Visual Communication of Information through Fine Art and Illustration

Art Journal: Thanksgiving Week

It was actually a fairly relaxing week here in our RV campground, even with all the preparation for our relatively modest Thanksgiving feast. We did our shopping early when there were the fewest people out and about. There was only one or two items that needed to be picked up last minute to replace or augment something that was being used up more quickly than anticipated. This page of my art journal records a mix of relaxation, planning, reflection and the joy of a homemade pie baking in our adorably small Airstream oven.

A mix of doodling, writing and freeform sketching comprise the majority of my journal entires and always turn out to be surprisingly thorough. Weeks from now, I’ll be able to go back to this page and really feel as though I’m experiencing it all again. I really, really love this about art journaling.

There were two main drivers behind beginning this art journal in the early part of this past August: Inattention and loneliness.

I suppose that sounds rather awful, but hear me out. The loneliness part was due to being six states away from my partner for some of the seasonal work I do as a tattooer. The inattention part was … well, I think all of us tend to forget that our lives are completely uninteresting to us because we inhabit them from the inside. To those looking in from the outside, my life appears fairly kaleidoscopic and unusual, with full-time RV life being especially fascinating. It was for me too, in the beginning, and I felt like I wanted that back, so journaling was an obvious, simple and inexpensive solution.

Sometimes the mental tug-o-war I engage in to begin filling a blank page is a genuine struggle, but most of the time things begin flowing as long as there’s a willingness to just sit down and start. Sometimes an entire page fills and begins spilling over to the following. Other times my inner artist lets me know that’s all for the day and I wrap up with a border of some kind to designate the end of that day’s entries.

Overall, it’s an incredibly worthwhile habit to develop and keep in regular practice. There are SO MANY details and small happenings throughout my days that would simply be forgotten but for a small doodle in the margin of my journal. You can tell, with a glance through the pages what I hold dear and what inspires me to get my pen back on the page. Most importantly, I can also tell these things since I’ve left myself a record of them that can be revisited whenever I wish, and as often as I like.

Do you keep an art journal? I’d love to hear whatever you’re inclined to share about your own experiences with art journaling. See you down the road!

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