Art journaling can be fun, simple, and easy to get started!
Art journaling doesn't have to be expensive or overwhelming!
Art journaling can be a fun way to get creative and to explore your thoughts, dreams, and growth journey. It can be a way to record your day-to-day activities, or a place to dive into words and images in a new and fun way! Simply put, art journaling is very like keeping a written journal, it's just done visually with color, images, art, collage, and more!
I think art journaling can be accessible and super easy to get started. Like anything, capitalism has figured out how to package everything up and sell it back to us, and to convince us that we need to spend a lot or have a big pile of supplies just to enjoy something. I'm going to share some ideas about art journal supplies that can get you started with what you've already got at home!
Maybe you have a little bit of a budget to purchase some supplies, and that's great! But if you want to explore art journaling without breaking the bank, here are some basics for you. Look through your kids' crafty supplies, dig in your junk drawer, pull out that old scrapbooking stuff....give the artful things you already have new life in your art journal!
First things first: you'll need some kind of journal.
This can be ANY kind of book, journal, spiral bound art paper, notebook, etc. that can be used for your artful explorations! It's ok if it has lines. It's ok if you already took notes from your wolverine training class in parts of it (this can actually become part of an art journal "spread" later!) If the pages are thin, you can glue multiple pages together in order to create a thicker page to hold wet media like watercolors or collage. There are ways to make ANYTHING work!
The fun stuff: art-y supplies!!
Firstly - this category can feel overwhelming because there is SO MUCH fun stuff we could work with!! Remember that you DO NOT NEED ALL these things! But you may have more than you think just by poking around your house.
Many people who participate in my Seeds of Connection groups do so with just a very basic notebook or paper + colored pencils or markers. It's ok to keep it simple, and dive right into the fun of art journaling!
The very basics:
* glue, tape or glue stick
* pens that you like to write with (gel pens, black Sharpie, your favorite Bic, any of these will work, just something that writes smoothly and makes you happy!)
* colorful art medium of some kind: markers, crayons, colored pencils, pastels, paint, watercolors, or anything else that you enjoy working with
Other supplies that can be fun (and are completely optional):
* stamps & ink
* ribbon or string
* Mod Podge or matte medium
* washi tape
* decorative papers (like for scrapbooking or origami)
Household supplies/items that can also be fun (and optional!):
* bubble wrap
* old magazines
* collage-able things like: junk mail, old photos, greeting cards, images printed from online or cut out of old books
* items for making marks/prints: comb, old toothbrush, mesh wrap from fruit/veggies, cardboard tube, eraser on a new pencil, plastic wrap, corks
Optional, but FUN! Oracle or Tarot cards
In my personal work with an art journal, I've found that using tarot or oracle cards can be a really fun way to take deep dives into a variety of topics. In my Seeds of Connection groups, we pull a card from one of my many decks each week and we discuss the theme of that card and then create art based on that card/theme. It's a really fun process that can lead to interesting and surprising discoveries!
The very short version of this method is to begin by grounding yourself with a bit of breathing or mindfulness. Shuffle your deck and invite curiosity and discovery to join you in your art journaling process. Pull a card at random and lay it in front of you. Take a good, long look. What do you notice about the artwork? What are the initial thoughts or feelings that come for you when you see this card? What does the theme or subject of the card mean to you? Take a few minutes to journal some of your thoughts if you want to, and then move into art'ing using this theme as your guide.
It's not about re-creating the art from the card (although that may happen), but about exploring the theme and "following the breadcrumbs" of what wants to be created from your thoughts, feelings, and associations with this card.
All about art journaling - some resources
Learn more and get ideas for what art journaling can be! Take a look through some of these links. But remember: we are start somewhere! Don't get overwhelmed. Art journaling really just starts with drawing, painting, writing, or gluing something into your journal, it doesn't have to be fancy. Your skills, satisfaction, and creativity will GROW with every page you create and every mark you make!
Some of my favorite resources for art journaling supplies & ideas
Remember! You don't NEED to purchase lots of stuff, and don't get too bogged down in endless scrolling rather than actual art journaling. But here are some links to folks I have purchased from or who I follow and regularly learn from.
Got any great tips for art journaling on a budget?