Journey with a Journal

6 Jan

I create and maintain several types of  creativity journals.  Most are visual journals.  A creativity journal is a collection of the ideas that are kept in one central place for inspiration or resource reasons.  I like having things around that inspire me.  If you h ave a book or folder to house the collection, it can be at your finger tips, when needed.  It’s a place to record your ideas that you get quickly or that you may risk forgetting if you don’t immediately place them in a useful place for your records. 

Just like a nightly dream that wakes you up, you think that you may recall it in the morning but the odds are that you will miss some of the details.  To be on the safe side, use a creative journal to make a quick note, sketch or comparison in.  Then at anytime afterwards you can revisit it and take a journey with your  journal. You don’t have to use it as you might a traditional artist’s sketch pad, keeping completed images or developing work within it.  Here, your ideas are best not to be finished or organized, it’s a place where you record those quick thoughts before you get distracted.  You might have images stored in your mind, something may spark a creative thought for a future project, or like me I may see things and just want to remember the color combinations I noticed or a design idea from printed fabric someone might be wearing.  A creative journal can be used for storage of ideas and inspirations to build up and expand your own personal visual library.


Why Should I Create a  Creativity Journal?
If you want  organization of your ideas, inspiration, and experiments in one central location, this will help. To use it, just examine and revisit it when you are not motivated to start something new or continue on a project in progress. Look at is as you would jumper cables for your car, you never know when you need that extra boost of energy for a new surge of creative thoughts. 

For inspiration you an always spend time looking through these journals and the things you have added like quotes, notes, photographs, torn articles, sketches, fabric designs, website listings, business cards, postcards, book titles etc.  You can date your entries, like you would in a diary as a way of keeping track of your artistic development, and you an also like many running logs I have  that has a  spot that you can dictate and record your mood as well.  All of the added written information can be used to keep track of your ideas and how they may have evolved or expanded.

If you’re mixing colors, make a record of what you’ve done so you can repeat it. If you make an item a certain way but forget measurements jot that type of information down.  If you log comments or gather e-mail addresses or want to note what someone especially wanted as a gift suggestions make your marks in a creative journal.  I keep a small one in the car glovebox at all time for when I am on the road and need to jot something down.  I have many going at the same time because I may pick up one over the other if I have grouped them or put a theme to them.

The sky is the limit on how you wish to create your journal.  it can be person or general.  You may make it like a scrapbook page and have the elements in a visually appealing layout form.  Maybe you want to be able to add and subtract quickly and so a three-ring binder will do as you cut and paste or place a side folder of info into sections.  Maybe you want it to have a more elegant look, like a coffee table book , or a hand-bound heirloom keepsake. Perhaps it is the size of the journal that you are more concerned about.  Know if you will be making more in the future or if you will be taking your time in finding items and will only need a small space for your collection. Do you want to restrict it to a size that you can easily tote around?  Does it need to fit in a certain space  for storage?  Will you be able to find it when you need it?  Can it be located easily and as often as you need it?

Helpful hints:

  • use plastic sleeves for material that you do not want bent or that need extra protection
  • use dividers or folders to place items in that are not easily attached to flat paper
  •  know what to keep and will be used, it is difficult sometimes to tear pages from a bound book

In conclusion: include anything that inspires you in your journal to help you when creative blocks form. Consider making comments in a journalistic manner to document your personal thoughts. Make lists to refer back to.  Maybe you have blog titles listed or names as titles for your art work to have as considerations. Use your space as reference of critic reviews or of locations of certain supplies or price comparisons.  Note any technical aspects that you have learned from and date those so you recall when the problem arose or was solved. Add information that will inspire you the next time you open the book – to any page.  Best of luck on your journey with your journals.


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