One of the most common questions I receive on Instagram is, “What journals do you use?”

The answer isn’t short or simple. Usually I delay responding, not wanting to give an incomplete opinion – but then I also never seem to find the time to return to the question and give the full run-down I’m imagining.

So here we are. Thank you, Question Askers, for the prompt for this post!

The truth is that in my art journaling practice, I use several types of sketchbooks and journals:

I try to journal as often as I can, and the practice accommodates times of year when my schedule is unpredictable (think summer and holidays) and my soul needs to maintain a creative habit even when life is too busy for solid chunks of time in the studio.

I use all sorts of media in my abstract sketchbooks, some spreads being as simple as line drawings in pen, but others compiled of multiple mediums: watercolor and acrylic paints to chalk markers, tempera sticks, gel pens, micron pens, pencil, and acrylic paint markers.

Some of the books are handmade, some of them are up-cycled, and some are brand-new, but each art journal has a vibe of it’s own, and different mediums are used depending on which materials were used to create the substrates.

I’ve included a video below, so you can see each of my current journals.

I explain what I like about each one, what might be the downsides of each, and which one is my complete favorite. The audio here is not the best, so I apologize for that. I feel like after you listen for the first few seconds though, the echo-quality either dissipates or your ears acclimate. Either way, thanks for bearing with me!

Links for notables mentioned in the video:

Liquitex acrylic gesso

Hellen Wells Art on Youtube and on Instagram

Wax Paper or Glassine Paper (Since I first started using page separators I’ve learned that glassine paper is the more earth-friendly option of the two).

Crescent RENDR soft cover, lay-flat sketchbook

Moleskine Artist’s Sketchbook

Stillman and Birn Zeta Series Journal (Ultra white pages, mixed media, square. I feel like I named the wrong series in the video – but this is the one I showed.)

Stillman and Birn Delta Series Journal

PS: Amazon links are affiliate links and I might receive monetary compensation if you purchase through the link. It’s a nice way for me to earn a little change to help pay for my supplies. Thank you!