Art journaling elevates journaling by adding visual elements to your writing. Not every artist works with the written word. Emotions and events cannot (and should not) be expressed by words alone, and the highly personalised art you can make in your leather journal is a testament to your creativity, your drive, and your unyielding passion for life. Whether formal or impromptu, everyone should try art journaling at least once.
We often get wrapped up in labelling. This is a diary. This is a sketchbook. This is a journal. This is a scrapbook. Each has its own purpose. Art journaling breaks down those barriers. You might use different handwritten fonts and freestyle a visual novel. You might also decide to incorporate only a few pictures, tightly surrounding them with words. There are no hard and fast rules to art journaling.
Here are 4 big reasons why you should try art journaling.
1. Art Journaling is Brain Play
Professional artists know there is a huge difference between art for pay and art for play. When working for pay, there are client expectations, a host of standards to live up to, and the drive for perfection. Art journaling gives artists permission to be free with the pen, drawing whatever comes to mind, blending words and pictures together for a highly customised art show. Letting frustrations go, inspiring yourself, and sorting out worldwide events are all great uses for an art journal. Most of all, it’s play.
Psychiatrist Stuart Brown, MD, a play scientist, mentions that play is, “a state of being… purposeless, fun, and pleasurable.” With an art journal, you’re putting your brain on paper.
2. It Lets You Connect With Yourself
Art journaling orders the chaos. By putting your jumbled thoughts into that leather bound book, you’ll find that it helps you learn more about yourself. What thoughts are going through your head? What do you find important? When you’re ‘taken off the leash’ and allowed to spontaneously write and journal, what comes to mind? Are you surprised? Great works of art and personal healing can come from art journaling. Some find a glass or two of Pinot Noir helps along the way, or this could just be us 😉
3. Try Out New Ideas
Your art journal is for yourself. You don’t have to share with anyone. There’s no competition. It’s not about that. Art journals are for self-exploration. Within that space, on that paper, you can try out new ideas that appeal to you. Dipping into the stream of consciousness and creating what comes to mind is a powerful form of meditation and stress relief. It gives you a peek at the underbelly of your soul.
You can also use art journals to try out new media or a new form of expression. Use paint or pastels. Put on a new cover. Make it look like an 1800’s journal or something from the future. No one is watching but you, so you can take advantage of the safe space of art journaling.
4. Let Out Your Inner Technical Geek
Artistic and technical don’t have to be mutually exclusive. If you feel like solving math problems in your art journal, go for it. The real trick is to disengage and let your brain play. You can design houses, draw out measurements, map out the Fibonacci sequence, or start writing prime numbers. Just because the word ‘art’ is in there doesn’t mean that you’re confined to pictures and words. This is your space to play.
There is no right way or wrong way to do art journaling. There are no rules, and in that freedom you can learn more about yourself, expand your artistic skills, and give your brain a break. All you need to start on your art journal is a notebook and your imagination.
Note: Wonderful Art Journal Feature Image (above) is courtesy of Terri Morse from www.terrimorse.typepad.com