Demystifying the art journal. Part Two.


In part one of this series of articles, art journals and its beginnings (history) were defined and briefly discussed. As an empowerment coach, artist, and writer, I have used journals in a multitude of ways. Art journals, visual journals and artist’s journals are terms that have been used interchangeably; but, there are very subtle differences between them. Basically, a journal used mostly for creative expression with words, illustrations, and design that represents feelings; but, may also include daily observations and experiences is what most call an ART JOURNAL.

ART JOURNALS can be bought new and blank; or, they can be constructed. Art journals may be constructed from new or recycled materials such as discarded books and magazines. Discarded books that are used as art journals are called ALTERED BOOKS. Altered books can stand alone as an art form. I am currently re-purposing a discarded children’s dictionary as an art journal. Here is a link to my YouTube video (the first session of five) displaying what I did to 20 pages in my altered book…. a process/challenge called JOURNALING by 5s:

Journaling by 5s was a process and challenge started by Shannon Green; and, it involves 5 sessions, 10 prompts overall (2 per session), 15 minutes per session, and 20 pages being worked on in the 15 minute session. (Talk about PRESSURE; NO time to waste on worrying about being perfect.) It was around this time last year when I recorded these five sessions of JOURNALING by 5s. I used PAINT and INK (as per the 2 prompts) to create backgrounds on the 20 pages.


In addition to those 20 pages I created in Journaling by 5s, my altered book has pages that range from doodling to painting a self-portrait with acrylic paint. There are no rules that you have to follow. You have plenty of freedom to fully express yourself and experiment, because you can alter any discarded book any way you choose. This specific type of art journaling is a great way to expand and build your creativity. By the way, board books that have been over-handled and enjoyed by toddlers are magnificent first books to alter. I encourage you to surf the internet for more inspiration and ideas on ALTERED BOOKS.

All rights reserved. ©2016 by A.K. Orobko


One thought on “Demystifying the art journal. Part Two.

  1. Pingback: The BIG Power of Working Small

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