An art journal truly helps you express your creativity. It provides you with a space that’s personal to you, allowing you to explore different artistic ideas and create impeccable illustration prints.

Although you may have heard about art journals and the benefits they offer, you may be puzzled about where to begin. If you’re searching for some pointers on the best ways to approach art journaling, we’re here to help. We’ve provided a list of excellent art journal ideas to help you get stuck in. Simply read on to learn everything you need to know about this art process.

What is an art journal?

An art journal is a visual diary, used to express your thoughts, feelings, and creative ideas. Owning an art journal and using it to produce original artwork is so beneficial. It gives you the space to produce designs whenever you want to, without any reservations or expectations. It also enables you to address your mental health, as you can use art journaling as an outlet when you’re feeling a little low or demotivated.

Using one of these handy journals also helps you to progress your skills, as you will be drawing or painting in it regularly and therefore notice impressive improvements as time goes on. Art journals are fun because you can look back on your early work and see how far you’ve come since you started, which will give you a real sense of pride.

Art journal ideas for beginners: What you need to know

Art journaling is excellent once you start investing your time in it, but you’ll require some guidance on where to begin and what you will initially need. That’s why we’ve whittled down our best tips for you to follow.

How to make an art journal 

All you will need is your imagination and the right tools to create your masterpieces. You can start an art journal by using a plain notepad you already have sitting in your drawer, or you can purchase a new, specially designed art book to work in. Then, simply gather your drawing pencils, watercolour paint, masking tape, coloured pens or arts and crafts equipment to start producing your artwork.

You can create your own art journal techniques or follow ideas from other artists by researching online. If you’re not a huge fan of writing and would rather just draw or paint, then continue with what you love best, and perhaps use other people’s inspirational words to add a new depth to you own designs. This productive book can also be used as a scrapbook - just cut out and glue down snippets of inspirational illustrations you’ve spotted in your favourite magazines, adding your own doodles and words as you please.

Remember, there are no rules

The whole point of art journaling is to find your creative freedom and run with it because the only potential critic of your work is yourself! The process behind creating your art journal is in your hands; you have total control and that is a brilliant feeling in itself.

What to use an art journal for

You can use an art journal for anything you wish. Producing art is down to one person only, yourself, so play around with different ideas to begin with. If you want to use this space as a draft version for your public portfolio, do so, or you may use it as a healthy and productive outlet when you’re feeling down. Or, you could create an art journal purely for the joy of being creative!

As you continue art journaling, you will naturally find your flow, and your favourite methods and styles. Remember not to add pressure to this process, either. If a design doesn’t go how you planned one day, it will the next. And even if it doesn’t, being creative is never wasted time. This is the whole reason you will be art journaling in the first place, to improve and learn more about your approach to art in general.

How often should I art journal?

Daily, and try to add an entry into your art journal at the same time each day to get into a healthy routine. This gives you an incentive to keep designing; it’s all too easy to skip a couple of days and then lose the motivation to jump back in.

Practice makes perfect, so the more frequently you add new designs to your art journal the better. For this reason, choose a time of the day when you know you’ll be free of plans and also in the best headspace to produce excellent artwork. If you do miss a day though, don’t let this stop you completely – sometimes a day away can give you a new creative flair when you return.

Uncover more useful insights

Now you know everything related to art journaling and how to approach it for the first time, you can start illustrating your best ideas mindfully and productively. If you’re looking to add artwork to your walls as well as your art journal, peruse our varied collection of prints and purchase one to hang on your walls.

For further insights into other, useful lifestyle changes related to art, head over to our blog. Discover how to build a creative office space or learn about our inventive date ideas for the art lover in your life.

February 09, 2022 — Emma Hancox