I have always loved journals, drawing, writing…but I would always start a journal then eventually stop until a while later, lose it, and start a new one. I never knew why exactly until recently. I have never been a perfectionist at all but I have felt low occasionally for not being some definition of perfect. I never usually tried to be perfect at most things but I wanted to be without even trying and felt low for not being that way. The reason I always give up journaling/drawing and stuff, I realized is, I have terrible handwriting and drawing skills. I always knew that but never quite realized, consciously, that my view of it was interfering with me. If you look at my handwriting you will seriously think a first grader wrote it! It’s not my choice either! I can’t write neat or small. It’s very large and sloppy. It’s funny though and I laugh about it.
A stranger once saw my handwriting and said I have serial killer handwriting. His teacher told him that when he was young, he said. Lol!
And when I write in cursive I can’t even understand it myself. So yeah.
And when I draw, it looks like a little kid’s artwork. But I have finally come to accept that it doesn’t matter. It’s still healing and still fun and still great to draw and write in journals. It’s different than writing in an online blog or in a memos section in some electronic device. Both are great! But journaling in a notebook is more of a “hands on” experience.
So I won’t let my serial killing handwriting get in the way any longer!
I love looking at people’s art journals online. It inspires me and is aesthetically pleasing. But I have found myself occasionally comparing myself to those people with me coming up short. “Why can’t I draw that good?” “why couldn’t I think of that?!” “why doesn’t mine look that artistic?” “how can she do that and not me?!?!”
But I decided to silence that monster and just focus on what I’m doing right. It’s art journaling, it can’t ever be wrong! I let those other journals inspire and please me more than make me distressed or envious that my skills aren’t that great. It’s a hobby, not a job that must be perfect.
I am so thankful that I now realize why I never stick with artistic stuff. Because I get fed up with my handwriting and lack of skills. And I’m thankful I now realize that it doesn’t have to be an issue. Comparing ourselves to others in negative ways is an ugly thing. Now let’s stop.
I recently began a new art journal. And I will stick with it. I will fill it up with kiddy drawings and serial killer handwriting until it’s overflowing and be very proud! ;-D
So today I am listing some ideas for journal entries and some tips. This is somewhat new for me and I’m just learning and exploring and haven’t tried a lot of this. So if you’re also new to it, we can learn and explore together!
And if your an expert already give me some tips! Lol
Some of these I thought of completely on my own, others are inspired by other places I seen.
And I will add the links where I got some ideas at the end of this post.
1.) song lyrics – try to capture some lyrics to a song that has some sort of meaning to you. Maybe write the lyrics and draw around them or not write them in words but draw them out. Maybe scenes of a song or just the emotions they inspire in you.
2.) quotes – do the same as above but with a quote
3.) draw yourself as your favorite character in a book you read. Pretend that’s you. How do you feel? Put yourself in that character’s place.
4.) least favorite character – step outside your comfort zone and try the above suggestions but instead draw yourself as the villain or your least favorite character!
5.) random scene – choose a random scene out of a book. Maybe randomly flip to a page and draw what you see/read on that page. Or search your memory for just some scene and bring it alive in your journal.
6.) favorite scene – do the above suggestion but choose one of your favorite scenes instead of a random one. Or even draw your least favorite or uncomfortable scene!
7.) Be inspired by something you always wanted to do – Is there something you want to do so badly but just never have? I have for so long wanted to dress up in a beautiful dress and go to some fancy expensive restaurant for no reason other than just because! Lol I wear just pants and shirts everyday. I dont have much money and whenever I got dressed up before and hair done it was for some big occasion like a graduation, a wedding, prom or whatever. Imagine going all out, getting all dolled up for no reason other than sheer pleasure?! Some people may think it’s a waste but to me it’s just a thrill! :-D. I don’t plan on making a habit of it. I’m not materialistic generally but once in a blue moon is ok! Everyday of your life is a special occasion!
8.) worst pain you have ever felt – art journaling is healing for both physical and emotional pain. It can help ease the pain sometimes but even if it doesn’t it can help us cope with the pain. I have a depressive disorder that doesn’t get cured but comes and goes in symptoms and full blown episodes. Many days now it’s like I don’t even have it. But I do and it always comes back. Art journaling is amazing for coping. Also, I have a physical pain disorder. A chronic facial/head pain disorder. It’s so bad and interferes with my life when it flares up badly like right now. Like my depression, it comes and goes. But with the physical disorder I am usually always in some degree of pain, often mild. The mild usually doesn’t interfere with my happiness or my life in general. It’s just there. But the moderate to severe pain is pure raw agony and I feel so broken. So very broken. There’s no safe, effective medical treatments, just home remedies that help. Sometimes severe flare ups come frequently over and over lasting for days to weeks. Sometimes they don’t show up for months and months. They come on without warning. Sometimes waking me in the middle of sleep. Since there’s very little I can do to ease them after they appear, I have to find ways to handle them and cope with the pain. Healthy ways. Physical movement and expression of the pain often help. Like I said, not help alleviate the pain usually but just cope with it.
Sharing comforting quotes with others when I’m in pain, knowing I may be helping someone else, helps me too. I can’t bear the thought of knowing there’s others in the depth of pain I’m in. And even worse! I can’t fathom it. But capturing my pain in writing and drawing helps so much. Physical pain brings with it, emotional pain, panic, and fear, distress…and it’s important to handle it effectively.
9.) a moment you felt shocked – draw/paint how it feels to be shocked.
10.) let your unconscious mind and hand lead the way – don’t think, just draw or paint or write or cut out and glue….see what you create.
