Why Art Journal?

First Things First…

What is Art Journaling?

Whenever I tell people that I have started a new adventure in Art Journaling the question always comes up…“What is Art Journaling?”

I like the definition on my home page just under my picture that you have no doubt read, but here is another way to explain it.

Art Journal n. Is a small or large book with a hard or soft cover, purchased or home-made with medium to heavy weight blank pages, for the purpose of the daily recording of personal events and emotions.

Art Journaling v. Is when the capturing of written thoughts and emotions are married/merged with the presence or absence of colour in the form of paint, pencil crayons or pastels in a book format. It is a book to be kept secret or shared depending on the comfort level of its owner. There is no required experience level with regards to writing abilities or artistic talent. It is a place like that tiny diary with a key lock you had when you were a kid. 1 word or 500 words – a stick figure or the Mona Lisa…anything goes!!

Why would anyone want to do Art Journaling?

Think about when you were a kid and got to colour wildly with crayons


or finger paint until your fingers hurt or the paint turned into a lovely to brown colour, whichever came first. We created art back then without knowing we were creating art. We did it with reckless abandon and it was fun because there were no rules. Art Journaling spirits us away from a very complex time in our lives as adults, and takes us back to that simpler time when were kids. It feels good and that is why we want to do it.

Fingerpaint (Photo credit: kpishdadi)

Why do I use an Art Journal as a method of expression?

My jobs over the years have been great, but less than creative and I find I need that artist outlet on a regular basis. An Art Journal is something I can take with me anywhere I go. To the coffee shop, the doctor’s office, waiting for kids to finish lessons. Many cool conversations and opportunities have sprung from people asking me what I am doing.

8 reasons why I work in an Art Journal

  • It is quick – you can have art in seconds, minutes or hours depending on how much time you have to devote to it.
  • It is a way for me to work out issues weighing on my mind.
  • It is a place for me to document things that are happening to me or members of my family – current events
  • It is a place for me to sketch and work out compositions for other larger works of art
  • It is a place to document my favourite lyrics or quotes
  • It is a place where I can express my feelings
  • It is a place where I can make mistakes and fix them only if I feel like it
  • It is an insightful look into what was going on for me at certain times in my life – a legacy for my children.

Now, why don’t you share with me some of the reasons that you use an art journal?

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6 thoughts on “Why Art Journal?

  1. Not sure if you followed my last year’s blog or my new one, but I hope you will come visit my current one, too. 🙂 Thanks!

    Your header image here is so powerful!

  2. I don’t know if you are still using this page as I see it dates back to 2012 and don’t see any recent discussions but I may be looking in the wrong place. Nonetheless, I just began using an art journal because a friend of mine said it was fun but I found it also to be healing. I lost my 22 yr old daughter 2 years ago and it has been a long hard road to healing. I was able to create some beautiful pages with color and words that is so unbelievable and freeing. Wow, using an art journal is amazing!!!

    1. Hi Candy,
      Thank you for your comment and for sharing a very personal story with me. I am so very sorry to hear of the death of your daughter as it is something I could not even imagine. The strength and perseverance it would take to move along that healing journey would be immense with many ups and downs along the way. I am glad you were inspired to pick up a journal and pour your heart and soul into it. I know it has helped me with hard situation in my own life throughout the years. I believe art journaling is just like a mediation and it is very soothing to me. You are right…I have not posted much here lately. I think the last post was a couple of months ago. I have been teaching art and it has taken some time away from my blogging. I hope to get back to it soon. So very glad you visited.I also have a group on Facebook called ARt journal love and my main page is Heather Mitchell Gailey -artist. Would love to see some of your paintings that you made.

      Artfully yours
      Heather MG

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