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Art Journaling with Neil Burley

The Hochanda team are excited to welcome Art Journaling and Neil Burley to the channel for a new venture coming very soon! In the meantime, here is a little bit about Neil, and some of his top tips for Art Journaling!

A little about me:

I’ve always had an artistic streak, but science came first as I grew up, and so did my first career as a psychiatrist. I first started card making over 15 years ago, starting with rubber stamping and gradually increasing the complexity and size when I dabbled with scrapbooking and the occasional canvas. Eventually the artistic streak won the day, and I retrained at Leicester College in Art & Design. Since then I have enjoyed combining papers, paints, gels, pastes, colours, textures and embellishments in journals, on canvases and making assemblages. Working on several design teams, including WOW! Embossing Powders, Creative Expressions, Craftwork Cards and for Jones Crafts, has given me access to a wide range of paper crafting materials and techniques which I have incorporated into my skill base. Art journaling has become my main creative outlet more recently since I went on my first course in 2011. It’s the best way I know of learning about the various mediums available to the crafter, a place to play with colour, practice drawing letters and try out new techniques! Journaling can also be therapeutic, giving an outlet for all those thoughts, dreams, fears and joys.

I’ve decided to share with you some of my top tips for Art Journaling, and what tools you’re most likely to use:

Top tips for art journaling:

   Start by choosing a good quality journal: look for a heavyweight paper (at least 160gsm) or one suitable for mixed media projects
   It’s worth paying a little more for ‘artist quality’ paints and mediums: they will go further and cover better than budget versions
   Use any leftover paints, mop ups or overspray on blank pages to start off your backgrounds: I normally have a second journal open for this purpose as I am creating
   You don’t need to start on the first page. Or work through the journal sequentially. Break with convention and spark your creativity!
   Understand your materials: by playing and experimenting in your journal, learn what will mix and what won’t; what will stick to smooth surfaces; what will shift under the next layer and what won’t
   If in doubt, it needs another layer: use anything you have to hand to add more to your page
   Above all, it’s your journal: you don’t have to share your pages unless you choose to, so set aside your inner critic and any urges to ‘do it right’ and just do it!

Top 5 tools for art journaling

   Ranger Heat-It Craft Tool: its diffuse, low speed hot air flow lowers the risk of boiling or scorching your layers as you dry them
   An old gift card: use it as a scraper, paint brush, stamp, mark maker, ruler, scorer and even as a bookmark
   Wax paper: essential for protecting the pages either side of the one you’re working on, or preventing pages sticking together if they’re not quite dry
   The baby wipe: not just for cleaning up, a wipe can be used as a brush, blender, dabber or mop and for adding texture
   Ranger Distress Sprayer or Mini-Mister: ideal for getting water droplets where you want them, rather than across your whole work surface and beyond!

I’m really excited to be working with Hochanda and having the chance to share my love for mixed media and art journaling to a wider audience. I can’t wait to show you how to use things you already have in your crafting stash in new ways and combinations to spark ideas and creativity, and to introduce you to other products to bring into your creative projects. I’ll also share how what you know already from card making or scrapbooking can be applied to art journaling, and how you might take what you learn by art journaling back to your card making and scrapbooking. I aim to introduce you to the different styles of art journaling, using journal prompts and invite you to abandon the ‘rules’ and have a good time creating.  I hope to inspire to you develop your skills further to include in your home décor projects and more formal artworks.

I’d love to know what you’d like to learn about art journaling, so here’s your first journal prompt – where are you starting from, and where would you like to go with art journaling or mixed media?

Did you enjoy this post? Tune in to Hochanda every day 24/7 for lots of fun and crafty demonstrations and inspiration! Watch Hochanda live online, on Freeview channel 39, Sky channel 663 or Freesat 817.

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