The Art of Hidden Journaling

Hello all my artsy friends and welcome to April!  Are you ready to get your journaling groove on?  The Peers will be focusing on different journaling techniques this month on the blog, to inspire the hidden (or sometimes prolific) writers in all of us.  I will be sharing a therapeutic hidden journaling technique, for those (like me) who don’t necessarily want to broadcast their journaling to the world.  Ready to take on this artsy journaling adventure?  Then come on in and join me . . .


We are getting ready to head into Spring here in the States, which brings with it positive thoughts of new beginnings and fresh starts.  Sometimes we forget, though, that to have a truly fresh start, we need find a way to leave the bad stuff behind.  So often, we want our pages to reflect bright, happy memories and we shy away from scrapping the negative.  However, it is amazing how therapeutic it can be to get the bad stuff out of your mind and onto a page.  I have a cool trick for those of you who want to scrap the bad stuff, and like to share your pages with others – but don’t necessarily want to do both simultaneously.  One of my favorite artsy techniques is to journal about whatever is bothering me and then incorporate it into a bright, happy page in a way that disguises the journaling from view.  This technique symbolizes the act of letting go of the negative stuff that is weighing you down and replacing it with positive, happy thoughts.


Here is an example of the technique in action:


Hidden Journaling Technique


This may appear to be an ordinary happy moments page, but it actually contains some hidden journaling that no one viewing it head on would be likely to notice.  Can you see my hidden journaling?  I’ll give you a hint:  digital paint covers it well.  Still can’t see it?  Here is a close up . . .



If you weren’t looking for it, you’d never know it was there – would you?  I cannot tell you how cathartic it was to create this page.  It enabled me to set free some worries and negative thoughts, while at the same time reminding myself of what is really important in life.


Here are some ideas for accomplishing this technique:


1.  Go for the obvious and journal away on the base layer of your layout and then totally cover it up with background paper.  This technique is similar to writing on a canvas and then painting over it (something I love to do). With this technique, you don’t have worry about anyone reading your journaling.


2.  Incorporate journaling into the design of your page by using a sketchy or hard-to-read font and then erasing parts of it with a grungy brush set at varying opacity levels.  Here are some of my favorite fonts for this technique:


3.  Use a dingbat font to journal.  That way you don’t have to worry about covering things up because no one will be able to read it anyway. 🙂


4.  Cover the journaling up with “painty” elements and digital stamps.  It helps to use the same type of hard to read fonts listed above in technique #2.  I used Taken by Vultures on my page.


5.  Use the blending options panel in Photoshop to blend the journaling into the background paper.  This technique works especially well on high contrast and wood papers.  You can activate this option by clicking on the fx button at the bottom of the Photoshop layers palette.



The best part is that these techniques are not limited to journaling about the bad stuff.  You can use them anytime you don’t want your journaling to be legible to people looking at your page.  For example, you might want to include some heartfelt journaling on a page about someone important in your life.  Every time you look at the page, you will remember what you wrote about (and the happy feelings it invoked), but peeps who see your page online won’t have a clue about your innermost feelings. 🙂


Until next time ~




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  • Yobeth Puckett April 4, 2017   Reply →

    Great idea! I picked up a few new font too, yay!

  • Jen Flaherty April 7, 2017   Reply →

    Ooh yeah! Love those fonts you shared!

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