Lettering Tips for Your Art Journal: Use An Alias

As a person who has filled many a blank book with a flood of handwritten angst, I often forget that an art journal need not have any writing at all. Drawings, images, and abstract mark making will suffice.

art journal by normajean brevik
Art journal by Normajean Brevik,
from Pages.

On the one hand, this is a big relief, as I hate my handwritingthough I've learned some ways to make it more artistic.

On the other hand, words are intrinsically part of everything I do, so I want to include them, creatively, when visual journaling.

Fortunately, there are many ways to do this that don't involve personal handwriting. At least not your own.

1. Use someone else's handwriting. Cut words and phrases from an old letter or a child's notebook. (Make photocopies or a scan if you want to preserve the originals.)

2. Put it in stitches. Hand stitch or machine stitch a word or phrase directly onto your art journal page, or stitch on a separate piece of fabric or paper and glue it in your journal.

art journal by dorit elisha
Art journal by Dorit Elisha, Pages.

3. Stamp on metal. Granted, you might not want to hammer paragraphs into your journal with this technique. But a word or two, especially on a cover or title page, can give a few words extra weight.

4. Paint it on. The act of painting the letters with a brush automatically slows you down and makes it a mark making technique rather than handwriting. You can be looser and more objective about the way the letters are formed.

art journal pageby paula phillips
Art journal page by Paula Phillips,
in Pages.

5. Spell it out. Use beads, charms, Scrabble® tiles, small stencils, or other found objects with letters on them to add words to your custom journal.

These are just a few art journal ideas for lettering without using your own handwriting. Once you open your eyes to the possibilities, you'll see examples all around you.

In fact, you might consider collecting lettering, letters, and calligraphy samples in your art journal. Another great resource for lettering and writing examples is Pages: The Creative Guide for Art Journaling and Bookmaking, now available for download.

P.S. How do you spell it out? What creative materials and techniques do you use for incorporating words and letters into your art?



Art Journaling and Lettering, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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