Where do you gather your inspiration? Do you collect images, magazine articles, pieces of cloth, photographs? Maybe something you saw on line? I gather inspiration from so many sources. I use sketch books to help gather them all into one place.
When I’m feeling a bit low on mojo, I go to my sketch book and there I can peruse through colors swatches, magazine clippings, internet images that I grabbed, as well as my own sketches and blocks of journaling. Sometimes I like to sit and go through my art journal just to reflect on my self. It’s really therapeutic!
I really love to work with all sorts of media when I create. Since my art journal is not only a place to gather inspiration, it is also a place for me to draw, journal and design. Each of my art journals gets decorated and they are all unique.
You’re probably asking why do I have more than one? When one gets filled, I create a new one. It’s neat to go back through them and see how I was influenced by different things at different times in my life. Today I’m going to show you a way to easily create a mixed media art journal inexpensively.
Let’s begin with a list of supplies you would need for this project:
- Digi kit
- A sketch book
- muslin or canvas fabric
- metal, paints or other elements (if desired)
- strong adhesive
- Thread, sewing machine (or you can hand stitch)
- Scissors, trimmer or craft knife
I used the collab bundle Industrial by ViVa Artistry and Studio Gypsy. This kit is amazing for a mixed media artist. It really captures the depth and texture of the elements and papers as if your hands are wrapped right around these items.
Create your cover design in your photo editing software using the digi kit of your choice and print it out. For me, the metal elements in the Industrial kit really represent where my creative heart is at the moment. I combined some of the clusters, papers, elements and alphas from the bundle to represent that surcharge of creative energy that I know I will need from time to time. I also like to include a heart and a key on the cover of my art journals. To me, it is symbolic of unlocking my inner core so I made sure to place them prominently on my design. As you create your journal be certain to include elements and design that really help you to open up creatively. You want this to be a resource that you are going to turn to again and again.
I printed my design at 8.5×11″ on Epson Premium Presentation Matte Paper.
I used a really inexpensive sketch book. You can also get them at hobby and craft stores that offer coupons to help keep the cost down. The cover to my sketch book is very thin. To add a little sturdiness to it, I recycled some thin chipboard from a cereal box. I cut it to fit on my cover and adhered it.
I then cut a piece of my material large enough to extend over the edges of my front cover (I got the material as an end of the bolt bulk – really inexpensive at Wal-Mart). You’ll need enough extra to allow you to fold the material over 2 times (like a seam binding) to keep it from fraying. Now you can stitch your printed design right to the fabric.
I wanted to include some real metal components on my cover since this is a material that I work with frequently. I keep a box of scraps from the metal projects that I create. I used some of those to emboss a design and adhered that to the bottom corner of my cover design.
Time to place this onto the front cover of the sketch book. Since my fabric was an end of the bolt piece, I was able to lay the pre-finished edge along the spiral bound edge of the cover and did not need to sew it under. If your material is not an end piece, you’ll need to fold that edge of the fabric under and run a stitch along to eliminate fraying. Use some really strong dry adhesive to attach your fabric back to the front of the sketch book cover being certain to allow the fabric to extend beyond the edge of the book cover. I used Humongo Killer Adhesive for this.
Next, place some thin strips of your adhesive on the edges of the inside of the book cover and fold your fabric over and secure to this adhesive making sure that all your edges and corners are tucked in. If you wanted, you could stitch around this edge to secure the fabric to your cover.
Now you have a beautifully, personalized, handcrafted art journal where you can collect and reflect on your artistic inspirations.
Other Articles by scrappycath:
- Card Caravan: Happy Birthday! - September 17th, 2013
- Card Caravan #46: Red, White and Blue - July 7th, 2013
- Card Caravan Challenge: Cheer - February 17th, 2013
- Card Caravan #33: Holiday Card - December 9th, 2012
- Card Caravan #28: 7 Things - September 30th, 2012