When I was a little girl I kept a diary. I’m not sure what was so important that it had to have lock and key, but I remember it being a safe place to keep my thoughts, emotions, and fears. For me, art journaling has provided that safe place to express my troubles, emotions, dreams, and thoughts once again.
It can seem intimidating when you go to the art store or the creative section at the bookstore and see how popular art journaling is. Everyone has their own version and very quickly you can feel that this is not for you and you will do it wrong. I assure you there is no wrong way to art journal.
I was taught by my mentor a very easy way to get started and since then I have picked up tips from other art journalers and even come up with my own sense of how I like to “do” art journaling.
Step one: To get started I recommend getting a huge stack of magazines. Without thinking too hard about it, start tearing out whatever strikes you as interesting, inspiring, creative, etc…. just rip it out. You will find pictures, sayings, words, ideas, anything that stirs something in you. I suggest doing this for at least 15 minutes if not more. Over time, you will collect a small pile. Find a manila envelope and put your findings in it.
Step two: Some people just feel like art journaling especially after you have done it a couple times. But if you’ve never done it before challenge yourself to process your day, an event, or some part of your life through art journaling. Find your stack of magazine findings and spend time going through them. Pull out one or a few that you are connecting with at that moment. I recommend not using scissors and rip it to place it on the page of your art journal. Using glue or tape, place the piece down.
Step three: Either paint or write about why you chose this particular piece. Ask yourself questions such as: Why did this picture stand out to me today? What are my attachments to this piece? What emotions are being stirred in me as I paint this or write about it? What colors do I want to use? For instance if you find yourself using a lot of blue you might be in a more peaceful mood, and if red is the dominating color, anger or passion may be stirring in you.
Visit abeautifulmess.org for more examples!
Try using your non-dominate hand to write a page. It will take longer, but it is intriguing to see what that brings up.
Go out and buy acrylic paints and cheap brushes if you never have before.
Finger paint – find your inner child again!
Don’t be scared to try it – you can tap into a different part of processing your emotions and dreams that will help you to go deeper within yourself and connect with God in new ways!