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Visual Journals and Diaries Online
Journaling Instructions and Journalling Examples

Visual journals are like diaries, but illustrated. Artists use graphics to show how they feel, what they experience, and what they see.

Many artists use sketches, drawings, and paintings in their journals. Others use collage, photos, or other media to express what's going on in their lives at that time. You can write, type, use calligraphy, or even cut words or letters from magazines and newspapers to express yourself.

Visual journaling is a grassroots movement, perhaps even an "outsider" art form. Many of the people who are creating visual art journals aren't professional artists; they're simply people who feel compelled to put their lives on paper, and illustrate them. The effects of these visual journals can be fabulous, energetic, and intriguing. They aren't always "pretty" but they are often filled with vitality and amazing honesty.

There are many examples of visual journals online, and you'll find free instruction in visual journalling, too. Often, the best way to begin is to experiment on your own and develop your own unique style.

  • Since 1995, is one of the original, personal art journaling sites online. You'll find how-to instructions, and you can read several scanned art journals, page by page.

  • Danny Gregory: Everyday Matters is a great online art journal, updated regularly with sketches, paintings, and text.

  • For more ideas about how different people create visual art journals, be sure to see Illustrated Watercolor Journaling

  • Whimsical and original, see RozWorks' Daily Dots

  • Then there's SketchCrawl, both an online journal and an annual art journalling event.

  • And, you can learn from hundreds of people who are experimenting with art journals, at the free Yahoo Group, ArtistsJournals2.

  • At Google, use search terms such as "personal art journals," "visual journals," "graphic journals," and so on. There is no standard term for this art form, and sometimes you may need to follow one link to the next.
  • As you can see, there are a lot of people who are expressing themselves visually in their journals, and sharing their art in books and online.

    Recommended Reading for Visual Journaling

    great overview,
    and good for beginners

    you can start with a handmade journal,
    if you're really artistic

    mostly for experienced artists,
    and filled with visual inspiration