What is art journaling?
Visual journaling has been up until the last few years been largely associated with scrapbooking, which is the craft of assembling photos and memorabilia to preserve and account for memories in a rich way. However, people like Tracy Bunkers, Lisa Sonora Beam and many others have popularized a strain of visual journaling that is more artful in terms of the array of techniques being used and more soulful in terms of the expression being conveyed.
Art journaling which is the act of creating artful self-expression in a book form (i.e. sketchbook) and is typically multimedia. It incorporates thoughts, insights, ideas, recognition of emotions, attitudes and beliefs all on the page with the art.
There is no particular style though the resulting expression is typically improvisational and layered, embracing instinct and serendipity.
The goal of a visual journal is a dynamic interplay between discovery-in-action and expressive declaration, using the process of artistry to come into greater knowing and self-empowerment. It is a creativity ritual that sometimes augments larger creative pursuits whether it be creative writing or artwork of all kinds. Or it is a practice unto itself that augments how you choose to be in the world.
Art journaling as a creative ritual
Creativity is one of, if not the most important aptitude of the 21st century. Everyone has it but many of us have unlearned it, paying attention instead to the rational pursuits that our schools and workplaces have encouraged us to undertake. Many of us have come to believe we’re not creative (false!) or have succumbed to the dulling that happens when we don’t use our creative faculties.
Art journaling is an accessible mode of creative practice, whether you’re an artist or not, that gets you into the space of practicing creativity in the most direct way I can think of. Not only that, I love the level of personalization it offers us to understand and define our own creativity.
Practicing art journaling provides a foundational skill to creativity. It enhances and augments any other situation that requires my creativity (oh, hello life! … that’s just about everything). So while it seems like art journaling lacks any practical application, it provides a foundational skill to just about any other creative endeavor I can think of.
Why I practice art journaling
I know from personal experience in practicing creativity, that you don’t get creativity from any external source. Our creativity comes from within us, making it a personal and unique capability that looks different from one person to the next. No creativity expert can tell me how to be creative in order for my self-expression to be considered valuable. I do that for myself. It is a journey that only I can go on; my creativity is something that only I can discover and nurture.
The way I do that is through ritualizing my creative practice. And one of the biggest ways I do that is through art journaling. It doesn’t come with steps or a set of instructions. But it comes with a basic frame with which I can mess up, discover, experiment, ask questions, imagine, and generally lean in to my intuition.
What the practice of art journaling can do for you
Maybe you are one of those people who has bought into the terrible I’m-not-creative myth. Or maybe you are an active creative who is feeling a bit dull, bored, and like you’ve just lost your mojo.
Whatever the case may be, the practice of art journaling provides you with foundational creative skills – precisely the same skill set required for being cutting-edge innovative in the workplace. It acts as a medium for you to step into the creative flow and embrace fresh ideas and inspiration as they come to you.
Art journaling gives you a space in which you can get ideas and thoughts out of your head and onto the page – you practice making the transition from abstract concept to the tangible. It helps you to cultivate healthy creative habits such as introspection, self-expression, self discovery, and a habit of completion.
So, are you ready?
Are you ready to reclaim your mojo and amp up your creativity? Are you chomping at the bit to start out on a new adventure? Register for The ‘Stoke Your Creative Fire!’ online workshop!