I have tried out my share of different types of art journals. Some have been an old book, or ledger, or even a magazine,… or my own homemade journals, but in this post I am going to focus on my favorite purchased journals.
So, if you are looking to start art journaling, consider these:
If you are will to spend some money (around $20 for the 8 x 11) I suggest the Dylusions mixed media journal. Ideally, you want something that can hold up to painting, splattering, gluing, spraying, and whatever other abusive techniques you might use in your art journal. Not only does this journal have very durable high quality pages, it also includes a pocket inside the front cover, a band to hold everything closed, and it lays flat when open. The cover is also perfect for painting however you wish.
Less expensive, but still great options because they are filled with paper that can hold up to wet work, Strathmore’s Visual Journal or Canson’s Mixed Media journal do a nice job. The spiral ring does make it less desirable for double page spreads, but if that is not how you journal, then either of these is a great option.
If you really need to watch your pennies, then, other than using an unwanted book, or a used planner, or something like that, I suggest a composition book. At this time of year, you can often find these guys for a bargain! The pages are thin, so the best bet is to glue two pages together… a little tedious, but makes for a much nicer work surface. A coat of gesso to the pages will add a little tooth to the page as well and make them easier to work with.
Of course there are countless other options out there, but to keep it simple for someone just starting out, any of these choices will serve you well!