I can’t wait to tell you about our new May/June 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, which features incredible art journal projects, plus a lot more. But before I get to those, I have a confession to make, and maybe you can relate. I was terrified to start my first art journal years ago. What would I put in it, what purpose it would serve, and how would I even begin? The amazing work of other artists was intimidating—how could I possibly come close to that?
But I was at a point where I needed a different type of creative outlet. The idea of having a place to try techniques and ideas and develop a true style made me push through my uncertainty, and I’m so glad I did. Art journaling is now one of the best parts of my creative practice. Do I love everything I create? Absolutely not, and that’s the point. For every piece I loathe or am “meh” about, I’ve learned something valuable, and that’s worth the time I spent making it. Those breakthrough moments, though—those are golden.
I’m sure you know that art journaling is a huge part of mixed-media art, and is likely so popular because journals can be anything, serve any purpose, and have zero rules. While we’ve had tons of art journal projects in Cloth Paper Scissors, we thought it was a good time to celebrate this special category of mixed-media art and bring you some great new ideas, techniques, and projects. You can be a rank beginner or a longtime art journaler—it doesn’t matter at all. Dive into any project in the issue that piques your interest.
The thing I love most about art journaling is that pages can be ugly, flowery, neat, unkempt, minimalistic, filled with text, or wordless. They can stay private or be shared with the world. It’s that anything-goes quality that makes them so appealing. Trying a new style or technique is always worth the effort, because you never know what might emerge. Ever try an abstract approach? Check out Rae Missigman’s article “Art Journaling: The Wings to Get Started” to see how mark making, collage, and painting can help you define your unique style. That’s her artwork featured on the cover! (page 50).
I’ve admired Rae’s journals for a long time. Her pages are riots of color and organic patterns that hold back nothing. In the article you’ll also discover how Rae got started in art journaling, and her relatable story will inspire you.
Lettering is a huge part of an art journal, but so many of us are hung up on the idea of creating flawlessly rendered words. We thought Pam Garrison would be the perfect person to dispel that notion. In her article “Express Yourself,” she shows artful ways to add lettering to your pages and incorporate words and phrases to make your journal pages extra special. No calligraphy experience is necessary. Her techniques for taking both planned and organic approaches to lettering are fantastic for all levels. We also include lots of her beautiful artwork, which will surely inspire you (page 80).
Cait Sherwood’s art journals are often raw and fierce, and filled with beauty and authenticity. In this issue, she presents a fascinating patchwork technique that’s inspired by patterns on fabric and paper (page 74). No special drawing skills are needed, just an eagerness to bring something fresh to your art practice. I love that for this project she starts with found papers, then uses gouache to paint designs. I can’t wait to try this technique myself.
Working in a ready-made blank art journal is fantastic for art journaling. Lots of size and paper options are available for journals these days. But if you’re intrigued by the idea of making your own book, now’s the time to do it. In “Rust-Printed Long-Stitch Nature Journal,” Ali Manning shows how easy it is to stitch a book that you’ll love to use, and it’s so easy to customize. Not a fan of blank pages? She also offers a great natural dyeing technique for adding subtle color and patterns for instant backgrounds (page 62).
And if you love making image transfers as much as I do, Birgit Koopsen has an awesome method that produces unbelievable results. In “Painted Image Transfers” you’ll see how easy it is to build a journal page using this method (page 56).
As always, there’s a lot more in the issue to entice you. Clare Youngs shows how to make the most fantastic collaged birds, using hand-printed and painted papers (page 68). The Jewelry Box offers a fun project from Cat Kerr that involves stamp carving, mold making, and solder—how’s that for a trifecta (page 34)? And the big trend in creating paper flowers comes to Paperology in a lovely collage by Chantal Larocque that’s perfect for spring (page 26). Don’t miss the profile of book artist Jody Alexander (page 40), and soak up the wisdom of Carrie Bloomston, who makes the case for drawing in The Spark (page 38).
Learn about some fantastic new pastels from Gwen Lafleur in Road Test (page 17), and get a little preview of Danielle Donaldson’s new book The Art of Creative Watercolor in Jumpstart (page 46).
We’re finally getting a warm-up here in New England, and I’m eager to go outside without wearing 18 layers. I think the warmer weather and sunshine just might inspire a new art journal page . . .
Did you miss our March/April 2018 issue? Be sure to read this post, which gives you a great preview of more fantastic mixed-media projects!