Art Journal Inspiration: Discover How to Start and Keep a Journal That Ignites Your Creativity!

Sharing is caring!

Last Updated on March 28, 2024 by Dee

Welcome to the enchanting world of art journaling, where every page turn is a spellbinding adventure into your own creativity! If you’ve ever felt the urge to splash color, sprinkle words, and stitch memories onto paper, then you’re in the right place. Whether you’re a seasoned sketcher or a curious newbie, ‘Art Journal Magic’ is your trusty wand to inspire creativity and imagination. Grab our free art journal printables at the end of this post!

So grab your favorite pens, paints, and a sprinkle of fairy dust—we’re about to embark on a journey to make your creative sparks fly! 🎨✨

What is an art journal exactly?

An art journal is more than just a collection of random drawings; it’s a vibrant tapestry woven from the threads of your innermost thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Unlike a sketchbook—a trusty companion for honing your artistic skills with pencil, pen, or marker strokes on its pristine pages—an art journal is a sanctuary for your soul’s expressions. It’s a place where images and words dance together, where mixed media becomes a language, and where every smear, stitch, and sticker is a conversation with your creative spirit. In the realm of art journaling, the pages are alive with the colors of your memories and the textures of your dreams, inviting you to explore, experiment, and discover.

A mixed media collage with an umbrella and a lady standing under it and a ship
a mixed media page with a drawing of paint brushes and people stuck down

Coffee staining, pencil, collage

Unleash Your Inner Muse: The Perks of Art Journaling

  1. Stress-Buster Supreme: Squeeze out the stress like paint from a tube. Art journaling is your personal chill pill!
  2. Emotional Alchemy: Transform those tangled emotions into a masterpiece. It’s like having a conversation with your canvas.
  3. Memory Keeper: Capture moments in color instead of words. Your journal, your story—illustrated by you.
  4. Creative Gym: Flex those artistic muscles! It’s a no-judgment zone to try new techniques and find your unique style.
  5. Idea Incubator: Hatch your wildest ideas on paper. It’s a safe space for your brainchildren to grow.
  6. Self-Discovery Expedition: Navigate the layers of your soul. Each page turn reveals a little more about who you are.
  7. Mistake-Friendly Zone: Oops turned into wow! Here, ‘mistakes’ are just unexpected twists in your artful journey.
  8. Portable Inspiration: Carry it with you and catch inspiration on the fly. Never let a good idea flutter away!
MIxed media art journal page of lady in a dress

Acrylic paint, collage, gel pens, tissue paper

How to Start Your Art Journal: Craft Your Own Creativity Capsule

  1. Gather Your Gear: Hunt down a sturdy notebook that makes your heart sing, and arm yourself with an arsenal of pens, paints, and whatever else tickles your fancy.
  2. Set the Scene: Find your cozy corner, cue up your favorite tunes, and let the ambiance coax out your inner artist.
  3. First Marks: Take a deep breath and dive in. Scribble, splash, or stick something—anything—on that intimidating first page.
  4. No Rules, Just Right: Remember, this is your realm. Mix media, styles, and techniques. Play with colors and textures. There’s no ‘wrong’ in art journaling.
  5. Daily Doodle Date: Make it a habit. Steal a moment each day to add to your journal. Consistency is your creative fuel.
  6. Reflect and Revel: Take time to flip through your pages. Admire your growth, revel in your expressions, and draw inspiration from your past entries.
  7. Personalize Your Process: Customize your journaling journey. Stamps, photos, quotes, or even a sprinkle of glitter—make it unmistakably you.
  8. Share the Spark: If you’re feeling
mixed media cut out page for an art journal

Colored pencil drawing beneath a stencil cut-out

Art Journal Prompts to Get You Started!

Here is a list of art journal prompts you can use to get your creative journal ideas flowing!

  • “I hope for…”
  • A quote about joy
  • A happy moment in my day
  • Something that made me sad
  • Song lyrics that make me remember
  • A quote from a book I am reading
  • An event in the news
  • Something I am grateful for
  • “What color am I feeling today?”
  • My favorite food/ recipe
  • Someone that inspires me
  • My goal for the day/ week/ month
  • Something I can’t stop thinking about
  • Something that makes me anxious
  • “Why I wish I was a cat/ dog/ bird”
mixed media art journal woman's head

Collage, gel pens, black marker

Art Journaling Toolkit

**This page may contain affiliate links to products I have used or recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.**

  1. Sketchbook: A sturdy sketchbook with thick pages serves as the foundation for your art journal, ready to hold up to a variety of mediums.
  2. Acrylic Paints: With their quick-drying properties and bold colors, acrylic paints are versatile for layering and texturing in your journal.
  3. Watercolor Set: Watercolors are ideal for adding soft backgrounds or a wash of color without causing the paper to buckle.
  4. Colored Pencils: They offer precision for detailed work and are perfect for adding depth and shading to your illustrations.
  5. Fine Liner Pens: These pens are essential for crisp lines and writing, and their permanent ink won’t bleed when painted over.
  6. Washi Tape: This decorative tape can be used for borders or as a way to adhere lighter items without bulk.
  7. Glue Stick: A non-toxic glue stick is a mess-free way to stick paper and photos to your pages.
  8. Stickers: Stickers can add visual interest or serve as focal points in your journal layouts.
  9. Stamps and Ink Pads: Stamps are a quick way to add patterns and text, and with various ink colors, the possibilities are endless.
  10. Gesso: This primer can be used to prepare pages, ensuring that they don’t absorb too much paint and that the colors stand out.

Each of these items has been selected for its utility in the art journaling process, from the foundational sketchbook to the finishing touches of stamps and stickers. They offer a balance of control and creative freedom, allowing you to experiment with different techniques and styles in your art journal.

mixed media room

Collage, gel pens, black marker

a person running on a clock mixed media art journal

Colored pencil, magazine images, wrapping paper

Starting an art journal is an exciting and rewarding creative project, and I know you will enjoy it as much as I do. I hope this article has guided you on how to start an art journal and what materials and mediums you need to begin the process!

Grab the Free Junk Journal Pages HERE (below)!

To access the free in-post printables for this post, you’ll just need to create a free account or log in with the tool. Then, confirm by email and refresh the page, and ALL my free printables will automatically unlock in every post!

Other articles you may enjoy…

[Looking For a Mixed Media Sketchbook? 16 Best Mixed Media Sketchbooks for Wet & Dry Media]

2 thoughts on “Art Journal Inspiration: Discover How to Start and Keep a Journal That Ignites Your Creativity!”

  1. Thanks for the great idea, I am looking forward to getting back into drawing, painting, etc over the summer, and love the idea of an art journal. I’ve bookmarked this so it’ll be easy to find when I get started.

    Great post! ?


Leave a Comment

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!