{Creative} Soul Truths #2: The One Thing That Often Keeps Us Creatively Stuck

There's one thing that people tend to get stuck on when they crave a nourishing art journaling practice ---> trying to "figure it out".

Look, I get it. There are SOOOO many drool-worthy artists out there sharing addicting how-to videos, so many different fun supplies to try out, and yeah, I totally geek out on research.

But the truth is, practicing in an art journal isn't about figuring out how to do it, it's about learning to navigate your inner world and the unknown.

You don't have to know what you're doing, to know what you're doing. You may never discover a formula. And when expressing yourself, you will never know where it will lead. But what you will discover, is what works for you in terms of feeling into your intuition, getting past the hard parts, finding the joy, and navigating the fear monsters.

We often crave rules and step-by-step instruction because we want to do it "right". We want to know what to expect. We want to know what we're heading into. Predictability feels safe. Control feels safe. But with true, authentic creative expression, there is no right or wrong. There is no step-by-step guide. We need to embrace the unexpected. We need to be open to mystery and surprise!

In fact, the less you know, the better.

I know all too well how easy it is to get caught up in the excitement of art journaling - delving into the infinite possibilities of techniques, and exploring how other people approach their journal. We tend to over complicate things (at least, I know I do!), especially when we want to learn something new. We dive deep into learning everything there is to know about it, searching for the one "right" way to do it. We start comparing our work to others'. We get hung up with how-to's and perfecting… unintentionally squashing the fun-loving, curious part of ourselves that just wants to create and play with child-like freedom.

But for your Soul to shine through onto the page (and into your life!), you must get out of your head, and into your heart.

You must step into that space of the unknown… That place where you have no idea what to expect next. That place where anything can happen. That's where the magic lies!

Always in curiosity and love,

P.S. Here's a TIP: Approach your journal without a plan and without a vision. You don't (and shouldn't!) know how you're going to start or where it's going to lead. Instead, follow your intuitive urges one step at a time, allowing something to emerge naturally.

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  1. Tammy Brewster says

    This is so beautifully written and just what I needed to hear. I’ve stumbled across art journaling not so long ago, but long enough to where I’ve done MORE than my share of research lol. Thankfully I’ve ran across & subscribed to your blog. Thank You for all the inspiration. I’ve bought a few inexpensive supplies and have had too many of those cheap $1 “jars” of acrylic paint for probably over 10 yrs.! So hopefully they’ll work haha! But I am seriously going to try to make time this afternoon/evening to create. I’ve been so forgetful lately and have been thinking of doing crosswords or similar (I’m 53) but I think this will be better.

  2. Lorrie Smith says

    Oh my gosh! I have always approached journaling like I have to start this way and it has to follow a plan, and it wasn’t as creative as some that I see. no wonder why I wasn’t enjoying it. Now I just make it my own. Thank you Kristal!

  3. Marietta Billups says

    I love art,color and all kinds of writing. Can’t seem to master calgraphy. Love art journal

  4. Oh my goodness…you hit below the belt! Totally what I needed to hear! L I think I’ll print this out and post it or save it to re read. I’m addicted to watching videos and Pintrest “arty” and learning the process when I should just be doing! When I push myself to get in the studio and play, I continually compare my work to others and am so disappointed with what I churn out! I suppose I should just stop watching or researching and JUST DO something! Thank you for the kick in the seat of the pants! Well said and very much needed!

    • lol! Yup, getting stuck in that research trap tricks your mind into thinking you’re actually doing it. Been there! ;) Just DO IT!! And play… don’t worry about what it looks like. Yeah, perhaps it will suck for a while, but the more you play the more it will satisfy you. :)

  5. Ryn Milburn says

    Thank You! This is a really destuctive mindset that I can fall into! These reminders are precious to me. Blessed be.

  6. Emma Lu Draper says

    Thanks for the hints and helps you have already given.
    I love to work in my Art Journal…a real stress reliever
    and just plain fun.
    Please keep up the good encouragement you give.

  7. Thanks Kristal……like Sherry said above ,this blog post is worth putting up on the wall……it has helped me tremendously already to just rest, mess or simply show up for ten minutes on the page.

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