My journal pages usually start with an idea — something that happened that day, an emotion, a thought stuck in my head — or a technique I want to play with — a new ink, a way of drawing, something I’ve seen. Or maybe a color I want to play with?
My journal’s a lab notebook of experiments. I like trying new things, and usually throw the rules out the window.
As for materials, it’s whatever I can grab. If there are inks near me, I may use ‘em. Or acrylics. Pen and pencil if I’m out. Watercolors if I’m watching a movie. Sometimes I get in the mood to play with collage while other times I want to draw with paint. It’s really all up to my mood and what I think will best express what’s inside.
Sometimes, my journal pages surprise me. I try to stop thinking while working, and go through the whole process intuitively. I’ll grab what comes to mind right away instead of thinking things through. This is the hardest thing to learn (and teach!). I could feel my students’ frustration when I would try to impart this on them. Just keep going, keep trying, and it’ll come to you. It took me years to get where I am!