Dipping a toe into art journaling

So let’s talk about why I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks:  my boys started preschool and first grade 🙂  I’m learning how to navigate the world of public school, PTA, and everything else that goes along with having a first grader. Including losing an hour of sleep due to an earlier start time.  *yawn*

However, I can’t get enough of just hanging with the boys and just watching their little personalities develop and the whole brother dynamic!  My preschooler is so adorably proud of being a big boy and my first grader is reading and gaining so much self confidence.  It’s an amazing thing – something I want to remember beyond just the photos on my phone- and so I’m trying my hand at art journaling this school year.

Art journaling is something I’ve always been interested in from afar, more so than scrapbooking, which seemed like it takes a lot of pre-planning. Which is fine, except I know I am one of those people who will get so hung up on the layout, that a finished page will never, ever happen. Since I’ve never done any kind of art journaling (even a sketchbook felt weird to me, and I was an art major! I always wanted any sketch I started to be completely worked into a finished piece.), I decided to seek out a little help.

I found a free two week e-course, Art Journaling 101, on Kristal Norton’s blog.  Each day, Kristal emails you a short lesson which consists of a YouTube video on beginner subjects, such as choosing materials, how to get over staring at the blank page, etc.  She’s so good at making you feel comfortable, and takes the self-imposed pressure off of you to always make this perfect beautiful page.  Not every page has to be perfect – the point is just to go with it.  That seemed like a philosophy I could get behind.

So I decided to start an art journal for this school year, to help me remember all the little milestones and funny things the guys say.  It felt natural to write the entries as little letters to the boys, so that’s what I’m doing.  I’m not even attempting to add backgrounds and build up the page/ background yet; instead, I’m just going for memories and I figure once I get in a routine, the creative part will start to flow.

I’m starting out with the most basic of supplies, until I figure out where I want this thing to go artistically:

Cobberson basic art journal supplies
In case you’re wondering*:

4 Pack Big Bee Pads 12X9

Pentalic Watercolor Pencil Set

Staedtler Art Erasers, 1 Kneadable and 1 Art Gum

Pigma Micron 05 Ink Pen, 0.45-mm, Black

I started with the first day of school and did a two page spread.  The first page is going to basically just be all photos, which I haven’t printed out yet, so there wasn’t really a point to showing that here 🙂 The second page is describing my favorite moment from the first day.  My first grader was visibly nervous waiting to go into school, and his best friend took his hand and said,”don’t worry, I’m with you.”  He looked so relieved when she said this, and they walked into school together, holding hands until they were out of sight.  It was such a special moment.

cobberson art journal first entry


So my plan now, besides printing all those first day pictures and gluing them in (hurry up already!), is to just stick a post it to the outside of the book where I can note any interesting events and pick my favorites to journal at the end of the week.  That seems to be as low pressure a journal as I can possibly come up with, so hopefully I will stick with it.

Have you ever kept an art journal?  What did you think of the process- enjoyable creative outlet, or did it turn out with wasn’t really your thing?

*Disclosure- Cobberson & Co. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  You are not charged a higher price for items you purchase using my link.  I did not receive these items for free in exchange for linking to them.  All opinions on these products are my own.


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