Art journal · Gel print

New Art Journals

The year’s almost ending, and since I’ve managed to fill up my A6 journal and mini journal–most of the latter during Inktober–I made new art journals for the new year.

Until recently, I used to enjoy my arty sessions on loose sheets, which I’d bind into a journal when I’d used up a fair number of sheets. Last year, I decided to bind a journal first, and use it in my sessions. I can’t say I’m partial to one method over the other, but this year, I’ve decided to use a bound journal again.

Two journals lying on a table, with their front covers visible

So I made two journals for the year. One of them is my usual go-to size–an A6 one, and the other is my experiment for the year–a 10x10cm (4×4″) sized one, which I plan to use mainly for 10x20cm (4×8″) spreads. I didn’t make a mini journal this time; if I do feel the need for one, I’ll make a no-sew, accordion-folded one like I used to earlier.

For my A6 journal last year, I’d prepped quite a lot of paper since I was experimenting. I’d hand-torn and distressed the edges of these sheets for a rustic look. For my new A6 journal, I reused the unused sheets from that batch. To get a decent-sized journal, I also added a few newer sheets in the same rustic style. For the 10x10cm journal, I didn’t have a look in mind, and just used normally-cut paper.

To bind the journals, I mostly followed the same steps as I did last year, including the same modified kettle stitch to bind the signatures together; I found my current journal is quite sturdy even after some rough use, so I’ll continue to use this stitch. For the inner covers, I used gel printing with both regular and metallic acrylics.

This time, I experimented with the binder by adding some gloss gel to my usual PVA glue. Neither my sister nor I use gloss gel much, so it seemed like a good use for it. However, it was a failure–it dries fairly fast and the bond appears to be strong, but it also seemed to seep into the paper even when the glue mixture isn’t too watery; as a result, the inner covers of one of the journals tore when I tried to pry the pages apart, and I used extra adhesive to keep them in place.

Two art journals lying on a table, with their inside covers visible

Overall, I’m pretty happy with these journals–both the meditative process and the result. I just wish I had a need for more journals so I could bind them regularly instead of just once a year. πŸ™‚ I’ve joined Wanderlust 2023 for some arty inspiration next year, so I hope if I do end up filling any of my new journals early, I might just have the chance to indulge in more bookbinding as well! πŸ™‚

Hope you have a wonderful year ahead!


2 thoughts on “New Art Journals

  1. I like your new art books. You’ve got a good hand at making them.
    It’s going to be fun watching you fill with them with your arts and thoughts and dreams.
    Wishing you a year full of joy and happiness!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, E.C., and wish you a happy year ahead as well! I’m really looking forward to using the journals, especially the experimental square-shaped one. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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