Handmade Journals and Mixed Media Art - amanobooks.com

journaling tip: travel journal, part 2

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

As promised, mixed media artist Seth Apter has been so kind to share a few pages of two of his travel journals as well as his process of creating these treasures. His travel journals are astounding. I always have the best of intentions to create a book like this, but never seem to follow through. So I just had to pick his brain to see how he creates these books.

Do you have a regular journal that you keep while you are traveling and then go back later and incorporate your writing with your work? Or do you work on site?

Seth: I create the structure for my journal, which so far has always been a handmade book, before I leave for every vacation. I often add a color wash to the pages, which typically are either cold-press watercolor paper or blank, vintage book pages. I keep the pages loose on the trip and bind them when I come home after they are all completed. I always pack a small journal kit, which is different depending upon the vacation. But I always bring a selection of makers, stamp pads, watercolor brush pens, rubber stamps, rub on letters, glue stick, scissors, pieces of handmade and found paper, and the like.

While I am away I am always looking out for things to add to my journal, whether it be receipts, brochures, business cards, local paraphernalia. ephemera, found objects, and other souvenirs. And as I am taking photographs I am also thinking about what I might want to put in the journal. I always start to create pages when I am away. I really enjoy taking time to work in the journal while I am actually on vacation and in the place that is inspiring me. I don’t think I have ever actually completed a page while on vacation though.

I also write random notes about the vacation during the trip too. It is the only way I can remember everything and I always look forward to my note writing on each trip. One of my favorite things to do is to give people I visit or meet on the trip a page to complete for my journal. This way I take home a piece of everybody from the trip and they become part of my journal.

When I come home, I print out pictures, gather all the stuff I brought back, sit with all my art supplies, and complete the pages. Then I will bind the book and complete the cover. The journals I have from my trips are really sacred objects to me. Each time I look through them I am transported back and I re-experience the vacation.

Thank you Seth for your generousity and for sharing your creative process in creating these fantastic travel journals!

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2 Responses to “journaling tip: travel journal, part 2”

  1. Jill Zaheer Says:

    I just loved this post Brigette. So wonderful to see how Seth approaches his trip’s journal and perhaps the impact that his process has on his travel. Stunning pictures, words. It adds so much depth and energy to a trip. Not only is the process great, but he’s left with a forever treasure! Thanks so much for sharing his brilliant artwork!

  2. Candace Says:

    Seth is close to being iconoclastic in my circle. LOL. I saw this travel journal by chance when he first did it and have followed him, even when he’s stationary, ever since.
    He hipped me to your beautiful and inspiring work as well.
    Wonderful sites you have.
    Candace in Athens. (Georgia, that is)

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