This page is still in progress so don’t even read it.
Like zines, art journaling combine words and images in a way that works for me. I rarely make an art journal page that doesn’t have almost as many cramped, illegible words as any non-visual journal would have. And although I love Dina Wakley’s book Art Journal Freedom (which is about using layout and design principles in art journal pages, which I do use somewhat stringently in my zines) I don’t think in those terms while I am working in an art journal. The art journals are the non-sequential-stream-of-consciousness cousins to the zines. I write zines as if people are going to read them, and while I don’t mind if anyone looks at my art journaling pages and even deciphers the content, I don’t concern myself as to whether it is particularly pleasing to the eye and/or linearly understandable.
My first forays into art-in-book-form were attempts at altered books. I actually attempted to alter just one book and from the start My Inner Propgandist was way too much in evidence, and like many other creative endeavors of the past, I thought I was supposed to be making some kind of grand statement in my book. It was some kind of creative self-help book and there was this whole forced theme about Jesus as opposed to the self. Now, I totally support, theologically, clinging to Jesus rather than to yourself. But that doesn’t mean that every freaking page in an altered book has to be a Jesus juke.
I didn’t start full-on art journling until I put The Propagandist back in her nice little padded room and started binding my own books to work in. At first, I didn’t know what kind of book was best for paints and other mediums, so at first I made full hard-cover-closed-spine books., which didn’t work all that well. When I learned how to make open spine books that laid flat, and/or books made out of envelopes I started to “get” art journaling.