic tool I use in my private practice with clients which is not only enlightening but also a vehicle for releasing stress and working through life’s inevitable struggles. It is one way to fill your bucket.

Using expressive journaling with creative art is a powerful way to allow for connection building and profound learning about you and your inner self. It allows for time to create and for time to process. Guidance from your inner self is not only healing but extremely helpful as you heal. It is very therapeutic.

So what is the difference between a journal and an art journal? Journals become art journals when you add depth, color, and creativity through illustrations (such as photographs and embellishments of any kind) to your journal. That sounds like scrapbooking, card making and crafting, doesn’t it? Art journaling is not about creative talent – it is about allowing self-communication through more than just words. Combining both expressive writing and creative art expression allows for taking an in-depth look into your own soul. You can see what you already know, and begin to learn and address what you still need to discover. This can be a very rewarding journey of self-discovery.

To derive the greatest benefit from your art journal experience, don’t hold back when expressing yourself. Don’t worry about your creative skills (or lack of them). Ignore the negative voices telling you that you’re not an artist. Give yourself permission to explore, to play, to create, and most of all, to listen. The creative process is a healing process. Words alone can be limiting, and thus using writing and art together provides a place for pent-up traumatic emotions such as anger, hurt and grief to be expressed when they are much too painful or buried too deeply to express verbally.

Allowing for self-discovery triggers emotional catharsis. Gaining a sense of empowerment and a bit more control as you heal is essential. Art journaling is a gentle, safe and private way to let it all out. Through this process you can vent spontaneously, creatively and lead yourself to some therapeutic relief.

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