5 reasons I keep an art journal
Art journals…they are unique and fun, relaxing and come in all kinds of shapes and formats, all designed to fulfil the need to create in all the ways possible.
Art journaling is a creative and expressive form of self-discovery that combines visual art with personal journaling. It’s a versatile and unique way for individuals to explore their thoughts, emotions, and experiences through a blend of visual elements and written reflections.
Over the years, I kept 29 journals in a time where art journaling was much less known then is today. They were not so much imagery but mostly text. Time passed by and I never imagined I will keep, create, paint, draw, collage and mix these all in an art journal page.
In art journaling, a journal or sketchbook becomes a space where you can freely experiment with different artistic techniques, materials, and ideas. It’s not about creating perfect or polished artworks, but rather about embracing imperfections and using them as a means of self-expression.
I like to use a combination of painting, stamping, drawing, collage, playing with stencils, printing from diferent sources and paste it into my art journal. It’s a way to convey my thoughts and feelings visually rather than in writing. But the integration of written key words alongside the visual elements adds depth and context to the artwork, allowing me to express my inner world on the paper.
Once you get the hang of it, art journaling can become really addictive in a very good way. You will want to learn and master the different techniques to create a page and won’t stop until you have practiced enough to make it look beautiful. It can be really messy at the beginning, and it becomes even messier along the way, but only practicing you’re going to enjoy the art journal pages that you create!
So here are 5 reasons I keep an art journal.
1). It’s fun and easy
I have lots of fun creating my art journal pages even when the end result isn’t what I’ve envisioned in the beginning. You don’t have to be an expert to keep an art journal. Although some of the pages you see online can be very intimidating, the truth is that none of those was a “first try”, they had some practice behind. The purpose of an art journal is to have fun, so keep things easy and loosen up your expectations when you first get started with art journaling.
2). It’s food for the soul and ease to the mind
I can’t tell you how important is to nourish your soul and be at peace with your mind. Keeping an art journal has been prove to help with promoting a good mood and mental health while lowering the stress levels. And why not take advantage of these benefits?
3). It’s practice and study for later artworks
Not all the artwork are born directly on canvas. In fact, many of them have a little brother or sister in my art journals, serving as inspiration to build something bigger and bolder. It helps me put ideas in order, try new techniques or simply trying out something I haven’t had the chance before going on canvas. Like abstract pieces which recently can be found in my art journal pages.
4). It’s a way of expressing myself
Art journals are a very permissive and flexible way to express your creativity, feelings, mood and so much more. An art journal comes in various shapes and formats, it can have a spiral bound or not, or it can be handmade or made out of an old book in which you can draw and paint (altered book). The possibilities are endless and depend on your preference. It was a time when I wanted spiral journals, but I couldn’t find any to suit my preferences in my area. Then I’ve realised that art journals without a spiral can be really useful when you want to create spreads and much more easy to draw and paint on. 😉
5). It helps me keep track of my progress
Because art journals are a place to express myself, try new things and practice, they also help me keep track of the progress I have made over the years. I can flip old art journals and see how I have evolved from those first pages and where I am today. It’s such a great feeling to see that your art has transformed and grew in such wonderful ways! I also come back to old pages to find inspiration and many times some of the old pages get a new “face” if I feel like I want to transform them into something new.
No matter the reason why you choose to keep an art journal, remember that you can keep that journal private so no one would ever see what’s between the covers. So it’s up to you if you want to make it private or share it with others!
If you keep an art journal, I would love to read your comments down below on why you like to keep an art journal and whether it’s visual or contains more text than painted images. Where do you get your inspiration?