Although there are other reasons to art journal—as you'll see below—the main reason to art journal is to be creative without worrying about anything else. We're called to create all kinds of things in our lives with specific outcomes in mind. We create homes and families, work products, services, and if we're lucky, we are called to create artful things, whether as hobby or business. And when we do, we shoot for goals. We want to create happy and beautiful homes, healthy families, products or services that please others—art and craft that others enjoy, approve, buy.
But when we create in our art journals, we can create without agenda. We can just let go and be with our creative selves. And I'm here to tell you that all that letting go changes you over time. And if you domake art to share with others—or want to—your art journal can take your art to the next level. Here in your art journal, you practice, capture ideas and sketch out approaches, and it can be amazing what else you create from there.
But at its core, art journaling is time to create for ourselves and by ourselves, and we each come to our open books day after day for our own good reasons. Here are a few of the best:
1. To be creative every day
That's it. We want to connect to that creative energy inside (each of us), we want to do it often, and an art journal is where we can.
2. To practice skills
We all get better with practice and an art journal is a perfect safe place to develop not just our arting skills—but life skills! For instance, the skill of play or self acceptance or self-care...
3. To learn how to “art”
Many of us put away our crayons and paint brushes years ago without ever really learning how to color, paint and draw (let alone collage and sew and assemble and...) It's tough be a beginner, but our art journal is yet again a perfect safe place to learn techniques, skills, mediums, and eventually develop our own arting style.
4. To heal
Art journaling is a practice that allows us to process and release—and heal.
5. To look inward
It turns out that art journaling involves more than skills and ideas—in fact, as far as I'm concerned it's mostly about heart. There's real joy in creating art journal pages—but of course, we have other emotions in our lives, too. And sometimes there aren't words. In our art journals, we don't need words. We can let our hearts speak to us in its native, visual language.
6. To grow creative confidence
After some time in our art journals, we learn and grow. We gain skills, greater understanding, more knowledge about arting and ourselves. And with learning and growth comes creative confidence.
7. To express
Sometimes, we just need to express ourselves! And sometimes, we don't want to express ourselves in front of other people. And sometimes, we want to use more than words. So we art journal.
8. To be in the moment
You can't be anywhere else in your mind or heart when you're art journaling. You are there, with that page—and this is a practice of living in the moment. And it's powerful.
9. To capture and record experiences in time
Another reason to keep an art journal! Whether travel journals, sketchbooks or daily art journals, we can art journal to capture our lives.
10. To experiment
When you know no one will see it—you can try anything! Doesn't work? Oh well, paint over it! In the meantime you learned something.
11. To explore some of those stuck places on the page that we seem to also face in life
For instance, that avoidance thing… that perfectionism thing…that give-up-too-soon thing…or whatever your “thing” in life tends to be…chances are you'll encounter it in your art journal pages. And what better place to see it for what it really is...art journaling sometimes gives you a kind of inner x-ray vision.
12. To develop one’s own process and style
As your art journaling practice continues you become acquainted with your preferences and your quirks, you learn and grow, and over time...you will find your own process and your own style. You will see yourself for the artist you are.
Do any of these reasons resonate with you? Why do you art journal?