Journaling is definately my weak spot. I want to tell so much more, but the story just doesn't unfold. I don't know what to do. But not anymore - with these great advice and a tutorial by Marit I, too, can learn to be a better journaler!

Journaling on minun ongelmakohtani skräppäyksessä. Haluan kertoa enemmän, mutta tarina ei vain lähde virtaamaan. Olen neuvoton. Mutten enää! Tässä luukussa Marit jakaa mahtavia neuvoja tarinointiin, jotka ovat avuksi niin skräppäyksessä kuin art journaleissakin. 

I am a passionate artist who loves to try new techniques, products and ideas. I always try to stretch myself in my work. My favorite medium is paper. However, graduated as a teacher in arts I have varied experiences in crafting techniques as well as in art history. Over the last years, my art changed from scrapbooking to art journaling and mixed media. 

I have always loved to use words and texts in my art. That is where my ‘writers’ heart’ shows I guess. I teach workshops (on line as well as in person) in art journaling. Furthermore, I am very proud to call myself the founder and editor-in-chief of a new art magazine: FEATURING. It is a printed magazine for art journaling, mixed media and more. The magazine was released last Spring and is sold worldwide via the website. 

Marit’s Paper World www.maritspaperworld.com 
FEATURING magazine: www.featuringmagazine.com


"Writing is in my gens, as my mother is a writer. With her as my big example, I started writing when I was a child (short stories and later, in my teens, poems.) I kept a diary from my tenth year up until I was about 35. The daily writing stopped when I started creating on an almost daily base. My feelings and emotions went in photos and images on scrapbook layouts but soon, scrapbooking wasn’t fulfilling anymore. I missed my writing. When I discovered art journaling I really found my niche because in my eyes, art journaling is all about art combined with (personal) writing. A lot of artists, scrap-bookers as well as art journalers, have problems getting their own stories out on paper though. Instead, they use quotes or music lyrics. Quotes are great to express feelings we cannot describe ourselves, or not that nice anyway, but using your own words make a page so much more personal and fulfilling. 

Today, I share a few tips that may help you write your own, personal journaling. After that I will take you through the steps I made to get my journaling on the page in a way that it is not only personal, but also looks attractive. 

Tips for personal journaling:

• Don’t try to describe ‘overwhelming feelings’. Describing ‘love’ is not easy (if not impossible), writing about the love you feel for your cat or dog is much better to handle and also more personal. Focus on details: how your pet looks like. Color, shape of ears. Describe the way your cat lies on purring on your lap or how the dog greets you in the hallway with a ruffled tail. 

• Start writing in a notebook or on a loose sheet of paper that you can throw away later. You will feel more ‘free’, knowing that you don’t have to show your writing to anyone. 

• Jott it all down! Don’t try to write a ‘nice story’ or seek for better words. Let your mind wander and let it flow. You can make choices and edit later. 

• Details, details: a good practice is to write about an item from your household that seems trivial to everybody else, but has meaning to you. For instance the coffeecup you use in the morning. Just a normal mug maybe, but you remember where you bought it or who gave it to you. 

• Ask yourself funny questions to start writing. Do you know these question/answer games that sometimes pop up on various blogs? Questions like ‘what color socks do you wear today’ or ‘what was the last concert you visited?’ Answer the question and go from there: “Today I wear red socks. Those were the only thick socks left in the drawer and it is cold today. I prefer the blue ones, but those are in the laundry. Which remind me: I should be really careful when I put the red socks in the laundry.. it wouldn’t be the first time I end up with pink sheets because one red sock sneaked into the washing machine with the white laundry...” see how my mind works? From red and blue socks to laundry and so on.... I bet your mind works the same if you let go and start associating! 

Example: how to get your words nicely and fitting on a page 

For this blogpost/window, I made a special art journal page to show you one way to get your journaling onto the page. I choose a Christmas theme for this page – after all, it is nearly Christmas – although I don’t have much with this holiday. And that is exactly the theme I choose to write about! 

Here is the basic page without the journaling. The background is made with blue acrylic paint, hand cut ‘Christmas balls’ that were used as a template, spray ink and sequin waste (used as a template to create the little ‘circles’.) With a white sharpie, I draw the lines for the journaling.

Then I started writing on notebook paper. As I am Dutch, I wrote my text in that language. When I felt I was done, I typed it into the computer and translated it into English. That way, I had a choice which language I would use on the page.

As you can see, the text translated into English turned out to be longer. I did not have much room for journaling on the page, so I decided to go with the Dutch text. I wrote a part of the first sentence “All those Christmas decorations:...”

Then I stopped to see how much space that took. Oops. Just those few words cost me two lines.

So I started crossing the words and sentences that I thought were not necessary for the story. I kept looking at my text. I wrote a few words, looked again at the text and so on.

Here you can see how much I had to cross and change along the way.

Less words, and it perfectly fits on the page now! Last minute, I decided to fill in the spaces of the letters. That way, the text looks a bit like a pattern. To make the page balance, I stamped some white dots with bubble wrap plastic on the opposite corners.

This is the final text that is written on this page. 

“All those Christmas decorations: I am not a big fan. Oh, I do enjoy the atmosphere downtown city – the Christmas lights, the decorated shops windows and the sleek Christmas songs that come from the speakers – but back home I prefer the clean space and peace around me. A Christmas tree? It’s not gonna happen! However, I cannot let this holiday pass completely without doing anything. Two things come from the attic: the white winter branches with twinkling lights at the tip and the hand blown glass balls, which I hang in front of the window. There always have to be three.” 

I wish you all a very happy Christmas time and a prosperous new year!"


sandi said...

Wow! Love the journaling like this. Looks fab!

Birgit said...

Hey Marit! Super interessant om te lezen! Ik had geen idee dat je een tijdschrift uitbrengt. Heb net op de site gekeken en het ziet er echt geweldig uit. Is hij alleen online te kopen of kan ik 'm ook ergens in een winkel halen. Ben heel nieuwsgierig geworden!

Anonymous said...

How interesting to read this! Thanks for sharing! I love the looks of your journaling on the tag :)!

Cuchy said...

Such a very interesting article.
And an awesome journal page.
Thank you for sharing!

Jenneke said...

So nice to see how you work, Marit! And you know I feel the same way about Christmas ;-)


Salla said...

I love your journal page, it's really beautiful! I'm very glad I came across your journaling advice, there's a lot that really makes sense and I look forward to trying some of your ideas in my own journaling. I'll also want to check out the Featuring magazine, which I had not heard of before. Thank you so much!

Tingelstiina said...

Thanks ladies! Nice page and good advices.

Anski said...

This was so inspirational! Great tips, I'm definately gonna try them. And the page looks great wiht the journaling.

zenevak said...

This is great! I feel very inspired to dust away that notebook I bought ages ago for journaling! I love her tips about writing about the everyday/household objects. HEr art journal page is also amazing!

Sharon Fritchman said...

Hi Marit! Awesome tutorial! I love your writing and tips!!!!

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