The low cost as well as the funky look of these journals make it so easy for me to feel the freedom to experiment with materials and techniques. I often use them to try my hand at different artist's styles to see if I can figure out how they did something I like...what materials they used, their symbology and color palette. My journal is just for me so I don't have to worry about copying the artist in the work I may want to sell. I recently listened to a great podcast interview with Rice Freeman-Zachery and artist Jill Berry where they discussed the benefits of intensive study of other artist's work.
Jesse Reno is one of my favorite artists...he paints with his hands, draws amazing creatures and uses color brilliantly. I am hoping to take one of his workshops in the next year.