Tag Archives: Art Journaling

Art Journaling or Daily Planning?

I’ve been in love with planners and organizers for a long time now. But in all my planner geek experiments, I’ve never really considered combining planner functions with bullet journals, notebooks, journals, and art journals too carefully. I started to give it some thought after being asked to write a guest post about it, and realized that over time I’ve been trying to combine lots of different elements into my planner. And maybe that’s why lately my planners never seem to quite “fit” what I want them to do? It’s hard to put my finger on what that is exactly, but something is missing. I’ve been trying to carry around quotes notebooks, planners, art journals, sketchbooks, notebooks for ink samples and fountain pen tests …. and it’s so hard to pick and choose each morning what to take with, when I might want any, all or none of the above that particular day!

So I was reading this blog post from Hali Karla about keeping an everyday art journal, and these words really resonated with me:

I can say that deciding to carry an “everyday art journal” was a game-changer for me. It’s really just an art journal or sketchbook that goes with me everywhere… I actually broke up with my standard planner after getting to know my everyday art journal (it really never worked out between me and the conventional planner no matter how hard we tried anyway).

I use it to jot down ideas, sketch or doodle when I have time to kill or need to pause and be present, to tack in photos and fodder, or capture wise or inspiring words from others that may come my way. Sometimes I write prayers in it, or recipes. I even keep my lists in it. To-do lists, not-to-do lists, shopping lists, gratitude lists, travel itinerary details – all of which can be painted or glued over later if I feel the urge… It really isn’t just an everyday journal – it’s an everything journal for me.

The real beauty of it, though, is that having it all within one cover, over a period of time, makes it really easy to begin to see patterns in my life… I keep other art journals, too – and they often have a variety of styles and flavors within the pages. Yet, while the everyday journal isn’t the prettiest journal I keep, by any means, it’s one of the most precious to my journey.

So I think this might be the next step in my art journal/planner evolution – create an informal planner that’s an “everything journal” first, and a calendar second – instead of the other way around. It seems so revolutionary! But now I really want to try it. But it’s kind of an intimidating thought. I’d love to hear from someone who has done something similar – I can’t find many other examples online.

I’ll leave with this description of an Art Journal from Jane Davenport:

It’s a mix of diary, travel memoir, autobiography, art therapist, visual diary, notebook, scrapbook and sketchbook….plus more… It’s a place, YOUR space, to record and work through your life experience in images, words, colours and collage.

There are NO RULES.

Some links on other great blog posts about art journals, planners and commonplace journals:

“You may want to keep a commonplace book which is a notebook where you can copy parts of books you think are in code, or take notes on a series of events you may have observed that are suspicious, unfortunate, or very dull. Keep your commonplace book in a safe place, such as underneath your bed, or at a nearby dairy.”

Lemony Snicket, Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography

“In my Commonplace book, I jot down snippets, quotes, stanzas. They can be words from a novel, from a poem, from a picture book, from the side of a cereal box. Anything I read that causes me to pause and read again- to stop and savor the words or ponder the message- it all belongs in my book.

This is the heart of my book and what really makes it a treasure, I think.”

– Sarah Mackenzie , amongstlovelythings.com

“Their commonplace then became a kind of personal reading/life log, where they kept notes on anything they wished to remember.

What it’s not is a journal or diary. While some people did use their commonplace for both purposes, many kept them separate, and a commonplace tends to refer to a book of information, not daily logs.”

– Devon Henderson, Chirmer Graphics

“But writing original stuff is damn hard, and as if I needed another diversionary tactic I’ve found myself adopting a delicious little habit of collecting quotes from books and films, words, ideas, snippets from overheard conversations, phrases, epigrams and poems that I see around and about the place.”

Maz, Diving For Pearls

My Planner as an Art Journally Thingy

So my friend Amelia Vincent asked me to write a guest blog about using my planner as an art journal for posting on her blog, My ADHD Life. It’s a series of three guest posts from other bloggers about how they user their planners or journals, read more in her post titled Journals, Scrapbooks and Planners, Oh My.

Here is a sneak preview of my post:

When Amelia asked me to contribute to this series of guest blog posts, I was willing to play along, but also wondered to myself “Why? My planner isn’t especially elaborate or scrapbooky!” But I started thinking about it, and surprisingly, somewhere along the way it did kind of develop into a planner with “art journaly” aspects.

