Getting Started: Carry this with you everywhere you go.

WTJ Instruction page

Dragonfly green tea and green accents. The beginnings of the ‘Wreck This Journal’ by Keri Smith.

This is where it begins. You open the journal to get a sense of what is to come. With the Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith, you get the sense you are in ‘safe hands’ as immediately you are given instructions – albeit – simple ones (to write your name in a variety of ways: tiny letters, backwards, illegibly!) but this is an important feature in a creative journal. The sense that this is going to be a task that will be enjoyable and achievable.

If you haven’t had the experience of creating an art journal than this one is possibly the best for new starters. It’s very easy to interact with and Keri Smith has done a fantastic job with this from the turn of the first page.

I started with the instruction page which was left blank, with the exception of the title ‘instructions’ and five points to live by when journaling. I particularly like the fact that it is emphasised that ‘order is not important’. This could mean order in which you create your pages, but likewise, could mean that order – rules – instructions, are not important, which is a good philosophy when creating your own artwork.

My vision for this was found within the writings of the first instruction – ‘Carry this with you everywhere you go’. I had visuals of an 19th century explorer, taking to the sea, countryside, sky, off into the horizon in an air balloon! And with this, I wanted to create a full-page visual that also allowed me to still see the instructions that are important to this journal.


  1. Pencil
  2. Rubber.
  3. Black Biro.
  4. Black felt tip – fine.
  5. Light Green felt tip – fine.

I quickly sketched my scene in pencil, then took the biro, and free hand, making it up on the spot, I started to fill all the negative spaces with patterns and shapes. Some I left to show the colour of the original journal paper, but others, I hatched, cross hatched and contoured. Finally to make the instructions really emphasised, I filled them in using felt tip pen and allowing just a hint of bright green for a pop of colour. Purposefully, I chose simple art supplies, this allowing me room and time to build up to more adventurous outcomes.

What I really like about this opening page, is that ironically, it doesn’t actually have any instructions for making the page visually artistic. This allows the artist to choose their own visuals for this entry.

I think this is an important statement, as it allows you to make your very own, personal mark at the very beginning of this creative journal.




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