Art Journaling for Self Care

open page of art journal for art journaling for self care
“Stay Strong” mixed media art journal page by @maycontainpaper

(materials used above include old book pages, vintage handwriting, PDF download numbers, acrylic paint & Tim Holtz artist tissue & phrases)

Self care has become the big go to phrase of late. And now, in this strange time of Covid, it has become more important than ever.

For me I have really begun to lean on creative outlets as a way of meeting self care needs. One of my favorite ways of creating is through art journaling.

So, what is art journaling and what exactly is an art journal?

Art journaling is a creative way of showing ideas, thoughts and experiences through art. Using collage, mixed media, sketching and words (among other techniques) your art journal is a personal, creative, visual expression of you.

Why to Art Journal

As a yogi, I liken art journaling to a form of meditation. Sitting quietly in front of a page and combining collage with color, words and sketching is calming and brings the focuses the mind.

The purpose of the journal isn’t to create a perfect piece of art in much the same way that forming the perfect yoga pose isn’t the goal. It is the practice of journaling creatively with your own choice of words, color and pattern. As with yoga, it is the journey and not the destination that is key.

For a yogi, it is much like a regular yoga practice. The contrast between the beginning of a yoga practice and the end of a yoga practice. Sitting down to art journal feels like sitting down on your yoga mat and working with words, colors and imagery as you would work through poses.

As a yogi, I liken art journaling to a form of meditation

How to Start

The physical journal itself is not important. Some people work in a planner, others choose to journal in a dedicated sketchbook and others may create their own journal (which is a great self care craft too ūüėČ

yellow art journal page
“I feel so lucky” mixed media art journal page by @maycontainpaper

(materials used above include old book pages, handmade paper, magazine cutouts, handprinted tissue papers, black fine line marker, acrylic paint & Tim Holtz phrases)

Gather Materials

Gather your materials for your art journaling. This does not have to be special equipment. In fact, a quick rummage around your home could easily unearth an old planner and pen. Even one of your children’s discarded exercise books and colored pencils would work. Or maybe a bound note book with a cheap set of acrylic paints is perfect starting point. The weight of the paper or the brand of the pencil isn’t important. Just choose the materials that are to hand and the colors that appeal to you.

Sitting down to art journal feels like sitting down on your yoga mat and working with the words, colors and imagery as you would work through the poses.

You may like to add other paper ephemera and magazine imagery to work in collage. Trying mixing different paint mediums with pencil & chalk or add glitter and stitches. No rules! (you can see some ideas for creating a very simple journal here on yogaskinny)

A quick search on google or instagram of art journaling will bring up a whole swathe of art journal work. Use these as a quick visual resource to inspire you to start. Avoid copying too closely and let your own color choices and marks start you on your journey.

Art journaling is a very personal practice. Your own creative work will always have more depth and meaning than recreating the work of others.

Give it a try and see how meditative art journaling can be and make creativity part of you self care routine.

All of the art journal pages shown here are my own pages from my Instagram account @maycontainpaper

“Choose to see the good stuff” mixed media page by @maycontainpaper

(materials used above include old book pages, magazine cutouts, handprinted tissue papers, black fine line marker, brown packing tape, white paint pen, gold leaf, acrylic paint & Tim Holtz phrases)

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