prints of tea cups, recipe card, sketch in visual journal

Creative Challenge | Keep a Visual Journal


Many of us hobbyist artists, printmakers or crafters find it difficult to know what to do with our art or craft work as experimental and practice pieces, swatches and samplers start to pile up alongside the finished work. Then we go on a course or take up a Creative Challenge and produce even more stuff to deal with. Add in the postcards we’ve collected, the magazine clippings and other inspirational items and the collection is in danger of becoming a chaotic muddle that we stuff into a drawer and ignore.

But it doesn’t have to be like that! Display your best work where you can appreciate it, make a gift of it to friends and family or catalogue it and store it for future exhibitions and sales. At the other end of the scale, use the total failures and pieces that you hate to make washi style tape or for one of these scrap paper projects.

Phew! That’s reduced the pile a bit. So, what to do with the rest?

The challenge is:

To keep a visual journal as a springboard for your creativity

Keeping a Visual Journal text with picture of elephant in a sketch book


Make your visual journal the place to consolidate your creative practice; to plan and develop; to experiment and record; to inspire and improve.

Use a scrapbook, box of index cards, sketchbook or that beautiful notebook you haven’t dared use yet. Make your own journal using your scrap paper, cartridge paper or repurpose an existing book.

It can be whatever you make it so don’t feel constrained by any preconceptions that it should be a daily record or a beautiful sketchbook.

Postcards in Visual Journal

Stick in inspiring postcards, photographs and magazine cuttings.

Sketch map of Flinders Island and Trousers Point Walk

Make notes, maps or drawing of holidays, walks and visits.

Invitation to the counting in visual journal

Attach tickets, birthday or Christmas cards, invitations, menus, pressed flowers and any ephemera that reminds you of something or someone.

Collage and painting directly into visual journal

Work straight into it. Experiment with ink and paint, thread and yarn. Make sketches, doodles, notes and diagrams.

Red print of raspberry leaves stuck into visual journal

Add your artwork to record your progress, for future reference or because it’s not good enough to display but you can’t bear to throw it away.

Find plenty of examples of Visual Journals on our Pinterest Board and read  Why All Creative People Need a Visual Journal.

Most of all, use your Visual Journal as a tool for creativity and have fun!

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