I came across a really intriguing new type of journaling recently; art journaling. I love words and I could chat and write all day long! But, speaking to friends and family about their lives and difficulties, it came to me that it is not so easy for everybody to express what they are feeling using words, whether that is to someone else or to themselves.
We are all so different, and have such varied means of self-expression,
which is what makes us so interesting. Whereas for one person writing about their feelings can be cathartic, for someone else, painting or playing the piano might help to reduce stress. For all you creative types out there, art journaling could be the way forward.
How to Make and Use an Art Journal
If you are having issues with stress, depression, and anxiety then you may have already considered journaling as an option. The issue with journaling is that it is all writing, or at least that is the misconception.
If you work better off of imagery and art then there is still a way you can use journaling to help your emotional issues and mental health. All you need is to know how to make and use an art journal. Here is some information that may help.
The Set-Up of an Art Journal
The ideal set-up for an art journal is a blank sketch pad style journal. Usually, people tend to like sketchbooks that are either leather bound or hardcover with spiral bound pages, or that have a refillable option of some kind. The Artisan Color My World Spiral Bound Sketchbook is a nice option to start with if you are new to art journaling as is reasonably priced and good quality. People also tend to use scrapbooks that allow pages to be removed as well.
Beyond that, the journal is set-up based on what the artist using the journal wants to do. It is an open sandbox journal that is a universe for the artist to express themselves and fill.
When to Use an Art Journal
Art journals do not really have a time or place they are best used. They are a totally free-form method of expression that helps the artist voices their moods and thoughts.
It can be used at any time, multiple times a day, and needs only the reflection of the artist when they want to use it. You use an art journal when you feel the need to artistically express yourself. Feel free to use any medium that suits you. I’ve discovered Faber-Pastel oil pastel crayons and can’t get enough of them at the moment, but for you it may be inks that work for you or funky gel pens.
How the Art Journal Helps You
The art journal helps you by giving you an artistic outlet for your mood and thoughts. It is designed to help someone who is more visually or artistically inclined use journaling just as someone who is inclined to writing can use journaling. It gives an artist an area for expression, a possible outlet for stress, and an area to pull from for creative projects and ideas.
Art journals can be as plain or as decorative as you want. You may even decide to take them to a social media platform that is artistic as well. Keep in mind, art journals are a way for you to express yourself and review your life journey through images. If you use no words at all, it is still journaling and still helpful if it reduces issues in your life.
Just as with other types of journaling, this is your journal, for you and no-one else so just go with whatever feels right. Let your creativity flow and see where you end up. Even if you are not the creative type, this type of journaling might give you a break from all that mental chatter that we experience 24/7.
Why not try leaving words alone for a while and give your mind a break. I’ve tried it and I love it as an addition to my daily journaling. It is fun and free and brings out the inner artist in all of us!