"The diary is the only form of writing that encourages total freedom of expression. Because of its very private nature, it has remained immune to any formal rules of content, structure, or style. As a result, the diary can come closest to reproducing how consciousness evolves. ~ Tristine Rainer
One of the many things that I love and appreciate about art journaling is that it's a way to get the voice in my head out and onto the page. It's a unique way to combine different pieces (paper, tape, pen, stencils, stickers, paint, etc...) together on a page and make them ME, to turn them into MY VOICE.
Journaling allows me not only to document my life and my experiences but also to process my thoughts, emotions and mental accumulations. It allows me to express myself in a secure location, away from the thoughts of others. When I create a page it's the one time when I don't have to worry about what someone else thinks. My pages are for ME. (I share my pages here on my blog not for feedback but to encourage you that if I can keep an art journal, so can you.)
There's something both cathartic and extremely gratifying about the simple act of putting pen to paper that gets me every time. It's not the same experience when you cut out letters or use other people's words.
It's a totally different ballgame when it comes from YOUR head, YOUR heart and YOUR hand.
That said, I'm not knocking those who prefer to cut out words or letters (in lieu of their own handwriting) or use someone else's words or quotes instead of their own.
Today instead of only using cut out stickers, why not combine them with your own handwriting? Play with how you put your pen to the page. If the stickers or cut words that you are using are all in uppercase, capital letters, try writing in lowercase, loopy, cursive letters on the page. Instead of only using someone else's words (a quote, song lyrics, etc...) try having a dialogue on the page about why those words resonate with you. Try playing with your pens and how you approach your page. Kick the inner critic out and don't worry about what Other Artist X is doing. Focus on YOU. It's a rare opportunity to focus on your self and to just be you.
Your journal should be about play, push and pull, and trying new things. It's not about pretty, perfect pages. It's raw, real and it's you, which means it's about the good, the bad and the outright ugly. It's about what it means to be human and how you see and experience the world through your own eyes. It's life at its most fullest and that means ALL experiences and ALL emotions. It means crappy handwriting and misspelled words. It means a dropped ink pad where you didn't want it. It means a half assed cut out focal image because you were in a hurry to collage and get it out. The simple act of being able to unfold upon the page is the most important thing to focus upon, not the end result of a so called perfect page. It's art from and for the heart, not art for the wall.