I am not a New Year’s resolution person. The few times I set out to achieve a resolution I failed within the first few months, along with 95% of people. A couple of years ago I decided to switch my mindset to focusing on goals. I began developing a list of goals leading up to 2023 and I decided it would be a great base for a visual journal page. It was a nice way to put my goals down on paper. These aren’t major life changes, but instead small, achievable shifts to improve my day-to-day life. Admittedly, some are big, like continuing to grow my business, but the majority of them are as simple as trying to do a load of laundry a day or cook more meals. These ideas for art journal pages are general, shiftable, and non-committal.
Read below to find out how I created this visual journal page.
- Visual journal book (check out this post on how to select a book to use)
- Mod Podge or Elmer’s glue
- Paintbrush and water
- Calligraphy pen or fountain pen ink
- Book pages (ideally with slightly different tones to the page color)
- Black felt tip marker
- Flower images
- Washi tape
STEP ONE: BRAINSTORM
With most of my visual journal pages, I go into it with a general idea of the materials I want to use. Gather your thoughts and supplies before you dive into your page. A few days prior to working on this page my fiddle leaf fig dropped a leaf and I thought it would be fun to try to print with it. This is where the idea stemmed.
STEP TWO: BASE LAYER
I took the leaf and painted a layer of dark green calligraphy pen ink (you can check it out here) on it. Next, I pressed it onto two book pages I ripped out of my book. It was a massive failure. While the leaf looked beautiful once it was inked, the texture almost looked like a roadmap, none of that detail transferred to the paper. When I realized it wouldn’t work, I shifted my plan, using a paintbrush to coat the visual journal page in a layer of the same color ink. I did like the end result. The original leaf attempt created a darker layer and added texture to the background. I love working with this type of ink because you can build up the colors or thin it out creating a wide range of value using just one material.
STEP THREE: COLLAGING
While my base layer dried, I began working on my first collage layer. I decided to rip up strips of paper from different books and write my goals on the paper. I always keep a handful of books on hand as collage material and love seeking out old books with browned pages. Mixing two different colors of ripped paper strips, I loosely wrote my goals using a black felt tip pen.
The purpose of this visual journal page is not to be able to legibly read my goals, but it instead allows me to reflect on them as I write them down. I think it was a wonderful way to really consider what I want my 2023 to look like.
After I finished writing out my goals I began layering and gluing them down to the visual journal page. I intermixed the two colors of paper and didn’t worry if I covered up the text. I typically use Mod Podge to glue my collage material down, Elmer’s glue also works well. For a long time I preferred rubber cement, as it doesn’t cause the paper to wrinkle when applied, but after a few years it seems to lose its adhesive, causing pieces to fall off my collages.
STEP FOUR: FINAL DETAILS
I finished the page by layering washi tape and collaged flowers image. The flower images were in a set of old encyclopedias. I carefully cut around the shapes and leaves to create a cleaner collage. I then used a geometric pattern washi tape to outline the top and bottom of the design. To break the rectangle block in the center of the visual journal page, I placed one flower outside of the block.
Check out a video of me creating this page here.
I am really happy with the final result of this page. It was fun playing with a variety of materials and I love the personal connection I have to it. I know I won’t achieve many of these goals, but I love having something to aim for.
I hope 2023 treats you well. This week, spend time thinking about what goals you want to accomplish in 2023. Remember, these aren’t resolutions, they are lower commitments than that. You can use these ideas for art journal pages to create a visual journal page around these goals.
Thanks for stopping by to check out this altered book tutorial with ideas for art journal pages. Learn more about this project by grabbing my art teacher pack here, artist pack here, or following me on Instagram or Tik Tok.