I can't recall what exactly first got me interested in learning about having an art journal, but I *think* it was several of Suziblu's YouTube videos with her Mixed Media Art Journals... I've enjoyed watching her for a few years now, and I believe her journal work inspired me to start one of my own.
I bought the "The Journal Junkies Workshop" book by Eric M. Scott and David R. Modler early on,
soon followed by "Journal Spilling" by Diana Trout.
Both books are chock-full of ideas and techniques. I recently re-read "The Journal Junkies Workshop" and am currently re-reading "Journal Spilling." When I first got these books, I flipped through and glossed-over a lot because I was eager to just journal! Now, however, I am paying closer attention, and getting more out of each book. Both are similar, and very unique unto themselves simultaneously. I recommend both, but I suggest you start, as I did, with "The Journal Junkies Workshop" first.
The hardest issue for me in my journaling that I still grapple with is meaning, second only to aesthetic. To me, a piece (or journal page/spread) IS art, whether it's hanging in a gallery or stuffed in your desk drawer. It is a visual representation of your feelings, experiences, wrapper from that piece of candy that you know you shouldn't have eaten, whatever. You write, draw, collage, etc. all of this and more into your journal. Sounds fun? It is... BUT...
I still have problems disassociating from the notion that 1.) it has to MEAN something (or at least have a cohesive theme), and 2.) it has to be somewhat aesthetically pleasing (it must look good!) Now, the whole point of art journaling is to let go, be free, just create and PLAY without the constraints of worrying how it will look or what it's about. Yeah... I'm not there yet.
I actually like how it looks so far, but it has no meaning. It's a bird bath and some letters... you know? I can't, in my mind, justify it. It is unresolved. Many of my spreads are unresolved... perhaps one day I will reach a place where I no longer care, but the artist in me, or rather, the critic, is always there... nagging. That being said, please enjoy looking below at some of my journal. I won't indicate which spreads are considered to be "finished" or not, because I don't like putting too much definition on my art... I rather leave much up to the viewer. It is up to you to decide what it means to you, and if you like it or not, whether you feel it needs more or is perfect as is. It's up to you to decide. Please click on the image to see it fully. :) and tell me... do YOU experience any similar difficulty relating meaning (or lack thereof) to your work?