Your Journal’s First Page: Five More Ideas

The more often I teach art journaling, the more I hear about that troublesome first page in the journal. It seems we can’t work in the journal until that troublesome first page it complete.

Bubble pages can be simple and gorgeous.

Some time ago, I wrote a post with five ideas of what to do with that first page some time ago, but it’s time for five new ideas.

1. Create a simple background, like bubble pages. Beautiful old books often have marbled paper end pages. You can create a lovely end page of your own.


2. Cut up some of your artwork that you aren’t going to use or don’t like. Even if you didn’t like the piece as a whole, a small square might be just right. Like the old patchwork quilts made from worn out clothing and bed linens, a first page collaged from your artwork is a lovely reminder of techniques you’ve tried.

Pieces from old artwork can be combined to form a new first page of membories.

3. Ask a few close friends to write their favorite quotes on the first page. You’ll have more quotes, and it’s a good way to create a strong memory.

4. Draw a permission slip on the first page. Give yourself permission to try new

A permission slip allows you to explore and experiment in your journal

things, to mess up and start over, to try some new art technique without the push of making something perfect. A permission slip is a renewable resource for your art!

5. Read something wonderful on Facebook, Twitter, or other places online? Open an email, cut and paste the great quote, add the source and send it to yourself. Copy one of the phrases in rubber stamps or your own hand-lettering on the first page of your journal. Fresh ideas are a great way to start your journal.

–Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach and the author of Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art. She’ll be at Antigone Books in Tucson on September 23, making permission slips and signing her book at 7 p.m.

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4 thoughts on “Your Journal’s First Page: Five More Ideas

  1. For years I have left the front page blank and just flip to the next page and start. I do that in written journals and art journals/sketchbooks. Many times when the book is completed, I will do that page last and put the start and end dates on the front page.
    After reading your book, I put a permission slip of sorts on the front page of my newest sketchbook. t’s not decorated, it’s more of a list of things I’ve given myself permission to do and it’s right where I need it in the front of the book.

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