What is it?

I have been asking myself, “What is art journaling?” a lot
lately. Mostly because things keep coming up on art journaling ning that
challenge my idea of art journaling.
IMAG0428Until recently I felt that art journaling had to include
paint, ink, or some sort of physical art making but several journalers on the
site have been doing digital art journaling. Digital art journaling is something
that until a few weeks ago I’d never have considered, but here we are and
people are loading digitally made pages to the group. Not a drop of paint or
ink involved.

When I first started out art journaling, nearly 15 years
ago, we made do or made our own stuff. Gluing in receipts and product packaging
was just a thing we did. Now you can buy special stuff to put in your journal.
IMAG0425Things have changed, a lot. Some of it is for the better, I
can buy gear shaped rubber stamps and masks now. Oh also nut and bolt brads,
how cool is that?

I worry that you can buy so much pre-made stuff that the
core element of art journaling- that self-explorative aspect where you look
deep and hard at yourself in the pages of your journal is being lost to well-made
pre-planned layouts, pretty pictures, and pre-made ephemera that doesn’t speak
to your life except for the money you spent at purchase.

If we spend our journaling time worrying about making pretty
pictures and following directions for a planned layout are we art journaling or
scrapbooking with paint?

Maybe these questions come up because I’ve never focused on
making pretty pictures, if a pretty page came up it was not on purpose or a
side effect of the collage and painting I did over my writing. In my journal, pretty pages
should be accidental not a predetermined outcome of art journaling.