I’ve been keeping a journal for about 3 years now. Why do I keep a journal? It feel relieving to just let whatever you have on your mind and just put it on paper and leave it there. Not only do I just write, but also doodle, draw and watercolor when I have nothing to write. What do I use for my journal? I don’t use a regular notebook that most of us used to keep notes in school. For my journal in 2018, I used a general sketchbook that I found I my local hobby lobby store that was within my tight budget. It a hard cover and at least able to handle light watercolor washes.
Am not the artistic one in my family and just like anyone who starts a new hobby, they are going to suck at it at first. That just the way it is. I’ve been drawing now for two years and within that time frame I’ve add watercolors and even started journaling. For most of us it hard to know how to start off or from keeping our self from not getting discourage that our artistic abilities suck. Let me give you a few tips that can help you along your journey.
First tip, start off simple and keep it basic. Don’t go challenging yourself to do something that is beyond your skill level. That will only discourage you. If you must, look up tutorials online on how to draw or paint something. I do that a lot just to see if there an easier why to draw things.
Second tip, you are going to make mistakes, but those mistake will help you get better.
Third tip, it okay if you want to try other things. I first started off drawing, but felt I just need to try something new, so I did watercoloring. Now I go back and forth, drawing one day and then watercoloring another or both. That one thing I like about art, there are so many different area you can experiment with.
Fourth tip, practice, practice. As they say practice make perfect. That one of the most important thing I want to stress the most. You must practice if you want to get better. I try to at least draw something every day. You can participate in one of those online challenge where they suggest different prompts for a month to draw or paint.
Fifth tip, if at some point you get discourage, take a deep breath and walk away from what you are doing. Take a day or two off if needed. Learning any new skill can be discouraging if we feel we are not improving or not seeing the results we want. Once you feel you have recovered, resume what you were doing or discard, and try something else.
I don’t consider myself a great artist nor do I think my art work is top-level, but do know that every day I see improvement. A lot of these basic tips you can apply to other areas outside of art. Maybe learning how to swim or dance. You have to start off simple and keep it basic. Then as you learn from your mistake you will get better and see improvement, not making those same mistake again. But to get better you must practice and practice in order to challenge yourself to do something with much more difficulty.
Don’t forget, have fun with it.
It was just last year when I began to keep a written journal. My first entry, I wrote that fear that a nosy family member would see my journal book and begin looking through it and reading my entries. As of today, that hasn’t happened nor am I aware that someone has without me knowing. Today am writing in my 3rd journal book and trying different ones out. Writing whatever comes to my head or doodled something. Using pen, pencil, watercolor to add some color and to express my creative side. I do carry it with me when I do my walks or when I go to work. I do find it difficult to write in it when am at Starbucks cause it just feels weird and there to many distractions. When am at work, I don’t usually have enough time and my head is just burned out from reading papers and staring at a computer screen. During my breaks, I might doodle in it or finish something I had started at home.
This week, I finally made my last entire in my second journal. For this 2nd journal I decide to try out the Strathmore 5×5 mixed media hard cover. I wanted to have something that not only I can write in, but doodle. Doodle using pen,pencil, color-pencil, or watercolor. That a must for me, because sometime I don’t have anything to write. So might as well doodle something. In that case I usually referred to the DNDchallenge that posted on instagram. The only thing that I had issue with was when I would write on the backside of the pages. Since it a hard cover, it was difficult to keep it open. Also am right handed, so my right hand and arm are doing double duty, writing and trying to keep the journal book open.
Now I will try something different for my 3rd journal book. I’ve been look around at the art stores and seeing what available. Any suggestions? Here a few photos from my journal.
I’ve made it through the half point of InkTober. Wow! this has been a challenge for me. For those who don’t know what InkTober is, it a month challenge of drawing only using ink. You can draw anything or follow the prompts provided, but they must be in ink.
For me the challenge is not making a mistake when drawing. Am still a rookie when it comes to drawing and drawing in ink is a whole different ball game. You got to be confident that your next stroke with the pen is the one you want.
So for me, before I put ink to paper, I listen to a few tunes and clear my mine. After one or two song, I do a quick pen sketch on a piece of paper that is just trash. Just to get an idea of the lines and shapes I’ll be drawing. Then I go my sketch pad and start drawing awhile I continue to listen to my music.
For this challenge I used the suggested prompts provided by InkTober. Here are a few of the drawings.
For my ally is the force and a powerful it is. Life creates it, make it grow. Its energy surrounds us and blinds us. Luminous begin are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the force around you, here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes even between the land and the ship.
I am down to my last page in my journal book which will make it full with writing and art/doodling entries. Flipping through the pages I see white pages with writing and some drawings then I get to the mid-point of the the journal it light up with color when I began to use watercolor. This journal book that am using is a small sketch book that I brought at Michael’s for about $5- $8 dollars. When I first started using watercolor in it, I thought the pages wouldn’t hold up to the water, but they did. So it wasn’t a bad journal book to start off with. Here are a few of my entries.