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Tips for Keeping an Art Journal

An art journal is a type of journal that combines writing with outside content for decoration. Art journals can be a great outlet for quick creativity, a way to keep memories, a travel diary, a dream journal, notes, lists – it has endless uses! Sometimes keeping one can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. Here are a few tips to help you start and keep any type of art journal!

1. Find your reason

What is your art journal about? What do you want to write and keep in it? What mediums do you like to use when you create things? Some people prefer water colors, some people like collaging with magazine cut-outs. Once you figure out what things you want to go in your art journal, it’ll be less overwhelming!

2. Collect your items

Keep a container or bin full of things you want in your journal. I have glitter, old photos, wall paper and paint samples, tissue paper, receipts from trips, and crayons in my box! I basically save everything from vacations, retreats, camping, conferences, etc. When I get in a creative rut, having a place to pull things out is super helpful, and creating pages for specific events is really easy!

3. Find your inspiration

Watch YouTube videos to learn different journaling techniques and search for art journaling images to inspire you. There are lots of boards on Pinterest dedicated to journaling and they can be super helpful by giving you tons of ideas!

4. Pick your journal

I have a few different journals. I use a red Moleskin blank-page journal strictly for writing and drawing with pens. I made my other journal from an old book like the one below. It’s my creative outlet and has pockets, flip-ups, collages, and paintings. You can use a bullet journal, a scrapbook, a lined journal, anything really! You can try out a few different ones to see what works best for you. Visit a book store to get a feel of all the different options out there.

5. Practice!

Your first few pages might not turn out exactly like you planned. That’s okay! It’ll get better as you keep creating. You can add things to your crafting box or take things out. Keep looking at your inspirations and try out different kinds of art until you create what works for you!


Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Sarah Churchman, HC Pitt's Senior Editor, is a super senior at the University of Pittsburgh studying Computer & Information Science with a specialty in User Design! She is the reserach lead in CyREN, the school's cybersecurity lab. Along with InfoSci, Sarah is minoring in Creative Writing with a focus in poetry. She is an editor at Forbes & Fifth, a student-run magazine. She is also part of H2o church. She's obsessed with tacos, Tommy Hilfiger, and ordering things off Amazon Prime!
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