As someone who loves to draw and paint but hates criticism, I used to think every one of my artworks should be the final piece. I didn’t believe in practice or sketchbooks.
Over time, I learnt that it was too much pressure on each artwork to be perfect. I had stopped enjoying the creative process because I was seeking the end goal of perfection and subsequent monetisation.
I decided to start journaling for myself alone. It has freed me from many of my inhibitions. I’m not afraid to try out new things even at the risk of failure. I also experiment more with my techniques and practice a lot more as well.
I had plenty of art journal ideas…from a doodling book to practising elements and patterns. So I decided to buy a whole bunch of journals and sort them into different art journal themes. Their pile on my desk inspires me to use them everyday.
Art journal inspirations can come from many different sources. You just need to experiment and see which ones interest you.
There are plenty of art journal supplies available. Mostly from big brands. The best art journals, though, come from smaller start-ups that pay attention to details and differentiate you from the crowd of similar-looking books.
One of the journals I found perfect for my art journey is from a home-grown company called Kaagazi.
They have a variety of sketchbooks and art journals for different mediums. The covers, which are all hand-bound, are just glorious. From hardcovers that look like classic books to traditional textiles, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Some of them can even be personalised with your name, message, or logo.
I am using 2 of their journals, and I love them both.
The first one I am using is the A5 Hardbound with 100 pages of 140gsm paper. This is my book of mandalas. I got it personalised with a reminder message to “Create Everyday’. No matter how small a window you have, try and do something to get your creativity flowing.
I have used pigment markers and gouache paint and the paper holds up brilliantly even with both sides being used.
The other one I’m using is Earl – an all grey sketchbook. It is a softcover book with 80 pages of 120gsm paper.
I wanted to practice drawing flowers in this so I couldn’t resist the pun of naming it Flor-Earl. You can roll your eyes at this if you want.
I love the grey tone as gives me an excellent opportunity to use my colour pencils. It gives a lovely effect.
I’ve also used gouache paint and pigment markers without ghosting the other side. Alcohol-based markers do show up on the back, though. With paint, there’s very slight warping of the paper which is to be expected. I imagine if I keep it under the mattress for a week, you won’t even notice it.
I hope this inspires you to start your art journey as well. If you’re already on your way, I would love to see pictures of your work in the comments.
Note: I bought the journals on my own, and I’m not getting paid for this review. I just loved it and wanted to share it with anyone looking to shop local.