Show me How to Add Words

Adding words can be very intimidating. To start with, what do you even write? Do you write a long drawn out diary entry? Do you stencil on a favorite quote? Transcribe a poem or favorite song lyrics? A list of all the mean things anyone has ever said to you?

Yes.

All of these ideas are a great place to start. I used to be quite selfconscious (and still am sometimes) about what I write into my journal, even though there's a good chance no one will ever see it. I finally I cured myself (mostly) of this by allowing myself the option to cover over everything in gesso if I don't like it. Sometimes all I need to know is that its there, lurking under the layers. Once I began to see the pages as "always a work in progress" it became much easier to just go for it, knowing that if I don't like it I'll just paint over it! It also works when I've "fucked it up" by stenciling something badly over a page I really loved. At these moments I fall back on something Seth Apter likes to say, "you're only a layer away." Meaning if you don't like it, you're not finished yet.

I've written stuff out on paper that I've collaged onto a page then completely obscured with paint and stenciling and other collage elements. I sometimes start by writing in a huge scrawl on a blank page and then gluing shit down on top of it. My favorite thing to do is slap on some paint, then scrap some of it away and see the ink peeking through, or the dents my words have made floating under the layers. 

There's no one way to add words, and I don't think art journaling requires it either. But I can be a way to make it feel authentic and meaningful. So for those of you who want a step by step to help you get started, check out the following pictures. Hopefully you'll get inspired. Click on the pitctures to scroll through and see the captions.

 

Back Ground
Back Ground

I start with a page that I've already got some paint on-paint from another project I was working on and I just cleaned my brush onto the journal page.

Favorite rubber stamps
Favorite rubber stamps

I choose variety of my favorite giant rubber stamp letters.

Stamping Ink
Stamping Ink

I pick out a couple of my favorite stamp pads-Stazon because it dries so fast, chalk ink because of their color.

Stencil
Stencil

I choose a stencil that feels meaningful to me right now.

Stamping
Stamping

I stamp some words on the page, they don't turn out so hot but I roll with it.

Stenciling
Stenciling

I sponge white paint over the stencil-this turns out great.

Stenciled
Stenciled

I still think it needs a little extra though.

Outlining the words
Outlining the words

I outline the words with my Sukura Glaze pen in black.

Outline everything!
Outline everything!

I love the outlining so I trace around some interesting smears on the page.

Full spread
Full spread

I love how everything pops after I outline it.

Snazzy shot
Snazzy shot

Here's a dramatic angle, just to prove sometimes it's all in how your photograph it.