11.) What does love feel like to you ? Capture it
12.) your idea of beauty – what does beauty feel like?
13.) capture a poem you like in an image
14.) draw a fantasy you have
15.) capture a dream you once had while you slept or the feelings it provoked or still provokes in you
16.) capture yourself exactly as you are but with one difference – maybe something you have been wanting to change about yourself or something you would never want to change about you. Maybe this can make you more grateful for all that you currently are or motivate you to change that one thing for the better.
17.) draw a feeling you used to love when you were little – I have always loved being in school with all the other kids. Especially when we would do unusual activities like turn the lights off and watch a movie or have a holiday celebration. I still remember how it felt. How it felt to be a child. A child in school with all other kids doing fun activities. I can never feel that again in a moment because I will never be a kid again. And I will never literally be in that place again. But I cherish the memories and would love to capture them in an artistic way.
17.) meditative experience – try to meditate while creating. Literally try to feel what you are capturing, doing, feeling. Feel it. Don’t just draw mechanically or make it obligatory. Try to live in the moment
18.) don’t just focus on the end result. Savor the process of creating. Sometimes I have trouble with this. I can’t wait to see my masterpiece and I neglect to cherish the very process of creating.
19.). Try not to force your journal to only be a certain way. Let it flow. It doesn’t all have to be positive or profound. It can be sometimes negative and sometimes “trivial.”. Every entry doesn’t have to be pretty or have some great meaning or underlying message.
20.) what’s it like to be very scared? What’s your biggest fear whether it can really happen or not.
21.) What is it to be lonely?
22.) to actually be alone?
23.) Express, draw, paint…how it felt when you were rejected? maybe for a job or a university. By a potential lover or friend or family member.
24.) keep in mind that your content doesn’t have to make sense to anyone, not even yourself. It can be abstract, confusing, mysterious, and nonsensical. Even if you decide to share it, you don’t have to feel the need to explain it. I love a little mystery. My favorite kind of poetry and artwork is obscure kind. Especially when it kind of seems to make sense but doesn’t. I often like to write, poetically, without explanation . And when I read poems and view artistic stuff by others, I love when they don’t explain it. I love drawing my own implications or interpretations. But you certainly can explain if you want! You just shouldn’t have to feel like it’s your obligation.
25.) Express your gratitude list artistically
These are just suggestions; I’m in no way saying they are the only right way and anything else is wrong. Some of these are great for some people and not others. Do what’s best for you, of course, even if above I stated something else.
Your journal doesn’t just have to be about drawing or painting or coloring. You can cut things out and glue it onto your pages. Someone suggested old pieces of mail, glue it on and color or paint over it. Cut out magazine pieces or cloth and glue it on. Anything you can think of!
My journal doesn’t look anywhere nearly as artistic as some I have seen! But instead of viewing that in a negative light, I see it as a fun challenge! I have all these blank pages to make more and more creative and soon mine will be looking great!
I have drawing pencils, watercolor paints & pencils, colored pencils, markers, magazines, and glue and scissors for now.
Just by starting this new journal very recently and listing these here today, I learned even more about myself. I found a deeper part of me. A part I forgot about. I was able to summon some old experiences, feelings, memories that I forgot about but are still very important. I learned some new or forgotten fears, how really capable I am of healing and coping, how deeply certain things both old and new have affected me in both good and bad ways.
I have been able to somewhat distract myself and push the physical pain and my fear of it to the back burner of my mind as I focus on this.
Remember you don’t have to show your art journal entries to anyone! It’s up to you. Even though I’m very shy, I’m also very open about my experiences, emotions, opinions…and I don’t mind sharing with people. I love to. But many people say they love knowing their journal is just for them, never for anyone else to lay eyes on. No one else has to judge it, critique it, or know of its content.
As open as I am, I like to share most of my ideas and things with people on and offline. But sometimes it does feel very good to have a secret of my own. Not because the secret is too embarrassing or awkward to let people know but just because it’s a little thrilling having some things only I know. I don’t make that a habit but there are a few things I like selfishly keeping to myself! Lol. One example is my dreams at night. I dream often and frequently remember them. And for some reason I like keeping lots of my dreams to myself. Again, not because they’re embarrassing or fear of judgment but it’s sweet just having something for me! Lol
I love remembering dreams I had and knowing there’s no one else in the entire world who knows this but me.
It’s especially thrilling since I’m not usually like that and I usually share so much about myself.
So it’s up to you to share or not to share your journal entries! What I would really recommend though is that you decide only after your entry is done If you will share or not. Go into it deciding that this is just for you and that you won’t share with anyone. Then when it’s done you can decide to share if you want. I recommend this because if you decide that you will show people your entries before you complete them, you may unconsciously hold back something or feel too pressured that it has to be perfect or at least presentable, something that others will appreciate. You may unconsciously start to create more for other people than for yourself. This defeats the purpose of art journaling. Your art journal is not a public blog for yourself and everyone who comes across it. It’s for you and only you.
It’s meant to be healing, expressive, creative and if you feel pressured to make it a certain way then you may not get the most out of it. So be all that you can be, do what is best for you and only you then decide if it’s meant for anyone else’s eyes.
If you have any tips or ideas or any links to pages about art journals please let me know! Whether you are also somewhat new to art journaling, already have been engaging in this for a while, or never tried it! I would love any ideas! All are valuable to me! Thank You!!
Thank You so so much to everyone who reads, shares, likes, “likes,” and comments on my content! I appreciate you so much!!! And I hope you find something helpful here.
P.s. I totally forgot the links!!
Here you are: