My Thoughts on Keeping a Journal

So, after reading this (extremely well written!) – post this morning, I was inspired to put my thoughts about journaling/art journaling/visual journaling out there.

I have never really been able to KEEP a journal.  I always wanted to, but never seemed to be able to keep it up for any length of time.  I remember having one of those little diaries as a child…you know the one…with the lock and key?  I wrote stuff in it, but then I was so paranoid about someone finding it, and *gasp* reading it, that I would tear out the pages!  *sigh* if only I had kept those diaries.

That brings me to today.  I am passionate about journaling.  I have several journals on the go at any one time, and that’s the way i like it.  My style of journaling changes frequently, so I like to have several options.

I don’t think I have one favorite journal.  I do love Moleskine journals, though!

I keep a sketch Moleskine for zentangling, light collaging, and a little painting.  The one with the purple label.  Moleskine Folio Books have a sewn binding, acid-free paper, rounded edges, elastic closure, cloth ribbon placeholder, and a rear expandable inner pocket.  They  come in many sizes.  The smallest is roughly 3×5″, and the largest is HUGE – 16.5 x 12″!  I think the small one is too small, and the huge one is too huge.  I prefer the middle 2 sizes – 5 1/2″ x 8″, or the 8 1/2 x 12″.

The 5 1/2″ x 8″ Moleskine is perfect for dropping in my purse to take with me, just in case I find myself with some idle time to journal.  I like the way it opens flat, has a durable, hard cover, and the paper is just the right thickness for multi-media.

I also like the watercolor Moleskine.  The watercolor paper is oh so delicious, and perfect for acrylic paint, and other wet media.  Again, these come in at least 4 different sizes.  I recently purchased the HUGE version…and I mean HUGE!  This thing is 16 1/2″ x 12″!  I was inspired to purchase this one by two of my favorite art journalers – Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, and Karen Grunenberg.  Both of these gals have utilized the A3 watercolor Moleskine for keeping a “week at a glance” journals.  My plan is to do this in 2012.

Here is a snapshotsome of Karen’s 2012 pages, copied from her blog (hope she doesn’t mind):

My latest journaling obsession is with my Smash books, by EK Success.  Yes, I said BOOKS –  have several!

I filled one (!) on my recent vacation to Bali/Hong Kong.  I did most of the “smashing” while on vacation, but I find myself continuing to add to it – either doodling, journaling, or sticking stuff down.

I do not worry about making pretty pages.  No stress!  I just stick stuff wherever it seems to fit, and do not necessarily work chronologically, although I separated the Bali portion of my journal from the Hong Kong portion.  I plan to add some tabs.  What I love about the Smash journals is the size, the sturdy cover, the big pocket in the back for storing ephemera while on the go, and the IDEA of the all-in-one pen/glue stick.  I say the idea of the pen and glue stick, because the one that comes with the book isn’t great, in my opinion.  The glue doesn’t last long enough, and the pen quality is poor – it isn’t a really black black, and won’t write on top of slick surfaces, like photos.  (I should say that I am a pen snob, though!  I am very picky about my pens).  I also don’t care for the spiral binding.  It’s too small, because once the book gets thick and juicy, the pages won’t turn smoothly.  Very annoying, in my opinion.  I also wish that they had some pages designed for wet media.  But, overall, I do love my Smash journals!

So, this post has gotten quite long, so I think I will continue my rambles on another day.  I do have more to say!  🙂  Thank you so much for stopping by (if you’re still with me!).  Please feel free to leave me a comment.  I love comments!   I’d also be happy to answer any questions you have about art journaling!  🙂


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Angela
    Dec 28, 2011 @ 15:00:41

    Still with you Kim. :o) I just love what I have seen of your Bali / Hong Kong Smash Book. Would you mind please sharing more of your fabulous pages from this book?


    • kimmer
      Dec 28, 2011 @ 15:08:42

      Thank you for your comment, Angela! I would be happy to share more photos of my Bali/Hong Kong Smash journal! My plan is to post a couple of photos per day, so keep checking back! 🙂


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