stenciled letters

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!

Emma Carstairs, a girl amidst a war, a child with a sword.

Emma Carstairs, a fierce and unyielding fighter, sarcastic and revengeful.

Emma Carstairs, proudly wearing a LA tee shirt one day and an antique ballgown the next, in between training with black leather garb.

Emma Carstairs, tracing her parabatai rune when she is alone just as she stencils letters across Julian’s forearm.

Emma Carstairs, watching her ancestor wade in true love as she wishes she could feel the same way towards Julian, wanting the warmth and pink-tint that loving brings.

Emma Carstairs, hating the edges of her scars, the crimson of the dried blood, the cracked feeling of being broken.

Emma Carstairs, feeling a slight shiver each time she steps close to the ocean’s grasp, when the waves flow over he toes.

Emma Carstairs, loving the brush strokes of Julian’s paintings, loving his sweet smile as his siblings play, loving him and only him.

Day 6 of 13 days of Halloween

Hosted by @omgericzimmermann

Day 6 prompt: trick-or-treating

Also read on AO3: http://archiveofourown.org/works/8373133

Title: Like Fathers Like Daughter

“Jenny, sweetheart, are you and Papa almost ready?” Bitty called into the house, peaking his head out from the kitchen.

“We’ll be down in a sec, Bits!” Jack replied from the top of the stairs.

Bitty chuckled to himself, collecting Jenny’s candy bag from the entry way. He smiled as he heard footsteps coming down the stairs.
Jack and Bitty we’re wearing matching referee costumes, and their blonde five year old, short for her age, was dressed in a Falconers #1 jersey with ‘Zimmermann’ printed on the back and “-Bittle” scrawled below with stenciled letters and sharpie. Her helmet was a little big, but her curls still peaks out from under it.

It was Jenny’s idea to go as her Papa for Halloween. Bitty cried when she told them.

“I need a picture!” Bitty smiled, as Jack scooped Jenny up into his arms and kissed her cheek as she giggled.

After quite a few photos, ones of just Jenny, one of Jenny and Jack, and ones of Jenny and Bitty, the family left their Providence home and set out into the neighborhood.

It wasn’t until they were four houses in when one guy commented on Jenny’s costume as she walked up to the door to get her candy.

“Oh, going as your favorite hockey player for Halloween, eh? Zimmermann’s my favorite too!” The kid was probably 16, with bright eyes and promising smiled.

“Yes! Papa is definitely my favorite!” Jenny giggled. The guy looked confused, but Jenny kept going. “Daddy and I watch all his games together! Sometimes they go past my bedtime so I can’t watch the end, but when they play at home, me and daddy get to watch from Box seats!”

“C'mon Jenny, I’m sure the young man hears about me enough.” Jack laughed, stepping up to the porch with Bitty in tow.

The guy looked up shocked as Bitty picked Jenny up and rested her on his hip.

“You’re- you’re Jack Zimmermann! And this is your husband! And your daughter! The Zimmermann’s totally just trick-or-treated at my house!” The kid grinned, laughing a bit. “Mr. Zimmermann-” the kid began but Jack cut him off.

“Call me Jack, Mr. Zimmermann is my husband.”

Bitty rolled his eyes and nudged Jack with his shoulder.

“Oh- okay, Jack then, you’re my biggest inspiration. I’ve been a fan since your first season eight years ago! And when you came out it really helped my cousin, and eventually me! I play on Juniors right now and I really hope to be in the NHL someday!” The kid’s enthusiasm reminded Jack of Chowder, which reminded him he’d need to ask Bitty what Chowder and Caitlin’s son went as for Halloween this year.

“Thanks kid, I really I appreciate that. Keep going. Even if you have set backs, never stop. When I went to college instead of getting drafted I though I would hate it, but I met my best friends, and eventually my husband, so just keep going, keep getting better. Hope to see you on the ice sometime.” Jack smiled at the kid, then looked back at Bitty and Jenny, and they walked off the porch, Jenny waving over Bitty’s shoulder, a grin on her lips.

By the end of trick-or-treat, Jenny was tired, her feet hurt, and her bag was loaded with candy. Her Daddy carried her home, Papa behind taking pictures.

When they got home, Jack put the candy in a bowl on the counter as Bitty carried their sleepy little girl to her room. When Jack arrived to the nursery, he paused in the doorway to watch. Jenny was in her pajamas now, curled up in her bed under the blankets, Bitty sitting on the bed beside her, running his fingers through her soft curls.

“Thank you for taking me trick-or-treating, daddy, I love you.” Jenny said quietly, her eyes fluttering closed.

“Anytime, sweetie, I love you too.” Bitty pressed a kiss to her forehead then stood up from the bed, smiling when he saw Jack waiting in the doorway.

Jack welcomed him with open arms and they watched their little girl for just a few moments before flicking the light off and making their way to their room just down the hall.

“Bits?” Jack said softly as they stripped down to their briefs.

Bitty looked up, his shirt off and pants half unbuttoned.

“Yeah, honey, what’s up?”

Bitty pulled off his pants and joined Jack on their bed, holding Jack’s hand between them.

“I really love you, and Jenny…” Jack smiled, putting one hand on Bitty’s cheek.

Bitty breathed out a chuckle.

“But?” Bitty raised one eyebrow.

Jack took a deep breath.

“But, I feel like we’re not whole yet. I want, if you want, another baby.” Jack’s eyes searched Bitty’s.

“Oh, Jack, of course I want another baby.” Bitty said softly, pulling Jack into a sweet kiss.

Next year on Halloween, the Zimmermann’s went as superheroes. Bitty as the Flash, Jack as Batman, Jenny as Supergirl, and baby Toby, almost two months old, was swaddled a blanket with a superman curl on his forehead.

A quick picture of the shirts a friend and I made to go to our local Pridefest today. With her a lesbian, me a bisexual, and having a friendly bond over the game Life is Strange we figured these shirts would be something fun to make. After one failed test run and several hours of stenciling and cutting out letters to look somewhat like the game’s logo… we ended up with these beauties.

Sadly I don’t have any pictures of us in the shirts because two hours into Pride the event had to evacuate due to an oncoming thunderstorm and possible tornado. Still, it was amazingly fun and people were celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday.

I hope everyone’s Pride month is going fantastically. <3

I got this funky alphabet stencil on which the letters are all different sizes, so I tried it out with a Ranger Distress Ink pad using a favorite lyric from the National. Then I spritzed the page with water and sprinkled it with kosher salt.

Be brave and be kind.
-The National