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I recently came across an amazing project developed by Kelly Clawson, a fellow advertising student here at Temple and President of the Temple Ad Club. The Free Journal Project is a socially based art project founded in providing free handcrafted journals, for all to use and enjoy. The project focuses on making journal keeping accessible and enjoyable while establishing a space for personal inspiration and creativity.

Kelly actually came up with the initial concept when working on a project for her social practice sculpture class at Tyler with hopes of continuing with it. Kelly designed the whole journal on her own from logo to layout and actually hand makes all of the journals herself.

logo journal

The project aims to not “give” out these handmade journals, but rather have people happen upon them. They’re a resource for those not directly seeking a resource as many people take pleasure in complimentary, found guidance. The project looks to not force the idea of journal keeping upon people, but asks them to partake when it’s appropriate and necessary for them.

Currently the handmade journals are disbursed throughout Philadelphia. The project started with coffee shops, as it’s main area of distribution. Since then it has extended to community centers and institutions. Also much of the materials for the handmade journals are gathered through donations and personal funds.

Interaction is encouraged through the Twitter page to establish interest and provide information. That’s actually how I found out about the project, through Kelly’s twitter account that led me to the page! But the focus of the project is on the personal space of the journals themselves, which negates the need for additional interaction between the journal user and artist. Once the journal is made and leaves the hands of the artist, it becomes the users space entirely for personal reflection, inspiration and expression.

Eventually Kelly hopes for the project to extend into providing free informative workshops where people can learn the benefits of journaling in addition to gaining some tips on how to keep a successful journal.

It’s amazing how much passion can be found in a school project and, if the creator is capable of putting enough time and effort into it, the legs that can come from the initial development.

You can Follow The Free Journal Project @FreeJournalProj