Saturday, August 5, 2017

Making a Magazine Playground Art Journal

I fell down the YouTube rabbit hole Wednesday evening, learning of "junk journals" and "magazine playgrounds" along the way.

The idea for magazine playground art journals comes from Dede Willingham. From what I gather, it's a place to play around, explore your creativity, and have fun. Pages might never be "complete"—you can draw pictures or paint backgrounds and journal/write on top. There are no rules!

Personally, I love the messy, low-pressure aspect of it. I have a large, spiral art journal of watercolor paper, but I rarely find myself using it. Since it's nice watercolor paper, there's an ever so slight pressure not to "waste" it, but magazine pages seem to be the perfect place to experiment without hesitation.

So on Thursday, once my work and yoga were done, I made one myself!

Making a Magazine Playground Art Journal

I guess many people use their Flow magazines for these, but I could never do that! They're too precious, valuable, and something I can return to again and again. So I browsed around my room and remembered I've had this past issue of Adbusters on my shelf, gifted to me a few years ago. It would be the perfect candidate for this project!

(By the way, if you don't have any magazines, there are lots of options for acquiring them freely/cheaply. My local library has a "free" shelf which often has magazines. St. Vincent de Paul's sells magazines for 25 cents. You could ask local doctor's offices, businesses, and hair salons what they do with old magazines—could they donate a few to you for artistic purposes? Post an ad on asking your neighborhood for any old magazines they're throwing out or ask in any of your local communities/friend groups.)

Okay, back to the making: You could simply glue two (or more) magazines together, but I wanted to make a half-size ("mini") playground. So my step one was to cut the magazine in half with a box cutter.

Then I put glue on both sides that would be glued together, rubbing the glue down with my finger for an even layer.

For a journal cover, I did cut apart the cover page of an issue of Flow and glued it to my magazine playground art journal.

I put some washi tape along the core, overlapping strips so it would fold over onto the front and back covers.

Finally I covered the spine and edges with some clear packing tape for reinforcement. Ta-da!

This particular issue of Adbusters does have some neat images (one of the articles explored the history of ads), which will be fun to incorporate.

Many other pages are dark, though, and I can't wait to cover and transform them into something more joyful. My playground playing began with a brief starter session last night:

What fun! 

Have you heard of these before? Is anyone else inspired to make your own magazine playground art journal?
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  1. Thank you for sharing your journal-making adventure. I've attempted to make art journals out of magazines but found the pages too big to cover with art. I like the idea of cutting the magazine in half.

    1. You're welcome, Lorene! And I'm so sorry I'm first seeing this comment now--I was without my computer from May through November of 2018. Yeah, cutting the magazine in half makes it a lot more approachable for me. :)