Togetherness, inspiration and creativity

What Is An Art Journal? Be Inspired By Our Favourite Mixed Media Ideas

What Is An Art Journal? Be Inspired By Our Favourite Mixed Media Ideas

Not only is journaling, and art journaling in particular, a great outlet for creativity, but it can be an incredibly therapeutic pastime too! We take a look at some of the benefits to starting your own art journal, and try and inspire you to try your hand at this fantastic mixed media hobby, with some of our favourite art journal ideas below…

What is Art Journaling?

Simply put, keeping an art journal is a means of keeping a diary of sorts… but a visual one, rather than a written one! It’s a quirky combination of record-keeping and creativity; a place to keep track of thoughts, ideas, dreams, memories, feelings, inspirational musings, and whatever else arises, using any medium you like! The wonderfully liberating thing about art journaling, is that there are NO rules.

You can use any book you wish; some people prefer to purchase designed-for-purpose art books, whilst others work in old textbooks, used diaries, discarded calendars… it really doesn’t matter! Likewise, it really doesn’t matter what goes into your art journal either. A mixed media approach to journaling allows maximum creativity… and maximum fun! Think acrylic paints, papers, texture pastes, stamped images, old photographs, inks… nothing is off-limits. If you can get your hands on it, you can use it to create beautiful art journal pages.

Benefits of Art Journaling:

Art journaling is a long-recognised practise within creative therapy approaches, and is routinely referred to as a great way to help reduce stress, encourage self-regulation, and aid communication when it comes to addressing otherwise difficult topics.  Many avid art journal enthusiasts believe that getting the chaos of everyday life out of their heads and down on paper aids relaxation, and that doing this creatively enables us to really spend some time in the ‘right side’ of our brain – the place where creativity is king, and problem-solving comes more naturally to us.

The main difference between art journaling and creating art in general, is the creative freedom involved. When producing a single project, we can spend so much time stressing over the end-result, that we forget to enjoy the creative process itself! With art journaling, we begin creating an art journal page without necessarily having any idea what it will look like at the end… it doesn’t really matter! This allows us to truly reap the benefits of spending some time being creative, and enjoy every moment.

Our Top 5 Art Journal Ideas:

  1. Pick a Colourscheme…

Art journal colourscheme page

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to creating your first art journal page, you could simply pick a colour. Whether it’s a simple scrap of paper, or a pretty printed design, stick it down and then build your page out from there, coordinating everything with your chosen colourscheme. We love how this art journal spread combines a variety of mediums, and designs, all tied together with a vibrant black, pink, and blue colourscheme.

2. Turn to Nature…

Art journal nature-inspired page

If in doubt, turn to nature. Many an artist has been inspired by the beauty of nature; we’re sure you won’t need to go far to find something that catches your eye, and gets the creative juices flowing. Take a walk in the park, or step outside your back door and check out whatever’s immediately in front of you. Remember, you needn’t try to recreate what you see, simply use it as inspiration to create something abstract! We just love these Dandelion-inspired designs that could equally be fireworks exploding in the sky…

3. Abstract…

Art journal abstract page

Remember, when it comes to art journaling, there are no rules! If you’re inspired by a bold napkin, turn it into an art journal page! Rip it up and layer it across a spread, enhancing it with printed designs, stamps, washi tape or doodles… just start without any thought for the end result, and see where your creativity takes you!

4. Galaxy Painting…

Art journal galaxy page

When it comes to creating abstract art journal ideas, galaxy paintings have to be one of our favourites at Create and Craft! The beauty of space is that it’s timeless, limitless, and knows no boundaries… which is exactly how we think you should approach art journaling! Using space as a theme enables you to get really experimental with colour mixes, textures, and composition… get lost in an intergalactic journaling session, and see what you could come up with!

5. Get Creative With the Kids!

Art journal kids' page

We all know that children are the most creative and imaginative of all of us… so we think that if you do share your life with any small people, you should definitely get them involved in art journaling too! Whether you allow them to use pages from your art journal, or provide them with one all of their own, it could be an activity you do together, something fun you can pull out on rainy days and school holidays, and a great way to encourage creativity, dexterity… and get them off their screens!

Love this blog post? Discover the rest of our journaling articles, projects and tutorials right here on the blog, or check out our mixed media category for even more creative inspiration!


Lisa at Create & Craft
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