First, what is an art journal exactly?
Well, I think it is whatever you make it. It’s up to the artist who is making it. However, basically it’s a journal where you combine words, thoughts, quotes etc with art. That can be painting, doodling, cut up magazine pages, whatever your style is.
For me, It’s a place to turn my feelings into art. To explore different mediums or techniques without fear of “failing” (because it’s hidden away in a journal), and a place to document quotes that really speak to me.
Why should you keep one?
Whether you consider yourself an artist or not, an art journal can be a fun way to document your life.
- It keeps you creative. If you make it a goal to play in your art journal every day, once a week, or even just once a month, you’re making a creative habit. It will make you think of new ways to document your life or turning your feelings into art.
- It documents your life. I’m not great at keeping a regular written journal. I feel a bit awkward, like, “who am I writing to?“. But when I combine my words with a bit of paint that awkwardness goes away and I’m able to document my day, my feelings, etc.
- It’s fun to look back through old journals. I personally love looking back through my art journals. Sometimes I read what I wrote that day, or find a quote I loved but had forgotten. Other times I just find an art technique I haven’t used in a while.
- It’s calming. At least, for me it is. There’s something about drawing a face on a page and writing down my feelings that helps control my anxiety a little bit. It helps me to write down my dreams, or fears.
- It’s fun! Who doesn’t love getting a little messy with paint or gesso? As a kid, I loved cutting out things from magazines. So, embrace your inner child and get creative!