We all have 'rules' for what a journal should be like. Here is a common description: A journal is a chronological progression of notes and sketches documenting personal experiences, places, and activities.
Many journal keepers have the idea that before you start the next page, you need to complete the page you've already started. Those are the rules.
The next time you go out to the coffee shop, bring your journal. If your journal is like mine, it's 'loose leaf', no binding. Maybe you have thirty, forty, or fifty sheets. One side of the paper is blank ...Pencil lines are smudged and scrawled on the other. There's no order. It's just a stack of journal pages that you've been working on over the last several weeks. Some pages are almost finished. Some are barely started.
Flip through the stack and find a page that has a shape or doodle that catches your interest. Begin there. Erase a bunch of lines. Strengthen a few. Sip coffee. Erase a few more. One thing leads to another.
What matters is that you are building a consistent habit of using your imagination to experiment with lines and shapes. When we get the rules out of the way, we begin to see what is truly needed: Practice.
It's the consistent practice routine that makes you more resourceful at creating visual assets and story ideas. Nonlinear, loose-leaf journaling facilitates practice. That's the secret.
A journal does not have to be linear. For artists, it is better that a journal has no beginning and no ending. Keep working. Keep practicing. It will begin to show up on your pages.
Hi, Chris here. I’m the author of the Artist's Kayak blog. Besides Artist's Kayak, I have several other authoring and publishing ventures going. To see what other things I'm up to, check out my hub site here.
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