Art journaling is by far one of the most accessible methods for keeping creativity alive and well in your everyday life.
For some people, the whole idea of regularly making art – in book form or otherwise – can seem daunting for a variety of reasons. It’s simpler to make art journaling a daily (or semi-daily) habit than you might think though.
If you have the right materials and a handy set-up, it can be easy as pie (eating it – not making it. It’s easier than making pie. . . ).
How can you keep your journaling practice regular? Keep it small and simple.
Try a few of these tips to stack the art-making cards in your favor:
It always feels good to finish a page, so why not set yourself up for that nice satisfied feeling? If my focus is to complete pages daily, I like to work in sketchbooks or art journals that are 7.5″ x 7.5″ or smaller. (Click here to learn more about the variety of journals I use.)
Use a book that can handle many mediums
If you’re someone who likes to switch things up, choosing a book with mixed media paper is the way to go. One of the most exciting things about making art in a journal is that it’s private. No one is going to see it. This is the ultimate wonderland of creative play. You can try anything you want – any material, any subject matter. . . . It doesn’t matter if you’re experienced in that particular genre/medium/skill or not. This is your space! You are free to create with abandon. I often use mixed media sketchbooks so I can vacillate between the materials that are intriguing me on a day-by-day basis.
Use materials that dry quickly
I don’t think this is a real art term, but I call these materials “dry” materials. Some of them aren’t actually dry as you apply them (pens, tempera paint sticks), but they dry quickly. The part of the tool your hand touches is dry as well, which makes them convenient. They’re tidy and clean, and they allow you to move efficiently though the art you’re creating on your journal page.
Make yourself a portable journaling kit
Dry materials also travel well and pack easily. If you want to make any activity a habit, you need to make it accessible. So let’s make it easy to do wherever you are! Use a shoe box or a shower caddy to organize your supplies. You can carry it from room to room so you can be where you want to be, and it can be where you are.
Make journaling time precious and non-negotiable
Give your art journaling practice an assigned time slot within your daily routine, or even better, make it a non-negotiable, treasured ritual. Important point: be realistic. If your time is limited, keep your journaling aspirations smaller.
How much time do you have available during your day for self care? I’m being serious about categorizing journaling this way. Giving your creativity room to exist and grow can boost your emotional well being. You don’t need hours to make pages. Realistically, you can finish a page in under 20 minutes. Maybe you decide to do a page each morning as you sip your coffee. Or try doing it each afternoon at the kitchen table with the kids while they are do homework. Maybe the evening is better for you. You can cozy under a blanket on the couch and doodle out a page while you catch up on your favorite show.
Keep inspiration handy
Sometimes deciding what to do on your page can be a hindering factor. Keep a pad of sticky notes in your box of supplies. Jot down inspiration as it hits you and store these notes inside your sketchbook. They’ll be right there waiting for you when you’re in search of journaling ideas later on.