Recently I decided to marry my love of art with my love of books by creating a series of artful journals.  Sometimes I use my art to create the journal’s cover and sometimes I use my art to fill the pages inside. Oftentimes, I simply start with pretty printed paper or a plain cardboard cover, and use colorful string in beautiful patterns to make the book a piece of art that stands on its own.

One of the best aspects of having a journal to house my art is that it helps me to eliminate the fear of judgment I sometimes have. I view my art journals as a record, a history of my creative successes and my experiments (nothing in art should be viewed as a failure- just a successful learning experience). I love that I don’t feel pressured to make “frame-worthy” art every time I start a project. I also love that I can store my journals on a shelf and pull them out to flip through them whenever I like.  I know fear of judgment (whether by someone else or by my own inner critic) is something often felt by many of those who are just beginning to explore their creative sides and art journaling is a great way to get past that fear.

One great little perk of my new obsession is that I have finally discovered the perfect solution to my ongoing gift-giving dilemma; Handmade books make awesome gifts for everyone. Men, women, children, people of any age with any interests, you name it, I can come up with an idea for a gift that is so thoughtful and personal that the recipient will be thrilled to receive it.

The Artful Journal