After years of keeping a journal, I decided to try something new–to make an art journal from the ideas, sketches, and fun parts of my journals. Instead of keeping notes, images, sketches as I do in my journal, I made this one deliberately, cover to cover.
Here are some of the images.
The front cover is made by covering Arches Text Wove with gesso, writing in it with a corner of a credit card, then adding India Inks in black and brown. After drying, I used purple pastels and another coat of gesso. When it was completely dry, I rubbed it–hard–with a cloth. It looks like leather. I’ve never been able to make purple come out well with a camera, and this is no exception–the band looks blue, although it is the same purple as in the cover, which is a good deal more subtle than it looks.
Found Art starts as a photograph. It’s of something ordinary, that I can see something in. I then print the photograph and alter it using colored pencils or watercolor pencils. You can see the after and before right under it. On the right is a great way to keep your journal writing secret, if you aren’t keeping a journal for fear someone will find it. Write, cut into strips, weave the strips into a design.
This is what the original photo looked like.
The second spread has raw art on the left that serves as a pocket for an accordion journal. The opposite page has found poetry on it.
The next spread has found poetry on the left and a gate-fold page on the right.
The gate-fold is pierced so there are patterns on the front and back. It is also inked, raw-art style and one of the lines serves as a guideline for journaling. The image is done on both sides.
The next spread is another version of found poetry. I cut a page from a book, circled the words that created the poem, colored in the rest of the page. I then cut holes in the page and applied it to an inked and painted journal page.
The right side is a Rorschach-like paint blot. I cut out the sides and placed them next to each other. There is a fire-like design in the interference gold and the blue part.
The closing band is held onto the back with a button that I attached while sewing the binding into place. There are two buttons sewn into the paper of the band. To keep them from pulling out, I lined the ends of the band in Tyvek–an polypropylene paper used in Fed-Ex envelopes and house insulation.
The fun parts were the gate-fold and the accordion-fold book that make up the entire book. The whole book isn’t shown, but you can see it on Flickr.
—Quinn McDonald is a writer and artist who works at the intersection of words and illustration to create raw-art, available to people who think they can’t draw but want to create art journals.