Diary of an Art Journal


This is a new weekly blog series where I exit stage left—and my Art Journal who is a bit of a Diva takes center stage and confesses, in her own words, what the making of an Art Journal is "really all about." I think she just wants attention, but I've decided to humor her—and entertain you. So with no further adieu, here is the next installment of "Diary of an Art Journal" written by the Diva herself. I hope you enjoy...




Dear Diary,

Whatever would she do without me?

I mean, could she simply think up something like this?  Choose these colors ahead of time?

Layer the shapes and images one on top of one another with a precise plan in mind?

  one Art Journal Page

one Art Journal Page

No, I think not. 

This, my friends, is why an Art Journal such as myself—one with flare and sophistication and—

But oh yes, I can hear Denise now. Let’s just head off her reprimands, shall we?

“”it’s not about you, Art Journal,” she’ll say.

To which I’ll reply, “Oh, but actually it is!”

And then she’ll say “It’s not.”

And I’ll say it is.

And she’ll say—

Oh, but wait. WHAT is (or isn’t) about me again?  I think I’ve lost my train of thought.

Isn’t everything about me?

But of course. She really has no argument otherwise. I am her Art Journal! 

Moving on.

Where was I? Oh yes.

This art journal page shows us exactly why anyone should be so lucky as to have an Art Journal—such as myself—in their life.

  two art journal pages

two art journal pages

With each page, the lucky human gets to make something out of absolutely nothing—blank paper.

I’ll let you to think about that a bit longer just in case you failed to catch the full meaning of what I just said:

With an art journal such as myself

 A lucky human gets to make

Something out of nothing.

Is that not the definition of magic?


And not only that, but that something that comes out of “thin air” as the saying goes, isn’t any ol thing, I’ll tell you that.

That something is something.

(Just think about that, too, for a second.)

In the case of THIS art journal page, well, she began as always with no plan. As I said, she never could have planned this and in fact, no one who creates something out of nothing can.

It can be frightening to step into the unknown (which is why a whole lot of people avoid starting altogether); she was unsettled.

But she knows by now that she has me.

And so we set forth together, she laying down one color, one shape, one mark after another—and I her Art Journal, confidently preening on the side. Because I know—though she doesn’t—well, let me explain.

Over and over, layer upon layer, she adds her marks without a thing in mind for this page to become…

And as is usually the case, fear relaxes into play—which is an absolute revel—until the Inner Critic shows up.

It always does.

 “This is ugly…”

“This is meaningless…”

“This is going nowhere…”

And all of these concerns have a ring of truth to them. At some points in the process of creating, there are ugly stages.  The art journaler does get lost sometimes.

But you know what? I her Art Journal, have one true gift—all art journals do.


In this case, even early on she actually knew this page would become a something she might even love. Why?  Because despite the risks and despite the inner critic, she loved each piece of it—that’s why each color, each mark—each element—is there.

She just had to believe that something becomes something if you  stand up for what you know is true.


We Art Journals? We whisper the truths of the art journaler back to themselves.