by Joan Waites
School is out, summer is here, and if we are lucky, we have a little down time to devote to some creative projects we have been dreaming about doing all year. One way to jump start these ideas are to maintain a creative journal. Combining visual art with words can be a fun and satisfying project for any age.
An inexpensive journal can be purchased, but also easily made by folding blank sheets of paper in half and then covering the outside with construction paper or cardboard that can be stapled, glued or sewn together. Bring your journal with you wherever you go…the coffee shop, the park, the bus ride or on your vacation. Always be on the lookout for something that inspires you to sketch, collage, or jot down future story ideas. Don’t be afraid to try something new, or if every page isn’t a work of art. Record what you see in your travels, document a feeling, or try out new art materials and techniques. A few words may turn into a future story; a doodle may evolve into a finished illustration or painting.
A few ideas for your journal pages:
-Make a collage using materials such as photographs, newspaper clippings, movie tickets, maps or bits of fabric. Combine them with paint, pastels, colored pencils etc., and use a black ink or felt pen to write around or on top of your collage.
-Young children (who are not yet able to write) can make prints with leaves, acorn tops, or other found objects by brushing on tempera paint and then stamping the painted object onto the journal page.
-Use some of the story prompts and creative ideas my fellow bloggers have outlined in their previous posts.
Remember it is more about the journey and experimentation rather than having a finished or polished product. Enjoy the places your journal can take you!