From handmade art journals to pre-bought sketchbooks, junk journals and gorgeous bound journals, variety is the spice in my creative life. As we work our way from Z to A with what I love about art journaling, we land on V.

V is for Variety of course! I use my art journals as a way to play, explore and discover myself and my unique form of creative expression. You can see all the posts so far in this series here.

In the image above is an art journal spread from a handmade art journal I made this year. And in the image below are two brands of art journals I love.

strathmore mixed media journal

Working on a variety of paper types & sizes

When it comes to art journaling, I love working on a variety of different paper types. My absolute favorite is the Strathmore 500 series of mixed media journals and papers. It takes all different types of media and I love working with thick layers so need a paper that can hold up to the paint, water and layers of collage.

Art Journaling is all about variety in the supplies!

The other thing I adore about art journaling is that anything goes in an art journal when it comes to supplies. You can use your art journal to try out new supplies and find out what it is you love.

Here is a pretty page of collage in a handmade book that my daughter made last summer. We have both become junk journaling addicts and adore creating our own books to make art in. The images came from old books purchased at used book stores for the purpose of cutting up to use in art.

I know, it sounds sacrilegious to cut up books to some people, but I consider it a way to recycle up cycle them. So many old books are going into landfill these days as bookstores and libraries don’t have room for them. We put them to good use!

junk journal collage

Variety also includes adding a variety of paints, gel pens, Posca Paint pens, tags, envelopes, washi tape… the list of supplies is endless as is our creative imagination.

For me the hardest part about art journaling was to learn the steps to creating rich layered images that weren’t muddy or messy but felt whole and coherent when finished. Part of this was learning how to use the different supplies and discovering what I liked best or was willing to let go of. This has also allowed me to keep my studio clear of clutter of unwanted supplies. There is always someone who loves what I don’t.

Here is an example of a junk journal I am working lately with a tag added, a variety of pages and some initial layers. Nothing is finished but putting those first layers down gives me a starting point. Will be fun to see where this page takes me next. Part of what I adore about art journaling is the process of layering and the surprises and magic that happen along the way.

mixed media art journal page

I’d love to hear what your favorite art journaling supplies and tools are? Do you like to buy journals or make your own? What about paints? Have a favorite? Let’s share!