Friday, December 13, 2013

Art Journaling Rules (According To Me)

I was thinking about these rules the other day. I actually wrote them a couple of years ago for a little art journaling class I offered online. I thought they were very fitting then and still are now so I thought I would update them a little and share them with you today.

Take from them what you will...

Art Journaling Rules (According to Barb)

1.  Never, and I mean NEVER, compare your art to any one else’s art. Not matter how hard you try, you will never be able to create just like anyone else but remember, in turn, no one else on earth will ever be able to create just like you.


2.  Allow yourself to make mistakes and no beating yourself up over any of those mistakes, either. No one is perfect or creates anything that is perfect. You can stop trying to be the first.

3.  Don’t be afraid to get messy. Sometimes messes can bring about some of the most interesting results. Let go and have fun like you did when you were a kid. Really.


4.  Don’t ever create any piece of art for your audience. This is especially true in your art journal. These pages are meant to be your place of learning, experimenting, letting go, and being completely your true self...don’t mess that up by trying to please anyone but yourself.

5.  Don’t think too much. Trust your intuition; it won’t lead you astray.


6.  Don’t plan your art out. Instead, let it flow from you and through you...and trust me, it will flow if you give it a chance.

7.  Don’t think you have to use every single technique you come across in order to be a good artist. Find the few that really speak to you and make you feel excited and “in the zone” then work on perfecting those few. Your art will benefit from this way of thinking and creating.

8.  Just like playing the piano or shooting basketball, art improves with practice. Like everything else, you have to put in the time if you want to see the results.

From the great beyond

9. Develop a routine, one that encompasses playing (because your journal is play, not work) in your art journal every single day, even if it’s only for 10 or 15 minutes. As much as everyone else in your life gets your time, you also deserve your own time. (But if you miss a day, a week or a month, don’t fret over it...just pick it back up and play.)

10. Relax. Remember, this isn’t brain surgery so don’t go stressing over it like it is.

I hope that you each get a little something from my “rules.” Print them out and use them as a reminder for yourself the next time you start stressing out over your art/art journal.

IMG_1494I hope that everyone’s holidays are coming together and the pieces of the holiday season puzzle are falling into place. 

(<-Man, I love these two.)

Slowly but surely things around our crazy, chaotic house are starting to twinkle with lights and the grandboy is growing more excited with each passing day.

Life is good.

Yes, it is.

Back soon with more of the good stuff.

peace & love,

PS. All the artwork contained here is mine. Just thought I’d let y’all know.


  1. I like your rules :) it's so easy to slip into 'I have to', when really, I can do what I like, when I like and how I like. Life IS good :) Grandchildren are truly a treasure.

  2. So I just started following you, have no idea how I got onto your site, but thrilled I did ... I have a question ... I'm a scrapbooker, but stumbled upon Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's videos thru another blog I follow and for the last month I have taken my scrap supplies and am trying this mixed media art journaling "thing" ... I love it/am major obessesed, but honestly I suck at it, really ... no artistic ability, so when you say just go with it, don't compare, it's just for you vs an audience, I get that, but I'm caught in that comparing/criticle mode ... any advice for getting out of that? Your work is just amazing, obvious you have talent, and I loved your story about finding therapy in art ... I do too, it's my escape, but I just feel like I'm a kindergartner playing around with the big kid stuff. Thanks for reading!

  3. I always have the problem of having TOO MANY ideas at once. Then they sort of just clog the creative pipes, so to speak, and I end up not doing anything at all. Hate it!! I want to journal, but all the ideas floating through my head are actually a hindrance to journaling!

  4. I have just seen this and I have to thank you. You covered just about all my bad habits. Thank you kindly. And now I will take a look aroung your blog.
    Cheers Pam

  5. Barb, I love your rules and your art! What did you use on the vibrant artwork above....technique and supplies???

  6. Barb, I love your rules and your art! What did you use on the vibrant artwork above....technique and supplies???


Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by. I am open to any comments, questions, suggestions, critiques, etc, so lay it on me...
Peace & Love,

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