Art Journals & Altered Books

Creating a Personal Journal

Art journals are something that you can create for yourself - they shouldn't be seen as self-indulgent, but something that is worthwhile, important and very creative.

They do not "have to come our right" see them as a journey, as a companion, a muse and a soul mate.

Perrella, L, 2004, Artists' journals & sketchbooks: exploring and creating personal pages, Quarry Books, Gloucester, MA.

Start by looking for the book you want to use ... it could be a purchased one, or even one you make yourself. The choice of materials you can use to make your entries are many and varied - pen, pencils, stamps and stencils, just to name a few. Keep all your supplies in a box and put together a travelling supply kit, so you can always add to your journal wherever you are. For more ideas have a look in our eReserve section for what you can use.

Library Resources

Library Resources

Dewey Number

Books about artist's journals can be found at: 702.81

Keyword Searching
Altered books
Artists' books

Subject Headings



The hardest thing is often coming-up with an idea ... a creative spark to set you on the way. Read "Prompts to get you pumped" from:

Sokol, D. D, 2008, 1000 artist journal pages: personal pages and inspirations, Quarry Books, Beverly, Massachusetts, pp. 12-13.

What to use:

Woods, L, Dinino, K, 2006, Visual chronicles: the no-fear guide to creating art journals, creative manifestos & altered books, North Light Books, Cincinnati, Ohio, pp. 8-9.

For a list of possible supplies for your kit:

Diehn, G, 2002, The Decorated page: journals, scrapbooks & albums made simply beautiful, Lark Books, New York, pp. 27-28.



Brian Dettmer's altered books. Brian Dettmer is known for his detailed and innovative sculptures with books and other forms of antiquated media. In recent years Dettmer has established himself as one of the leading International contemporary artists working with the book today.

Victoria and Albert Msuem: Artists' books. The National Art Library holds the largest collection of artists' books in the UK. The collection is international in scope and is particularly strong in examples from the British Isles and the United States. The Library also has significant holdings from other western European countries, as well as some examples from Russia, Australia, Latin America, Japan and a number of other countries.

Online Videos

Brian Dettmer

How to

Referencing advice: The TASC and your teachers at St Patrick's College expect you to present your work with citations and a reference list in the Harvard (author/date) format. Go to the Library's Referencing Guidelines for extended help in this area. The Library staff are always happy to help you with any queries you may have in regard to referencing requirements for any research you are undertaking.

If you are lucky enough to visit the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart there are additional guidelines you will be required to use when referencing material from their O-device. Please ask at the Library or your teacher for help.

Faculty resources: All material purchased by teachers in the visual arts is also available for student use if it is not required by teachers. Many of these resources are inter-shelved with the Library material and may be found by using the Library catalogue.

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