I was first introduced to the concept of a visual diary when I was in high school art class. It is like a journal but instead of writing you draw, jot down ideas, experiment with different colours, shapes etc.. unfortunately I was also put off them in high school art class. In the later years my art teacher and I did not get along, we clashed something shocking. What I loved she hated and what I hated she loved. Needless to say I didn’t do well in high school art, I even failed multiple assignments….
I struggled with my thoughts and my creative process being graded, questioned and then due to our conflict more negative feedback than positive. As a result I stopped keeping an official visual diary for a long time. I have recently though gotten a sketch pad dedicated to be a visual diary, but it doesn’t get used often. I have looked back though and realise that even though I never made them official, or labeled them as visual diaries, many of my personal sketch pads (not the ones I have dedicated for commissions) really are visual diaries in their own right, because they are made of unfinished pieces, random doodles, colour samples eg when I get a new set of pencils or new pens I get a page and use every single one and compare them to others so I know what they are like if I then draw something that then calls for a particular shade I have easy reference of what to choose.
and because I like you, here are some photos of my current visual diary. A while ago I was the recipient of a pay it forward thing where the person made me this cover for my sketchbooks (a5 size.) so when this one is full I just take off the cover and put it on the new one. It comes with a handy pouch too which I fit a pencil and a texta in. I have taken photos of 2 pages from it, one with the really quick outline of a planned piece so I know the layout I have in my head when I finally get a chance to draw it. and the other is of some verses I want to make into art somehow.