I've spent most of my life trying (and failing) to keep a regular journal. Writing is one of my absolute favorite things to do, and I know the benefits of sharing my thoughts through paper and pen are plentiful. Not only does journaling preserve memories, but more importantly, it gives the writer a place to pour out their thoughts, to work through experiences both difficult and pleasurable and to organize their thinking.
I know all of this, and while I am constantly drawn to pretty journals at bookstores and the equally pretty idea of sharing my thoughts in them; these books only end up piled high next to my bedside table: a forgotten stack of blank pages. Let's face it: regular writing is tough, it's hard to remember to do it my hand always starts hurting and I give up, etc.
I had all but surrendered to my inevitable inability to journal until very recently, when I started seeing photos on Tumblr of people's journals where the pages were not simply full of written words, but art of all kinds, intricate doodles and tiny paintings and magazine cut-outs and pressed flowers and ripped ticket stubs and song lyrics and hazy water-colored sunsets. That's when I realized that I could put anything in my journal, not just written thoughts.
I started out by finding photos on Tumblr and other online platforms that inspired me, and I just let the creativity take control. Since I began art journaling only a few months ago, I have felt an amazing surge of creativity and inspiration flowing through me daily; now I finally have the perfect way to capture it.
The best part about art is that it can be anything and everything you want it to be. You don't have to be "artistic" to let your creativity flow. There is inspiration everywhere, and everyone sees the world in a different way on different days based on different moods and experiences.
Art journaling gives you an opportunity to capture your feelings through more than just words, encourages you to think outside of the box. I can be clean and precise, or messy and full of intense emotion. It can be deeply personal and private, or light and fun, something you want to share with others. And that's the best part: each page is a new start, a clean slate for new emotions, memories and materials.
That being said, I challenge everyone reading this article to find themselves a journal, a notepad, a spiral notebook, a binder full of printer paper or even an old novel no one wants to read anymore. Give it new life, preserve memories and, most importantly, let out whatever feelings or inspirations are pent up inside you, just begging to be released!
Below are more of my current journal pages, including the cover (which I decided to turn from a boring, plain purple to a vibrant collage).