Journaling is a big field. You can write, draw, work in mixed media, collage. You can write on individual pieces of paper, make your own journal, use old ledger books, re-purposed books, expensive journals, cheap journals. I admire the huge variety of work I see.
I work at the intersection of words and art. I love words; I’m a writer. But I want to do more than write in a journal. I want to spend meditative time idling in my journal.
Not every page is going to be a showpiece. Some of my work is clearly thinking things out. I call this personal, meaningful work “raw-art journaling.” It’s work that is intense, private, and brings results. It helps me make decisions, know when I have to get into action and when I need to hold back. I have to make separate books to show in my classes because some of these books are simply too personal, too private to share. And that’s fine with me, too. Not everything in your life needs to go on display. We forget that from time to time. It was easier to remember before the internet made our lives so very public.
My journal pages don’t stay flat. I like pockets, and I like creating accordion journals to cover a special topic. I might have an accordion journal on a book, a poem, an event, a recurring thought. I love nature journals, so the accordion may cover a walk, a season, a tree. After I have an accordion, I make a pocket in the journal and store the accordion in there. Decorating a cover for an accordion so it blends in with the pocket is part of the fun.
Working at the intersection of words and illustration means working with poetry, color and texture. Because I love found poetry (tutorial here) I enjoy using pieces of paper I’ve experimented on to provide the color and texture, like in the one below. The poem reads:
There is evidence
in a short time frame
of her travels.
Her sense of being awakened
To light and space and three-dimensional objects
two thousand square feet on the ground floor
is an ocean of experience.
–quinn mcdonald, 2010
Raw-art journaling can be what you want makes meaning for you. It is enjoyable and peaceful, and will record a life full of experiences and memories.
You can visit my website on raw art journaling to learn more about this method of journaling. I’m writing a book that will be available in June of 2011.