I have been asking myself, “What is art journaling?” a lot lately. Mostly because things keep coming up on art journaling ning that challenge my idea of art journaling. Until recently I felt that art journaling had to include paint, ink, or some sort of physical art making but several journalers on the site have been doing digital art journaling. Digital art journaling is something that until a few weeks ago I’d never have considered, but here we are and people are loading digitally made pages to the group. Not a drop of paint or ink involved.
When I first started out art journaling, nearly 15 years ago, we made do or made our own stuff. Gluing in receipts and product packaging was just a thing we did. Now you can buy special stuff to put in your journal. Things have changed, a lot. Some of it is for the better, I can buy gear shaped rubber stamps and masks now. Oh also nut and bolt brads, how cool is that?
I worry that you can buy so much pre-made stuff that the core element of art journaling- that self-explorative aspect where you look deep and hard at yourself in the pages of your journal is being lost to well-made pre-planned layouts, pretty pictures, and pre-made ephemera that doesn’t speak to your life except for the money you spent at purchase.
Maybe these questions come up because I’ve never focused on making pretty pictures, if a pretty page came up it was not on purpose or a side effect of the collage and painting I did over my writing. In my journal, pretty pages should be accidental not a predetermined outcome of art journaling.