Why I Art Journal—and You Should Too

I spent most of my childhood creating. 

And come to think of it, most of that time I was creating with my friends: hand drawn pictures, coloring books,  Barbie worlds that stretched across bedroom floors and into hallways, building my brother's two-story forte in the backyard—and designing race tracks for his matchbox cars, too...there were tons of painty, glue-y craft projects around kitchen tables, sewing, needle arts...my friends and I wrote poems together, tried more than once to charge other neighborhood kids entry to our scary Halloween garages and backyard carnivals...my best friend and I even tried to co-write a novel once in sixth grade.

And then adolescence hit and adulthood swept me away.

It took far too many years to recover that particular creative joy. In-the-moment, sparks-flying, I-am-alive joy! 

I take photos now for reference--inspiration for my art journal!

I take photos now for reference--inspiration for my art journal!

By now you might guess that I found my way back to my own creativity—and it was through the portal of my art journal.

I come across a fair number of people now that I've opened this community mixed media studio who have major doubts about their creativity. Like me, they lost touch with their creative inner child and they're not sure where to start to find it—or even why they want to.

But they do want to create.

Is this you?

This desire to be creative keeps coming up: "I'd like to take a class...I wish I could make...I'd love to learn how to...I wish I had time..."

Too often, people stop there. They don't listen to that inner voice, those desire clues. Or, even more often, they just don't know where or how to start.

Well, I know a perfect place to start.

It's also an amazing practice to continue and use as support for your life and other creative work for years to come.

I encourage people new or returning to their creative selves to take up art journaling.

Your art journal is for you only. It's a safe place to express yourself and no one else has to see it. It's a place to experiment and it's a place to learn—both to learn how to work with different "media" like paint or pastels or glue (and much more), and to learn how to listen to yourself.

Your art journal is a perfect place to listen—and to start.

Art journaling is a support system that you can build into your life. It doesn't have to take a lot of time or materials, but I art journal to do engage my creativity and lead a full, creative life. And I believe that's why you should, too.