Art Journal in Person
I did my very first in-person art journal class for adults last night — I was nervous! Sure, I’ve been doing online art journal classes for over a year now, but I can (and do!) edit my videos before I share them with the world. Plus, I’d only done art journal classes for teens and I didn’t want my information to be too basic — I figured the adults were paying for the class, so I wanted them to feel like the class had value. (Not that the teen classes don’t have value — it’s just that the teens aren’t the ones who pay me for those!) It was also my first class with that location, so I wanted to do a good job so that they would ask me back in the future.
For my teen classes, the program is pretty freeform — we spend the first half of the class working at the “wet” table — using spray paint, watercolor paint, stencils, watercolor crayons, etc, to create pretty backgrounds. Then we spend 5 minutes or so blasting the pages with the heat guns and move over to the “dry” table — where I have collage materials, glue sticks, and markers/pens spread all over. I’ve found that middle school kids need little to no prodding to come up with ideas — as soon as I show them a few pages of “frankenpeople” their minds start whirling with ideas that never cease to amaze me.
I thought adults might need (and want) a little more guidance. Plus, adults tend to be way less messy than kids, so I figured I could up the quality of the available supplies without worrying about things getting ruined. And I wanted the pages we created to reflect my style now — frankenpeople are perfect for kids, but I haven’t made a frankenperson page for ages.
So instead, I came up with a basic “formula” for an art journal page, bearing in mind that in art journaling, all rules are made to be broken. I figured I’d share that formula with you here:
Step One: Get rid of the white page — Nothing holds people back like the fear of the white page, so we get rid of it immediately by gluing down scraps of vintage book paper and tissue paper.
Step Two: Add color — we used cheap-o craft paints and Liquitex acrylic paints (love that company!) to add splashes of color over the page. We also use some of my favorite Crafter’s Workshop stencils to add more pops of color.
Step Three: Add collage — we cut out words and images from magazines to glue down on the page.
Step Four: Doodle and write — I had a variety of markers and pens around on the table so that everyone could experiment with some different supplies. Most people had reached the doodling stage on their first spread by the end of the class.
It was AWESOME seeing the work that everyone created — just like in teen classes, everyone has their own style and ideas from the get-go — it’s so fun as a teacher watching the ideas evolve throughout the class; that’s something I don’t get to see with online classes. Plus, I got to talk about art — which is by far my favorite conversation topic. I know I had a blast and it sure seemed like my students did, too. I can’t wait for my next class!
[Do you live locally to Providence, Rhode Island? I'd LOVE to host an art journaling class at your location. Feel free to email me to learn more!