Art Journaling

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Art journaling (also known as sketchbooking and visual journaling) is the creative process of combining color, words, and images onto a page. This is a fun practice done solo or with a group of friends. No prior experience is needed, so it’s great for beginners.

Consider making an event out of it: invite someone within your pandemic pod to join you, make treats and drinks, play inspiring music, share supplies, spread materials out on the floor or table, experience the magic of creating, host a show and tell at the end.

It differs from scrapbooking in that it’s about the process, not the outcome AND about ideas, not just memories. And the best part? It’s good for you. Studies show that regular art journaling increases the flow of serotonin to the brain and increases the number of immune cells flowing through the body (read more). Let’s get started!

1. Gather your tools: a journal*, black Sharpie or permanent black artist pen, glue stick, ephemera (bits of paper with words and/or images from magazines, etc.). Optional: acrylic or watercolor paint, paintbrushes (or an expired credit card), paper towels, colored pencils, pencil, washi tape, scissors, stamps, stamp pads, wax paper (to place between freshly-painted pages as they dry).

2. Make a background with paint, with a big image, by rubbing a stamp pad over it, or with colored pencils to avoid starting on a blank page.

3. Add images and words from your ephemera into a collage aligned with a theme that resonates.

4. Add your own words by writing over the images.

* Choose any size—from a 3.5 x 5 to 8.5 x 11. There’s no “right” one.

Here’s a peek inside my first one from a vintage 2010 video.

IDEAS:

– Make art out of your favorite quote, poem or lyrics
– Create lists
– Write out your feelings and cover the words with paint
– Create collages using words and images from magazines
– Design a themed page such as self-care, style, and dreams
– Create a page using only images with your favorite color
– Doodle and fill in the doodles with paint

Gather your supplies and design a page that represents creativity to you. Remember, this is all about letting your creative spark emerge. There’s no right way to do this. Promise!