an animation of hands cutting colorful paper for art journaling for parkinson's

The Magic of Journaling with Mindful Art

Recently I wrote an article, "The Joy of Journaling," which explored the many types of written journals. There are also many kinds of journaling that incorporate art.

What is an art journal?

An art journal is a visual diary. It is record keeping combined with creativity. Art journals include memories, thoughts, and emotions expressed through art images and words.

There are so many possibilities that allow you to simply create and lose yourself in the process. Especially when you begin to explore.

Keep it simple and create with abandon. There are no rules or wrong ways to create. Just let it flow. Don’t have a preconceived notion of how your final product will look. A few simple items are all you may need.

What are the benefits?

An art journal can ease stress and anxiety. Creating art is a right-brained activity which controls our creativity and problem solving. It gives us instant insight to move forward. It is fun and shapes your character.1

Different techniques

Pinterest is an excellent resource for finding all types of art to enhance your journals. Lists of suggested materials and equipment are also available.

Types of art journals include:

  • Gratitude journals
  • Vision Board /collage journals
  • Intention/affirmation journals
  • Bullet journals

Gratitude journals

Gratitude is acknowledging what we have and realizing that it is a value separate from monetary worth. Keeping a gratitude journal can improve both mental and physical well being.2

Gratitude helps us understand the past, find meaning and peace for today, and provide vision for the future. Writing on one thing you are grateful for may be a good start. You can embellish the page with some doodles, stickers or whatever you choose.

Vision board and collage

A vision or a collage journal is a visual representation of your dreams and goals. An important step is to list your intentions, goals, or skill you wish to perfect.

Once you have reflected on your vision, begin collecting objects that represent your goals. Gather magazines and cut out phrases, pictures, and quotes that represent what you desire. Photos, stickers, cards, tape, bits of ribbon, etc., also add to the appearance of your page.

Arrange your materials in a way that is pleasing to you. Some empty space can be left for your written observations. Pinterest has many examples as to how to create a vision or collage journal.

Intentions and affirmations

An intention journal is to inspire you to reach your goals in all aspects of your life. A separate page should be kept for each intention. Every intention in this journal will be manifested in time. Keep your intentions realistic and practical.

An affirmation is a positive statement that can help change your mindset concerning something you may be struggling with. Consider what you would like to change and write down a positive outcome. Once you have done so, repeat that affirmation daily.

Bullet journals

Ryder Carroll invented the bullet journal as way to organize his life while struggling with learning disabilities. A bullet journal is a combination of a daily planner, art journal and diary.3

Bullet journals are highly personal and can be set up any way that works for you. Any type of book will work. You can create your own or purchase a journal or kit online. Amazon has several choices in a variety of styles and price. Suggestions as to how to start and organize your journal are also available online.

I have just begun keeping a bullet journal which I find extremely useful and satisfying. My first page is a quote, "Life is the art of drawing without an eraser." I haven’t been able to find the author but it has become my motto. Creativity is a gift for your soul.

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