Art Journal Ideas

I was speaking with my friend Sandy about her art journal the other day. For Sandy, art journaling provides an opportunity to keep track of what’s going on in her life using a multi-layered approach. It can be writing, doodles, pasted in photos, old tickets, or on one page she showed me, her handprint – it’s really quite beautiful. I thought initially that it would be challenging to keep this kind of art journal on video or maybe an art journal blog. But when I considered it further and I realized I was wrong.

Many experimental video blogs are close to being ‘art journals’ without actually calling themselves that. One of my favorite video bloggers is Jay Dedman and his work immediately comes to mind. Of course even calling something an art journal is subjective. If you decide you are keeping an art journal – than I’m certainly not going to argue – no matter what form it takes! And further, you shouldn’t let anyone tell you that it ain’t.

Here are some thoughts on ways to push video further – to make it more like an art journal in the way it’s traditionally understood. I welcome your suggestions, contributions and feedback.

  • Shoot often and without censoring. Take snippets. An image, a passing thought. Art journals often have elements of collage. Think of this as being your video collage. As soon as a I did that I had an ‘aha’ moment. This doesn’t need to be linear.

Include different mediums.

  • Shoot your computer screen. Are you surfing the web? Sending an email?
  • Video record your written diary entry (if you keep one).
  • Shoot a painting (either yours or one you like).
  • Tape yourself dictating a poem.
  • Include textures that resonate with you while roaming in or outside your home.
  • Don’t forget about the sounds your hear.

Art Journaling - Photo by Jon Sullivan

By the end of a day (or a couple of days) you should have a bunch of great material. This is where it gets easy to get stuck in a linear mode of thinking. After all, if you edit it – you have to put it in a timeline – one piece of footage after another. Which goes first? How do you layer? Here is a suggestion:

Show your videos all at once.

For example something like this.

There’s only one problem with the above page. I don’t know precisely how they did it. I’m still experimenting, but my embeds haven’t worked out as well as theirs. Maybe you won’t have this problem, but if you do there is also Flowplayer which offers a free version. It allows multiple videos on the same page.

Some people might say – this is a lot of work! It is work, but keeping an art journal is more work than just writing (or typing) a regular journal or keeping a simple video blog. Is it worth it? Only you can answer that. I encourage you to give it a try and see if the benefits outweigh the time expended. Let me know how your video art journal goes! I will be posting mine here soon.

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