{Q} Quill and ink: incorporating the written word in your art journal

Let’s switch our focus from art to writing today. We’ve covered a fair bit on the art aspect of art journals. But the other part of an art journal, is the journal, by which I mean writing.

There are many ways in which you can incorporate the written word in your spreads to give them even more meaning. You can start with a layer of writing – pen down your thoughts, confusion, doubt, gratitude – anything on the page and then cover it with paints and mediums. That’s certainly one way to go about it – and it is something that I do very often.

creative_lettering_art_journalBut today, I’d like to share a few ideas on how you can add words so they are a part of your composition.

One way in which you can add words to your spreads is to type them out on your computer, print them out, and glue them down. Look for some interesting fonts on free font websites like dafont.com. I personally love old typewriter fonts – it adds an instant charm to your words I think!

Another is to incorporate some creative lettering on your spreads. Try calligraphy, whimsical lettering or chunky letters.

You can also stamp a quote onto your page. Invest in a set of clear alphabet stamps, an archival ink pad, and a clear stamping block if you’d like to follow this route.

You can also cut out individual letters from newspapers or magazines to create a ransom-style quote or word on your page.

Don’t like your handwriting? I can recommend two books – both of which I have and use regularly – to help you practice lettering:

Put this lesson to practice: Time to practice your lettering techniques! Create an art journal page that has a quote as the focal element.

Note: This post contains affiliate links

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  1. A very important aspect for the journal I think! Beautiful lettering does wonders to any presentation! I learned calligraphy quite a few years back, maybe time to revoke those skills. Those links look quite handy. Excellent tips as usual 🙂
    @KalaRavi16 from

    • Ooh! I still have a hard time with lettering, it’s something I need a lot of practice with. Calligraphy is an entirely different level altogether. Definitely dust off those ink bottles and calligraphy pens, girl!

  2. I love the ‘break free’ page. Is it from your journal? Thanks for sharing your art journaling experience! I think I’ll try playing with calligraphy a little.

  3. I have these alphabet letterings left over from old school projects. Would use them for the uniformity.
    But I’m pretty decent when it comes to writing neatly and artistically, though my normal handwriting looks worse than a group of ants meeting together to collect food for themselves 😀

  4. I had good intentions of learning lettering last summer but when regular life kicked back in, so did my extra “play” time. (Seeing The Art of Whimsical Lettering reminded me!) I’ll have to make another go of it this summer and see if anything sticks this time.

    @ShonnaSlayton from
    Author Shonna Slayton: A to Z of the 1800s

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