I get a lot of the same questions regarding my Wreck This Journal so I decided to have an official “Wreck This Journal: Frequently Asked Questions” page, in order to address those.
Also, prompt #124 in 365 Blog Topic Ideas is: Write a FAQ post covering questions you get asked often.
And we all know how much I love two bird, one stone blog posts.
You can find my Wreck This Journal Masterpost HERE, which includes all the individual pages I’ve done in the three WTJs I have, as well as videos and blog posts that go with them!
I’ll add to this page if any more questions start getting asked… frequently haha. In the meantime, I hope you find this helpful!
Q: What is a Wreck This Journal?
A: Wreck This Journal (WTJ) is a book by Keri Smith. It is essentially an activity book (think those colouring/ wordsearch/ crossword books you got for long road trips/ airplane rides!) for adults. Each page has a prompt and the challenge is to complete the given prompt in a interesting/ creative/ unique/ distructive way. You can find many peoples takes on each prompt by searching social media: tumblr/ youtube/ instagram and so forth. My slash button got quite the workout in this paragraph.
Q: Where can I get a WTJ and how much are they?
A: It honestly depends where you live. I am in Canada and have bought them online (Amazon and Indigo.ca) in book stores (Chapters, Black Bond Books) and have seen them in random stores like Urban Outfitters, Michaels, Costco and Target. They retail for about $12 but I’ve seen them for as cheap as $6. They are also available in box sets with other books Keri Smith has done. I cannot give specific other locations for countries other than the one I live in, so I recommend buying them online. HERE is a link to purchase.
Q: How long did it take to finish your WTJ?
A: My first completed WTJ took exactly two years. I also did one in under twelve hours. It depends how in-depth you are doing each page and how dedicated you are to finishing.
Q: Why are the pages so thick in yours?
A: In my completed WTJ, most pages have scrapbook paper or some other artsy thing glued to the original page, making each page and the book thicker.
Q: How did you decorate the pages without covering the original page’s writing?
A: On many pages I would cut out the prompt text (being aware of what was on the opposite side of the page) and glue it back on when I was finished decorating. Depending on the page, sometimes I would just be really careful to go around it or trace the entire page so I would have a “blueprint” for my decorating. I have else traced the text onto paper, as well as used the PixScan function of my Silhouette machine.
Q: Where do you get the pretty paper?
A: I own a ridiculous amount of paper. Like, I could set up my own shop. Most of the scrapbook paper I have is from Michaels, but I have also found some at Winners, Homesense, Costco, Wal-Mart and Target.
Q: What kind of pens do you use and how do you prevent them from bleeding through?
A: I use basic Crayola markers/ pencil crayons/ crayons as well as Sharpies and a gel pen set I got from Costco in like 2002. I don’t use anything fancy when it comes to the pen department because I go through them so fast. They are going to bleed regardless so I will usually use them on separate pieces of paper which I paste into the book afterwards or if I’m colouring on the actual page in the book I will often glue scrapbook paper onto the opposite to hide the bleed-through.
Q: How did you make your cover?
A: I literally just wrapped a piece of scrapbook paper around the finished book, glued it on, cut off edges and put a ribbon on the spine. I traced the title on normal lined paper from my school notebook with a Sharpie and taped it on with plain ol’ masking tape to replicate the cover on the original book.
Q: What should I do to my Wreck This Journal?
A: My biggest piece of advice is to make it your own. As much as it is flattering to see people replicate my pages, I am more impressed when people come up with their own using quotes/ movies/ books/ other things that are important and special to them. If you see an awesome idea that you really want in your WTJ, try to use that idea towards a page other than what you saw it done! Take inspiration from other peoples ideas, but make it your own!
Q: YOU DIDN’T DO IT RIGHT!
A: I noticed something that people commented on quite a bit was how I failed to “wreck” my journal and it was moreso a scrapbook/ art book/ quote book. To be quite honest, that was always my intention and it was the reason I purchased a WTJ. I love making things and being creative and making collages/ homages to things and words that move me and have affected my life and WTJ provided a medium for me to do that in a compact way that didn’t impinge on my dwindling wall space. I try to address it over and over but people keep telling me how I am “wrong” in my wrecking. I did use a spare WTJ to try completely wrecking with reckless abandon and you can watch that HERE but at the end of the day it’s my journal. Whatever Ms. Smith’s intentions were or weren’t, four pages into the journal it states:
INSTRUCTIONS:1. Carry this with you everywhere you go.2. Follow the instructions on every page.3. Order is not important.******4. Instructions are open to interpretation.******5. Experiment (work against your better judgement).
My journal is my interpretation of each prompt. I follow each prompt and I experiment. Yes, it ends up being a little artsy-fartsy but that is cathartic for me. That is how I relax and unwind and I rip pages and I mess up and I deal with it in often very creative ways. I create and I destroy and then usually cover up said destruction creatively.
That being said, if you own or intend to purchase a Wreck This Journal it then becomes YOURS. You can do the journal as destructively or creatively as you want! Don’t let anyone influence you on what you want to do, it’s YOUR book and I hope you have so much fun with it! 😀
Thank you so much for reading this post and for your interest and support in my art journaling. I would love to hear your thoughts! 🙂