Do you know what you will write when you start a page?

Text in journal pages

Detail from one of my pages ©Laura Bucci

In the Summer issue of Art Journaling magazine that I posted about a few days ago, the artists in the magazine were asked this question:

Do you know what you will write when you start a page, or does the art dictate what you write?

It’s interesting to read the artists’ answers and then to answer the question myself. I found many similarities between them and me. Here’s my answer.

There’s always some text in my art journal pages. I keep a box of strips of text that I’ve used in the past or wrote up but didn’t use. Sometimes I’ll draw a strip from this box and use it to help me get into the next journal page. I say ‘get into’ because I don’t always end up including the text in the finished pages. I often though just start with a background and look through my stash of collage, stencils, etc, and plunge into the page that way. On occasion I do a bit of writing on the page, stuff I want to get off my chest but then I’ll often obscure it with gesso, paint, etc. What’s important is the process. I don’t necessarily want to go back in a year and re-read the text. I keep a lined journal just for writing–I use one of my screenprinted journals that I sell! I write in this lined journal whenever I have the need. So in a way for me writing a full page or more and art journaling are two separate activities that don’t intermingle. Each outlet satisfies a different need. The text that I often include in my art journal pages and that is visible is usually only sentences or phrases.