……[In my planner] I thought that I’d buy all sorts of stickers and washi tape, and decorate my pages alongside with my appointments, to-do lists, and planned meals – and generally be all sorts of organized! But … I was all gung-ho about the format, and didn’t actually stop to think if I had enough actual “planning” data to fill them.

What actually happened, as I soon found out, is that I had lots of blank pages… the emptiness stared at me, and I stopped carrying it around with me. Which just was not acceptable! So instead, I started filling my blank spaces with doodles.

Read the rest of my guest post here.

Also take a look at the guest posts:

My ADHD Life Guest Blog: When The Cat Pukes On Your Planner, by Dawn Paoletta from Ethusiastically, Dawn.

My ADHD Life Guest Blog: Organized Chaos – Planning With A Purpose, by Jenise Spears from Neicy’s Notes.

Visiting with the Happy Yellow Rhodia

Just because it’s been a long time since I posted any peeks into my art journal.

Attending the first ever Colorado Pen Show in October:


Exploring the French Quarter in New Orleans:


More vacation travels:


Spending time on this beach in Honduras:


Discbound Gratitude Journals

While researching Circa art journals, I found this really fantastic example from Sheila Cain. It featured her step-by-step example on how she created some really amazing gratitude journals. Check out her blog for the full details and a thorough explanation of each stage.

Photo Source: Sheila Cain

Photo Source: Sheila Cain

Discbound Sketchbooks

I am intrigued with the idea of using a Levenger Circa or Staples Arc notebook as a sketchbook or art journal. Levenger used to carry a Junior-sized sketchbook (Circa with art quality paper) years ago, but it must not have done well because it hasn’t been back since. I’m pondering what type of paper to cut down and punch for it, and turned to the Interwebs for inspiration. I didn’t find a ton, but what I found was very inspiring! Turns out, I’m not alone in pondering using Circas for art.

Celtic Lass started this forum thread talking about Circa sketchbooks.

Glenn Vilppu’s Sketchbook Portfolio page talks about Circa resells discbound notebook packages and describes his supplies. Check out his website here. And his really unique trifold circa system here.

Red Harp Arts discusses their Staples Arc sketchbook used when doing urban sketching on their blog here. How awesome does this look?

Photo Source: Red Harp Arts Blog

Anne at A Year of Living Disney shares her fantastic 6 x 6 discbound watercolor sketchbook. Check out her blog for more pics and details of her traveling art kit.

Photo Source: Anne, A Year of Living Disney

Ruth Altheim on Flickr has a fantastic set of pics of her Color Book, which she created using a Junior (8 1/2 x 5 1/2″) Circa using Levenger disks, Levenger notebook paper and custom hole punched watercolor pages. What a great idea! I love the concept of doing color charts in a Circa. See her gallery – and full size pics – here.


Photo Source: Ruth Altheim

Sharon Brogan on Flickr has some great pics of how she created an art journal out of a Circa notebook. Check out her photos here.


Photo Source: Sharon Brogan

Irena at Just Crazy About Dogs describes how she created sketchbooks from Staples Arc notebooks in her great blog post here – check it out for more pics and examples.

Photo Source: Irena at Just Crazy About Dogs

Photo Source: Irena at Just Crazy About Dogs

Happy International Coffee Day!

My Happy Yellow Rhodia entry for today.


Don’t Worry, About A Thing.

Today’s art journal entry, because I’ve had this song stuck in my head all week.


Weekend Updates from the Happy Yellow Rhodia

Finally, a nice quiet weekend where I had time to update the Happy Yellow Rhodia.

Saturday August 23rd – Visit to the Dog Park

Friday August 22nd – Candy Overload!

Wednesday August 20th – Work can be FUN

Tuesday August 12th – The Commute.

Weekend updates from the Happy Yellow Rhodia.

We saw  Guardians of the Galaxy and I loved it! Dancing Baby Groot stole the entire movie.


New Job Euphoria!

So, major life lesson learned. When you get the news you have been offered a new job, and start to clean out your non-essential electronic files in a fit of new job euphoria, make sure your spreadsheet of essential passwords isn’t one of them. Just saying.

In other news, I start a new job on Monday!!! After 7 years as a Tax Accountant, I will be moving on as a Systems Accountant. I’m super excited!!