I kept written journals a few times throughout childhood, but I never really enjoyed the process. I loved the concept but hated the reality. I liked the idea of a book just for me, keeping my feelings and memories. However, everything I wrote felt trivial. Even at age nine, eleven or fourteen, I was self-aware enough to know that my problems–as huge as they seemed to me, weren’t really that important.
I disliked the transparent vulnerability of my point of view completely exposed. Granted, as a twelve-year-old girl, I didn’t have many incriminating thoughts (or meaningful revelations). When reading back through my journals, I could only focus on my impressive inability to spell, grammatical errors, and grossly naive misconceptions of the world around me.
I also had a relatively strange irrational fear of dying suddenly, leaving my errors permanently documented in my absence. (Apparently the fear of death didn’t worry me as much as being defined by my terrible spelling?) Regardless, I realized then, I didn’t want my words to be the means by which people perceived me.
I love visual journaling because it allows me the freedom to play with concepts, try new techniques and capture moments. To me, each set of pages is captivating, holding within it a mischievous idea, a passing thought, a recollection or concept created in a subtle enigmatic manner. While the pages hold a meaning to me, I am very comfortable with sharing my pages and journals with others. People have their own associations with imagery and personal histories with memories and passions. Our minds interpret art in our own individual contexts and thus viewers are left with their own impressions from each page. I love that.
For these pages, I have used 6in x 6in sheets from a spiral bound sketchbook. This size is small enough to work with efficiently, while also large enough to hold text, patterns, paper and images without appearing cluttered. I prefer to unbind my pages and work on them in sets. I put aside the spiral binding, front and back covers to allow me to reassemble the journal upon completion. I use matte medium and matte gel as my adhesives. Matte gel is perfect for thicker materials (photos and cardstock) as well as small three-dimensional objects (scrabble pieces, small mosaic tiles, mirrors, shells, etc). Matte medium is ideal for adhering paper and other light materials.