One of the great things about journaling is its simplicity. Only a few tools are really needed, most of which can be found at your local art or office supply store. These are the basic tools you will need to create your art journal.
- Sketchbook or Notebook
A good quality journal or notebook will make your journaling experience much more enjoyable. Look for journals that have firm or heavy covers that will protect your pages as well as an elastic strap or other closure. This will keep the pages from being ripped or smashed and will keep any notes or other loose items intact. Journals that have acid-free pages will keep your creations fresh, without yellowing. Consider a journal that is compact in size that you can take with you in a pocket or purse. My favorites are the Moleskine Large Sketchbook and the Ciak Large Sketchbook. Both journals have acid free paper and sturdy bindings and covers and are similar in size and will fit into a bag or briefcase.
- A Black Pen
A good black pen is worth its weight in gold. Look for one that won’t bleed through your paper that is acid free, odorless and fade resistant. If your pen is waterproof, it makes it a lot easier to use paints over top of your lines. My favorites are the Tombow Roller Ball Pen and the Staedtler Pigment Liner.
- Paints, Colored Pencils, Pastels Markers & Other Mediums that Create Color
These are great for adding color to your pages. Paints, pigments and markers that are acid-free will not yellow your paper over time. Watercolor pencils are great because you can use them as both colored pencils and paint. Just add a bit of water with a brush to create blended watercolor effects. Some of my favorite color mediums are Tombow Dual Brush Markers, watercolor paint, acrylic paint and Caran D’Ache Aquarelle Crayons.
I like using a paintbrush that has bristles that are about ¼” wide at the tip. This is big enough to spread paint or gesso on your pages with relative ease and will also give your piece a little bit of texture. An inexpensive brush will work fine as well as a more expensive brush.
Many glue sticks, tape runners and pastes are acid free and easy to use. Use what ever you feel most comfortable using. One of my favorites is Coccoina Paste. It is a creamy, white paste that comes packaged in an attractive tin with a brush. It is pleasant to work with becuase it has a wonderful scent of almonds. It is acid-free and nontoxic so if your little ones decide to eat it you won’t have to worry. I also use Tombow Mono Adhesive when I want to lay down a flat, clean line of adhesive.
A Pair of sharp scissors comes in handy when you want to cut clean edges. For more creative options you can find scissors with fancy edges to cut scalloped, zig zaged or other special edges.
- An Open Mind
The beauty of art journaling is that anything goes, there is no right or wrong. By expressing the ideas and inspirations that come to mind while you are journaling, you will begin to unleash the creative soul within.