The following 3 books are what I consider must have’s for people new to art journaling. The techniques are basic but explained well and these books suggest that you experiment.
Danny Gregory’s The Creative License. He includes interviews from a wide range of people and suggests a simple set of tools- pens, watercolor, and journal with a sense of documenting the simple and everyday items around you to appreciate the moment. Danny Gregory has a great blog that he no longer updates as much as he used to but is a great resource.
The Journal Junkies Workshop by Eric Scott and David Modler. This is a comprehensive guide to techniques that you can use with pretty simple materials. Again observation is mentioned here, as well as writing and creating texture and visual interest. This book works much more in the abstract realm than Danny Gregory. These guys run a neat blog too.
Diana Trout’s book Journal Spilling is another favorite of mine to suggest to people just starting out. She gives you a serious list of tools to use in your art journal, all using simple materials that are inexpensive. Additionally she’s got a set of youtube videos that go along with the book as well as a blog. I’ve reviewed her books for the zine and I’ll report that article here at some point.
What you’ll notice about these 3 books is that they suggest simple materials and gathering your own materials to use in your journals. These books avoid pre made materials that you can buy at the craft store. This makes your journals 100% your own. It’s this sense of unique that I think people look for when they create a journal. These books all foster that spirit and not the “cult of stuff.”