The Beauty of the Art Journal: 5 Tips From Jodi Ohl

Today’s newsletter features a guest blog post from mixed-media artist Jodi Ohl, who shares her five great tips on choosing and using an art journal. Be inspired!

Art journal ideas with Jodi Ohl |
Artwork by Jodi Ohl

Helpful Art Journaling Tips by Jodi Ohl

Working on multiple art projects has been in my blood for as long as I can remember. Juggling, multitasking, being efficient, or working in tandem–whatever name you put on it–I can be either chaotic or extremely efficient. I think this habit started when I had a full-time job outside of the home. My creative time was relegated to Friday evenings and some Saturdays and then 10 minutes here or there other days, so I know how to get things done. One of my favorite ways to work on two or more projects at the same time is to have my journal at my side while working on a larger painting. In my newest DVD, Tandem Techniques: 15 Mixed-Media Techniques for Canvas and Art Journals, you’ll get a glimpse at how I manage multiple projects and learn many mixed-media techniques you can utilize in a variety of projects.

Art journaling is a great way to relax and immerse yourself in the creative process and to spark ideas for creative endeavors beyond the journal. Painting on canvas or wood is my main interest right now, but journaling is like my security blanket. Here are some tips for using your art journal to generate new inspiring ideas or to relax during your down time.

Art journal techniques with Jodi Ohl |
Visit Jodi Ohl on her website or reach her via email.

1. There are no rules for how to best create and utilize an art journal. Processes and techniques exist, just like in painting or collage, but I encourage you to be yourself and not worry about what others are doing.

2. Choose a ready-made journal that is a comfortable size and shape, and has a paper type or weight you like. If you’re a painter, a lightweight paper journal may not be right, but it could be perfect for a sketch artist. My current favorite journals are the Dylusions Creative Journals by Ranger and the Strathmore Mixed Media Art Journal. I’ve also used Moleskine journals quite a bit.

3. Keep your art journal handy whenever you’re in a creative session. If you’re a painter, brushing excess paint onto a journal page is a great way to get some backgrounds going for future work.

4. Create a journal travel bag. Gather your favorite supplies and the journal(s) you’re working on. Keep them in a travel bag that you can quickly grab and go. This is a perfect way to stay creative if you’re waiting for an appointment or simply heading out of town.

5. Some journal spreads can be finished quickly in one sitting, while others may take several days or months to finish. Don’t feel like you have to always create them in the same amount of time. Trust your instincts, and enjoy the process.

For more of Jodi’s tips and techniques, check out this exclusive Colorful Canvas Exploration kit for artists. It includes her latest DVD, Tandem Techniques: 15 Mixed Media Techniques for the Canvas and Art Journal, and a set of notecards designed by Jodi herself! You’ll be both inspired and prepared to fill your own art journals, starting now.

Warm regards,

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Art Journaling and Lettering, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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