Have you been searching for creative inspiration? Art journaling may be the answer. We’ve all heard the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” right? By that estimation, an art journal must be worth at least a million!
What Is an Art Journal?
An art journal is a visual diary. Art journaling is a great way to get ideas out of your head and on to paper. This is especially helpful when you don’t feel like you can express them through the written word. Art journals are also a wonderful way to explore art processes. They can help you brainstorm ideas that you may use if you are going to make a bigger work of art or to help you remember what processes you used. Historians have learned a lot about Leonardo Da Vinci’s work by looking at his art journals!
You can also use an art journal as a therapeutic tool for working with emotions that are difficult to articulate. They help you answer questions about yourself, create themes, explore ideas, and track your progress over time.
The decision to create an art journal is a personal one, but can bring lots of unexpected benefits as you proceed. As with a written diary, the habit of an art journal can be stress-relieving. It can also help you stay organized. Many people like to decorate their bullet journals or other types of planners as a way to stay motivated and organized. Your journal becomes a centralized location for ideas and you get to choose when you use it.
Throw Out the Rules and Just Create
There are no rules! Whatever makes you feel best is the way to go. You can make anything into an art journal:
- A plain notebook that you started making grocery lists in and only got halfway through
- A notebook made of artist’s paper
- An old book that you don’t mind drawing or painting on
- A bullet journal, planner or calendar
- Separate pieces that you bind together
- Pre-made art journals with prompts
The art journaling world is your oyster!
How to Get Started
For me the hardest part of creating anything is getting started. That’s why I used the Creativebug class “Art Journaling: Getting Started with Dawn DeVries Sokol.” In the video, Dawn walked me through the materials I might need or that would be fun to try in the future. I just used whatever I had on hand. It was surprising to me that she builds her journal pages off the same kind of doodles that I would do if I were trying to pay attention in class or while I was talking on the phone. By the way, Creativebug is free with your library card.
The lesson encouraged me to be adventurous with pattern and color. I started doodling stars and hexagons because I liked them, and then moved on to some triangle patterns and line work. During this exploration, I realized that I wanted to draw more flowing organic lines mixed in with my geometric shapes. Eventually, I moved on to drawing a stylized flower and a twisted branch similar to the branches I could see outside my window.
Getting Into a State of Flow
Color is my favorite part of most creative projects. By the time I was adding color into my branch, I was starting to notice the calming benefits of being in a state of flow. Dawn has a great attitude that focuses on not judging yourself while you are working. This allowed me to not get hung up on one particular part even if it didn’t turn out perfectly and to see where the piece took me.
If you’ve been in a creative rut lately or are wanting to pick up a new art habit, I highly suggest checking out Creativebug and getting into art journaling. Happy creating!