This article is part of my FREE e-course Art Journaling 101 – which has been designed to gently introduce beginners to the basics of art journaling so you can find your way with more ease and less fear. If you’re curious about art journaling or overwhelmed with how to begin, sign up for the full free course HERE.
(click here if you can’t view the video)
Throughout this Art Journaling 101 course we’ve gone over art supplies you may use, and techniques you can try out; so this week I’d like to talk a little about the journaling aspect. Because using words is a great way to express yourself, and that’s really what art journaling is all about… self expression, discovering more of who you are, and letting your emotions, thoughts, and creativity flow from you.
Let art journaling be an escape, an outlet for you. Write your thoughts down to lighten your load, write about dreams you’ve had, or perhaps simply record a special moment. Use your journal as a sacred place to express yourself freely without worrying about what other people may think.
But just because “journaling” is part of “art journaling”, it doesn’t mean that you have to use words on every page, or any page for that matter. Some people like to use a lot of art with hardly any words, and some people like to use all words with only a little art or doodling.
You just have to find your own balance, and figure out what works best for you.
If you find it hard sometimes to find words to say, or at a loss for what to write about, then you’re in luck because I’ll be back next time with some ideas, tips, and prompts that may inspire you to write more in your art journal.
Until then, just try to keep loose and remember to journal for the joy of it. :)
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becky in burma says
I really enjoyed this video a lot + loved that you gave permission to not even use words in an art journal!
Thanks for sharing with all of us! :) Your site is great!
This is what I needed to hear, thanks so much. The jouranling part for me is the hardest. I am one of those that do mostly art with little or no words. Some days this is ok and others I feel pressured to put SOMETHING/ANYTHING in writing or the page isn’t “DONE” or “DONE RIGHT”. I need to just keep reminding myself to do art jouranl for ME alone.
Looking forward to Thursday’s tips. Thanks again for the inspiration!!
Hi Kristal, mmm I think maybe I use too many words!! The problem I have with the journaling aspect of Art Journaling is trying to condense my writing down so I can convey what I need to say but my journaling still making sense! When I’m on a roll or when I’m upset or excited or even just expressing my feelings , the words just flow and I find I run out of page! lol
(I wish I listened more in my English class!! lol.)
For pages like that I find I create an art page ,maybe use a quote along with my art, then , have my rant on paper through the next few pages of my journal and then clip them together so I can re-read the pages another time if I need or want to or leave them clipped because it’s too painful to go over it again! Other pages I just spill out my writing scribbling like mad ,criss crossing the page , then as you do , I paint over it! Some pages have only a little meaningful journaling on them but that doesn’t happen often… so … I’m looking forward to your tips on Thursday hopefully getting my head around “meaningful journaling” instead of writing a novel!!! lol
Kristal Norton says
lol Paula! If you like to do a lot of writing to clear your head, perhaps you could use a composition notebook too. That’s what I do… if I want to write down notes, or free-flow write to get all that “gunk” out of my head, I grab my notebook instead. Once I fill it up, I flip through it to find any important pieces that I may want to save, then burn the rest and start another notebook. :)
Some really good things to think about!
kristal, thats a great idea! im going to give that a go for sure!
but i’m gonna mull it over for awhile to see how it would work for me! mmm
MaryKaye Wells says
I did my first art journal pages!!!!
All because you taught/showed the reason behind it – CLARITY. Of course I’m not showing it to anyone cause it’s a journal entry. DUH! But you have released me to just do it!
I thought you’d be thrilled.
PS – you look so young. How ever did you get to be a wise old soul? Just wondering.
Kristal Norton says
That is so awesome MaryKaye! Yay!! So proud of you. Keep going with it, even if/when you feel frustrated. It gets easier and easier the more you do it. :)
Many people say I look way younger than I actually am. lol I am only in my early 30s, but I’ve gone through a lot.
Kristal .. I enjoyed your video. I love your phrase “use your words.” Having little ones I’ve said that a lot to them but never really to myself. :)
Bard Judith says
I need to reinstall Photoshop so I haven’t actually art-journalled this response yet – but I bought the Kindle version of your book yesterday and was inspired to get started right away. Here’s my response to your ‘any kind of rain’ prompt:
Bard Judith / Judy Alkema Dec 16, Monday, 2012 “IF RAIN WERE”
If rain were
dry parched places would
flourish and bloom
battle fires be quenched
whole households drenched
there would be
singing in the rain
if rain were
we’d stand outside
heads tilted back, bathing
showering in clean delight
saturated and shining
plumped with happiness
let it drip off the ends of our hair
if rain were
I would set out
every vessel in the house
– pots, pans, wineglasses, soupbowls –
fill up my cisterns and reservoirs
so I could quaff refreshing affection
then pour out
drinks on the house
Kristal Norton says
That is absolutely beautiful, thank you so much for sharing! :)
This has been a great video! sometimes i start working with a background, and the colors inspire me to express sentiments, thoughts i have kept for many years…nobody knows…is a very mystic way to unleash! thanks again for helping all of us, in special the ones that were afraid of starting with our new journals!
Hi Kistal, thank you for all your tips they have been very helpful, I do tend at the moment since starting journaling to do mostly drawing & painting but do try & get the feeling out of my head onto the paper & go over then offen too; but also find it hard to get it out if you no what I mean down on paper. But its coming better with your help. Many thanks have a good day.
Dianna Short says
You are so much fun to watch. I finally started on a journal thanks to you. You help me so much to relax with journaling.
Thanks for sharing all of these great tips with us! I really am hoping to start a business using these mixed-media techniques on canvas. It really is about just doing it as you say, but it can be so daunting. I am grateful for your frankness and for the fact that you are an so encouraging. I’ve got a blank canvas, covered with 3 layers of gesso…now I just need to get going!
Can i make a journal with drawings only? :D
Kristal Norton says
Absolutely! Words are a great way to document any thoughts or nuggets of wisdom that may arise as you create, but totally not necessary. Sometimes the imagery can express what words cannot. :)