An art journal can be anything you want it to be.
That’s what I love most about it. It’s a personal place (if you keep it personal) to experiment with different techniques and express your thoughts and feelings.
My earliest art journals were in my writing journals. I called these diaries when I was a kid. As I got older I started drawing in them here and there.
I remember in my 20s I had left a job. The job was very stressful and very intense, but I also loved what I was doing. Eventually I had to leave it because the stress was affecting my mental health. I felt like I was abandoning the people I left behind, even though I left on good terms and I don’t think they felt abandoned.
I guess I felt bad because I was leaving for my own purposes, putting myself first and it felt really uncomfortable for me to do that.
I held this guilt for a while. I wrote and wrote about it, but I didn’t feel much better.
Then one day I pulled out my colored pencils and did a page about releasing it all and moving on. I remember it was a tree with leaves.
( I burn my journals to let them go every so often, so I don’t have that page to share with you.)
I felt so much better. Drawing it out had worked so much better for me than just writing words.
Words are important, too.
I do have a daily practice of writing in a journal in the morning to get everything out before I start my day. Plus throughout the day if I’m having a moment of anger or confusion and I don’t have someone readily available to talk to, I’ll put out my journal and write it all out.
But having that extra bit of creative expression really helped me move on in the situation with that job.
I’ve used that process over and over again in my life. I didn’t know anything about art journals or that that was what I was doing. I was just doing what naturally made me feel better.
Now I have a specific art journal practice. I’ve shared lots of my art journal pages on this blog to hopefully inspire you. I’ve gone through lots of different styles and techniques. I love experimenting in an art journal.
I picked up art journaling because years ago I discovered painting, but I realized that I don’t have enough space in my home to hang them all. And I didn’t really love every one of the paintings enough to display them anyway, but I still wanted to paint and make art.
Enter my art journal. I can do all the same fun experimentation in my art journal and not have to figure out where to put the art then it’s done. I can flip through the pages whenever I like. And it’s great because I can express how I’m feeling via art, but not have to share it with anyone that I don’t want to.
As you know, I love making jewelry and my passion is helping others to learn how to make jewelry. As much as I love jewelry making, there are times when I want to express myself in a different way that I can’t quite convey with jewelry.
As I made more and more art journal pages, filling up book after book, the pages started to influence my jewelry making.
For example, I could experiment with colors in my art journal and then translate that into a piece of jewelry.
I could take a theme from an art journal page and then think of ways I could use that inspiration in jewelry making.
I love this process so much that I created an eCourse to teach you about it as well called Inspired eCourse.
In Inspired eCourse, I give you creativity prompts and art journal prompts, you make an art journal page, and then I show you how to take inspiration from your art journal page to design and create jewelry.
So if you’ve thought about trying art journaling and you love making jewelry or if you’ve wondered how to put the two together, or if you are interested in more ways to get inspiration for your jewelry pieces, I suggest you check out Inspired eCourse.
Even if a full eCourse isn’t your thing, try making an art journal page and see how you can translate that into a piece of jewelry.
I encourage you to try out art journaling for yourself. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. You don’t need a bunch of supplies.
My first “art journal page” was simply a really sketchy tree drawing with colored pencils I had around with images and words I needed to see and read to let go of my feelings of guilt. (And definitely don’t let the fear of “I can’t draw” hold you back. I can’t either. No one has to see your art journal.)