Fun in Studio Journals

Jodi of Art by Wiley recently pointed out to me that she couldn’t figure out where I live, so I took the time to update the “About Me” page. As I mention at the end of it there is a strong chance that my family and I will be moving to Australia at the end of this year, so we are in the process of preparing our house for sale. Part of this preparation was to change the carpets, which resulted in us having to move everything around and gave me a strong push to sort through the items in the study. This enormous task was made bearable by the pleasant interruptions of looking through my books, old drawings and studio journals.
Shelf with my journals
I started keeping the journals after doing online class with Sharon BoggonArtists Studio Journal: A Designers workhorse”. I found this course very useful and informative. Not only Sharon’s class introduced me to the practice of keeping visual and written record of the things that strike me as interesting, but also the design exercises were very helpful in dispelling (for novice like me) some of the mystery surrounding the making of the art and craft pieces. The course had a lasting effect as I’m still keeping the journal almost five years later and my six year old daughter got inspired to keep her own, which helps her fight the perfectionist streak as I keep on reminding her that they are for playing in and practicing.

Anyway, I was looking through the old ones and it struck me that I used to have so much fun in them – I experimented with creating colourful backgrounds, made collages, scribbled, sprinkled pages with glitter, doodled, wrote down thoughts and quotes. Nowadays it seems to be more about serious note taking and gluing in the postcards from the exhibitions and my travels. I should heed my own advice and start having more fun in my journals again. To fight the overwhelming seriousness I applied gesso to the random pages in my current journal to remind myself to play with whatever materials are at hand whenever I reach these pages.

2 thoughts on “Fun in Studio Journals

  1. Sharon Zotti

    I am not very artistic but love color, needlework and ribbonwork.Unfortunately 15years ago i became too disabled to work. I have aBA in chem and an MEd in Education. But my stamina is limited. Before i committ to taking tbe Artists journal class, i do not even know what gesso is, i want to be certain that it will not be too time demanding,my strength is limited at about three hours a day. But everything that you are discussing are things i want to learn. I am also housebound,exceptforgoing to the doctors. Please answerquickly and of course honestly as i reallywould like to do this if youthink i am able.

    Sharon Zotti

    1. Zoya Post author

      Hi Sharon,
      I sent you an email about my thoughts. Briefly I think three hours will be plenty of time – my daughter was little when I did the class and I think I had about 2 or less hours. In this course Sharon B gives a range of exercises each week and you can choose, which ones you do and how much time you spend on it. She is very encouraging and supportive of people trying out different ideas. Also looking at other people’s work would give me ideas for things I would like to do and I would write them down, so I can come back to them at the later date.
      Best of luck,


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