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Reasons to Keep an Art Journal

Reasons to Keep an Art Journal

As I’m sure you know (if you’re a regular reader), I love getting out my art journal and spending some time trying out new techniques and jotting down some thoughts. It’s definitely something I love doing.

It may not be for everyone, but if you’re thinking about starting an art journal, here are a few reasons why I like to art journal and why you might enjoy it:

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.

I have been art journaling since 2014, and my style and techniques that I use in my journal are forever changing. The pages in this blog post range 8 years!


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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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!

Should you share your pages online? If you want. It’s certainly not a rule (there are no rules!). I do share most of mine, because I like to, but I don’t always share. If it’s a page where I wrote down something I don’t want to share, I just don’t post a picture.

Another way to hide something you don’t want to share is to use a photo editing software and to blur out your journaling. Then you can share the design/art part of the page if you want, but keep any personal stuff hidden.

How do you get started art journaling? One of my art journal inspirations is Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and she has a wonderful blog post here, about how to get started art journaling.

Just use what you have if you don’t want to buy a bunch of new supplies. Cut up magazines and adhere them to your pages, color with markers and crayons. However, if you want to buy more supplies, I will be sharing my favorite supplies soon, so check back!

Do you keep an art journal?

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