Didn’t I always say that journal pages must not necessarily be pretty pages? Well, I mean what I say and I practise what I preach. Don’t believe me? Well, then see this next page I did somewhere in the past couple of months…I fingerpainted it with watercolour I’d smudged from pans!

How’s that for ugly? It’s a gruesome page and a horrible painting. But it is a good journal page nonetheless. Looking at this page brings back the situation I was journalling about instantly. So, it was not only a good way of venting feelings and thoughts at the time I made it, but it’s also become a beacon in my memory. Hence, not art to sell on a wall or show off with, but a good journal page that deserves a spot in the history of your life.

So, the next time you feel totally rotten, don’t use scraps of paper to smudge on unless you intend to glue them into your journal.

PS: We all hate ugly pages. So I’m not asking you to like ugly pages. I’m just saying that if life’s ugly, why shouldn’t it show in your journal? I’m always rather suspicious of journals that are all pretty pictures. How authentic is that? Unless, ofcourse, you are so good at working your way in your art that you create the most beautiful pages while you’re almost literally in hell like Karin Bartimole whose pages are in fact a part of her healing process or unless you’ve developed so smooth a journalling process that you get the most wonderful pages out of no matter how trivial, happy or sad the situation in your life is like Teesha Moore. You don’t have to make pages ugly per se. But if they turn out ugly, don’t discard them. They’re a part of you and deserve a place in your journal.