30 Journals 30 Days: TRACI BAUTISTA


How long have you been Art Journaling?

Since I was younger, I’ve always kept some kind of diary/journal. I remember back when I was second grade, I had a diary that had a lock on it. I would write about my life, what I wanted to be when I grew up and fill it up with pictures, poems and stories. I started making my own journals in 8th grade. Back then they were simple books made with brown paper bag pages with handmade paper covers tied together with tulle. My journals were my space to dream, play and write stories and what ever I wanted. Then in high school, I started working in sketchbooks where I would draw fashion designs and doodles. It wasn’t until college that I combined my art and journaling on a page. I studied architecture and graphic design and always carried around a sketchbook. So I would sketch, write notes and observations, sometimes adding in magazine clippings and collage images that were inspiration for my design projects. Also, I’ve always had some kind of notebook that I use as an idea book, a journal to write my business ideas, brainstorm projects and notes related to work. Along with an organizer/calendar that became somewhat of a journal, where I would write to do lists, daily activities, memories, appointments and sometimes taping in photos, receipts and maps.

BALI pop art journal

(detail of paper bag journal made with recycled cardboard and pages from brown grocery bags that have been painted and collage before they were bound together)

How has Art Journaling impacted, changed or enhanced your life?

Art Journaling has been something I’ve always done for fun. It has impacted my life in a great way; I found a way to turn my passion into my career. I am blessed to make my living doodling and painting. Art Journaling has put me in touch with artists from around the world. By sharing and teaching techniques through my videos, workshops and writings, I encourage others to develop their creative spirits. Now, I make one-of-a-kind art journals that I have sold to collectors worldwide. My journals have been published in several magazines and books. My creative business has developed from my art journals…from brainstorming dreams and goals in my books, to creating art to sell and developing product lines of stationery, scrapbook papers, digital downloads, online workshops and Collage Pauge.

creative doodles

(Here I’ve collaged color lasers of my artwork, then drawn doodles with a black Sharpie paint marker and various Sakura Gelly Roll pens.)

doodline & spilling fun

(Detail of visual journal painting. I like to layer my writing using various markers and pens. I write words, thoughts, quotes randomly across the page using the lines as my guide. I turn the page and write in different directions.)

What are a few of your favorite Art Journaling materials to use?

For me the art of making the journals is as important as filling them up with art. The covers of my journals are patchwork collage art quilts embellished with wild freeform stitching. All of my journals have random-sized,painted pages. I monoprint single sheets of recycled papers and then use creative techniques to bind them together. That usually involves machine stitching for smaller idea books, freestyle macramé with beads and baubles or sometimes woven yarn, fabrics and ribbons embellished with silk flowers, tag, crochet bits and pompoms.

Collage Pauge
Tulip Fashion Graffiti Sprays
sharpie Oil-based paint markers
White out correction pen
Copic markers
Pigma Sensei black permanent pens
Montana hardcore markers
Sakura gelly roll pens
Prismacolor pencils
Tulip SLICK dimensional paints
Golden fluid acrylic paints
Dip pen & Sumi ink
Turquoise waxed polyester

Here’s a list of papers I include in my journals:

edger paper, graph paper, sheet music, brown grocery bags, USPS priority mailboxes, FedEx envelopes, storybook paper, drawing, watercolor, craft paper, maps, large desktop calendars, magazines, newspapers, vellum Bristol, wallpaper, rosin, construction, Black & white/color photocopies of my original artwork, envelopes, manila folders, drill cloth, Black and white photocopies of my photos & art for pages.

My printed photographs
Handmade stamps made from fun foam
Found texture printing tools like skewers, needlepoint canvas, sequin waste, chipboard letters
Handcut stencils
Colored masking tape
Beads & baubles handmade fun
art journals by Traci Bautista

(a collection of my handmade art journals)

Who are some of your favorite Art Journalers?
Karen Michel
Tiphoni Moore
Jeannine Peregrine
Katie Kendrick
Sabrina Ward Harrison
DJ Pettit


my MESSY art studio table

(my studio in action while I’m working…very messy but an organized chaos)

What kind words of encouragement would you say to an Art Journal newbie?

Use your journal as a place to spill, play and experiment. Everyone journals differently, I work in my books in a random fashion, I open it up to a page and make a few marks, then turn the page and add a photo and then maybe got back to different page and add words. Sometimes I journal on separate sheets of paper and attach them back into my journals. There is no order with my art journaling. So do what you want and have fun with it… it’s your personal space to PLAY!

art journal bindings

(a few of my journal stacked showcasing the intricate bindings or color, beads, fabric and string that burst from the spine)

Where can we contact you…give us some link LOVE!!
online workshops
online boutique


Videos Starring Traci:

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYG1i2IC]

Short Bio:

After a successful design and marketing career in Silicon Valley, I was longing for more so I left the corporate world to pursue my passion for art. 2011 marks the 10-year anniversary of launching my creative business endeavor. Prior to becoming a full-time artist, I worked as a graphic designer, event planner, marketing director, professional cheerleader, elementary art teacher, fashion designer and Web designer– just to name a few. Experiences that I gained these positions, coupled with my innate drive to explore and create without boundaries are what contribute to my success as a mixed media artist.

My passion for sharing art has led me on a worldwide tour teaching mixed media workshops in handmade books, art journaling, collage, and surface design. The handmade journals, custom handbags and paintings I create are layered with rich textures, wildly painted and stitched fabric, “girlie glam” ink drawings and free style lettering. Bold use of color, doodling and images are spilled throughout my art.

In 2005, I wrote my first book, Collage Unleashed and am currently working on my next book. My art has been featured in over 15 art/mixed media books and 40 craft magazines including Somerset Studio, Altered Couture, cloth.paper.scissors, Art Journaling, Art Quilting Studio, Belle Armoire and Craft. I have been a regular guest on DIY/HGTV Craft Lab. Looking forward, I am continuing to develop product and I have designed licensed product lines, Collage Pauge adhesive and {kolLAJ} paper crafts.

Being an artist has led me through an amazing journey that is continually changing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It helped me discover that it’s important to have passion for what I do. Leaving something that is stable and taking a big risk to the unknown is scary, but I truly believe that if you are doing what you LOVE only the best things follow … that is TRUE success.



Art Journal LOVE Letters is on sale for $24.99 the entire month of July!Go HERE to register and join Art Journal LOVE’s 1 year anniversary party!


If you would like to be included in the 30 JOURNALS 30 DAYS project please go HERE for more information!!

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