How to Start an Art Journal
Here are some hints and tips to help encourage and inspire you!
1. Buy a journal or sketchbook with blank white pages so you can express yourself freely without the constriction of lines. (Or if you prefer lined pages, that’s great too!) The thicker sketchbook pages are great for practice. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of buying a journal, printer paper works as a good canvas.
**Using cardboard behind your pages when painting is a good technique to help keep paint from leaking and helps it dry faster.**
2. Purchase some basic art supplies like watercolor paints, acrylic paints, spray paints, letter stencils, colored pencils, multicolored sharpies, Staetdler fineliner pens, etc… These supplies don’t have to be fancy and expensive to work. Take some time to figure out what you like to use and what effects you want to produce with your art.
**A lot of popular journaling techniques involve creating a watercolor background and a mixed media layered effect for their creations. But, this is about you! Get creative and experiment!**
3. Use words, quotes, images, mixed media, and simple and elaborate drawings to create personal pages that express who you are as an artist and writer.
**Get out of your comfort zone and draw things you wouldn’t normally draw. If you don’t like what you’re creating, give yourself time to grow and learn. It’s important to be patient with yourself and let go of your high expectations. Give yourself credit for trying and keep practicing! Don’t give up!**
4. To learn more about art journaling, you can always use Google for more information, look up tutorials on Youtube, check out books from your local library, or even take online art journaling classes. Some classes are even free! There are tons of resources for you to research.
**Don’t wait until the “time is right” or when the “inspiration hits you.” Dive right in and go for it!**
Some art journaling prompts:
1. Practice hand-lettering your favorite words.
2. Practice using calligraphy for your journal entries.
3. Draw your favorite silly emojis.
4. Draw symbols that hold significance to you.
5. Illustrate a cute scene from your favorite TV show.
6. Create your own comic book page inspired by a day in your life.
7. Make your own mandala and color it in.
8. Make a favorite quote page.
9. Fill an entire page with random doodles.
10. Dedicate a page to your fictional or irl crush.
11. Tape in photos from your favorite trip and add meaningful captions.
12. Illustrate a page on how to cheer yourself up when you’re upset.
13. Use stencils to create word art that describes how you feel right now. 14. Cut out your favorite adjectives from the newspaper.
15. Make a “Truths and Confessions” page to release some tension.
16. Color a page red. Write a long rant until your feel better.
17. Illustrate a monster that has scared you and confront it with words.
18. Create a page filled with characteristics of people you admire.
19. Cut out images from magazines that illustrate your dream life.
20. Use a waterbrush pen to write your favorite book quote.
21. Dedicate a page to your favorite band.
22. Doodle and write your favorite lyrics.
23. Write the words you want to say to someone important to you.
24. Sketch a character you’ve fallen in love with.
25. Create geometric or odd shapes. Make them flow together.
26. Use ink and colored pencil to outline your plans for the week.
27. Write a poem. It doesn’t have to rhyme. Let it come from the heart.
28. Write about the people, places, and things that inspire you.
29. Create a symbol that reflects your life. (Ex: zigzag= stressful)
30. Sketch or write a list of things you’re thankful for.
31. Make a favorite holiday page.
32. Make a page for your favorite personal photos.
33. Create a new identity for yourself. Illustrate your personality.
34. Illustrate a scene from a fairy tale or make up your own.
35. Draw a totally new character that represents your alter-ego.
36. Dedicate a page to your favorite colors.
37. Write one word that describes you well in big, bold letters.
38. Go outside. Draw the first object you see.
39. Write/illustrate your surroundings.
40. Create a page detailing your ideal peaceful environment.
41. Let the day’s weather inspire your pages.
42. Express whether you’re a night owl or an early bird.
43. Create a layered effect by using old letters, important notes, etc…
44. Create a personal mantra page. (Ex: “Live. Laugh. Love.”)
45. Doodle your favorite silly facial expressions.
46. Make a page dedicated to the places you want to travel to.
47. Draw your inner god/goddess. Name them.
48. Write about the talents you have and the talents you wish you had.
49. Create a “Good Memories” page to make yourself smile later on.
50. Draw a broken heart. Journal about your heartaches.
51. Draw yourself in your favorite clothes.
52. Illustrate your favorite place to write, read, study, etc…
53. Mod Podge old book pages to your journal page for a background.
54. Spray paint your favorite symbol on the page.
55. Journal about superpowers you wish you had.
56. List the things that make you laugh.
57. Draw your favorite plant or flower and explain why you like it.
58. Use a childhood experience to influence your journal page.
59. Draw a candle and write about how it symbolizes hope.
60. Journal about the habits you want to change.
61. Fill a journal page with compliments to yourself.
62. Create a venn diagram and compare/contrast yourself with a friend.
63. Write a “Note to Self” page.
64. Illustrate a favorite career page and how you want to make money.
65. Create a system of symbols that represent people, places, and things.
66. Make a page dedicated specially for your zodiac sign.
67. Illustrate your most embarrassing moment from last week.
68. Make a page of regrets and write about how you could fix them.
69. Draw a stack of books and illustrate your reading goal for the year.
70. Take a heart stencil and dab red paint inside the lines. Write about the things you love most in the world and why they’re worth living for.
71. Cut out stars from copy paper and glue them on the page to form your favorite constellation.
72. Draw a line. Name one point Start and the other one End. write about how you want to grow as a person throughout your life.
73. Stain your journal pages with a damp tea bag to give it an old parchment look. Once it’s dry, write a magic spell for your life.
74. Find your favorite poem and journal about why it inspires you.
75. Dedicate a page for things you’d tell your younger self.
76. Draw your favorite animal then fill it in with bright colors.
77. Use some of that old junk mail, glue it in, and paint over it.
78. Write a “Pet Peeves” page. Don’t stop writing until you feel better.
79. Write about your day and shape the sentences into a spiral.
80. Draw or write with your non-dominant hand and see what happens.
81. Paint a rainbow and write about what your pot of gold (a goal or a dream) would be on the other side.
82. Sketch a sunset and describe how to bring closure to your problems.
83. Tape multi-colored notecards or sticky notes in your journal. Jot down little positive reminders to yourself.
84. Use only acrylic paint and puff paint to doodle and write.
84. Journal about the wisest thing you’ve heard someone say to you.
85. Write about your addictions/obsessions.
86. Create a simple collage of things you dislike with magazines.
87. Illustrate a door opening and journal about your new opportunities.
88. Draw your ideal relaxing vacation.
89. Make a list of the places you’ve been today.
90. Tape in receipts of the special things you’ve bought.
91. Tape in ticket stubs of the movies you’ve seen this year.
92. Press leaves and flower petals onto the page.
93. Paint or draw old sayings like “The pen is mightier than the sword.”
94. Record a dream and draw a few people or places you saw in it.
95. Journal about your beliefs.
96. Create a new style/font of handwriting.
97. Use stickers and stamps to make a border around your page. Fill in the center by writing about your “stick-to-itiveness” or perseverence.
98. Draw you and your friends from an old photo and embellish the sketch with an inspiring/relatable quote. Capture the happy moments.
99. Use all the colors of your sharpie pens to write out your thoughts.
100. Make a page detailing all the things you want for your future.
Express yourself without fear. Remember journaling is all about you. This is your personal journey, so you don’t have an obligation to show anyone your creations.
Make good art!