I Am an Artist! NOT!
I am not going to lie. I am NO artist. Sure, in my little world I am an artist, but nothing to the point of trying to get my art into the rest of the world and putting it on display. Nope. No thank you. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy art. Since becoming a mommy, my art world is more of the arts & crafts persuasion. However, sometimes I just need adult art. Thank God for Adult coloring books and that craze right now! I am absolutely loving it! However, sometimes I just want, no I need to doodle or draw. Again, I repeat, I am no artist. I am not even the best at drawing, that is for sure. However, I still enjoy it. I started art journaling a couple years ago. It wasn’t something I did consistently, but I did it here and there when I could fit it in and balance it with mommyhood and life! However, this year, I really wanted to get into it more. And once again, here comes my blog to save the day. Now I have a legit excuse to use my “artist skills,” break out the art supplies, buy a new sketch book and starting doing my art journals again!
So why should you start an art journal?!
It is a great way to express yourself. Especially if you are not a writer. This is the next best thing to journaling or keeping a diary. Or like me, I blog, so I write enough already. Sometimes I just want to not write and let that part of my brain take a rest. I want to use my creative, artist side of the brain and just have at it. Plus, self expression helps you understand where you are in your life and this very moment! Seriously. If you get into this art journaling, keep those journals, just like you would a diary. You could use the same art journal prompts each year and go back and compare how you expressed that prompt for the day. And even in that same year, sometimes the art prompts, words get repeated. You will be amazed how in February, the word rain might have had you depicting something dark or sad where in November, the word rain might have you depicting something light and freeing. It truly is amazing to see how your perspective changes in a matter of months or even over spans of time. If you plan to do this with your kids, it also helps to understand where they are at the moment. It can turn into a lot of great conversation starters if you share your journals. And it can speak volumes if you see certain patterns in their art work whether positive or negative. So be sure to pay attention to what you are expressing in your art or what your children may be expressing in their art. It can really show you a lot.
Get Your Hands Dirty
Not necessarily as dirty as working in a construction site, but at least a little dirty. Remember, your art journal is YOUR art journal. You can draw, paint, collage, glue, apply stickers, write, use watercolors or oils, and so much more. This is your journal and the type of art media you use is totally your call. Remember…you are the ARTIST! I love this because again, it will all depend on your mood and let’s face it, your schedule. On those days that I have tons of time and can spare an hour to just create, I might take out the paints or do some kind of crazy collaging. However, on those days where I have like 5 minutes to get something on paper, I may just use the pencil I have or a marker on hand. Whatever tool or tools you choose to use, it is totally up to you! I love those days when I have longer though because it feels good to get out art tools you haven’t used in a while. Sometimes it is nice to just sit back in paint. When was the last time you painted?!
Working Your Right Brain
For many of us, we overload on our left brain. With work and just being a mom & overthinking everything, sometimes it is nice to click off the left brain and dive into your right brain. Sometimes you just need to be a kid again and turn that right brain, creative and fun side on. Use this time to really indulge in your right brain senses. I know for me, playing is hard. I have almost forgotten how to make believe. So when my kids want to play, unless it is to go outside and run around or play a board game, I have forgotten how to just imagine and play pretend with cars & dinosaurs. So art journaling allows me to remember how to imagine, how to create and how to play. This is again, why it is such a great project to do with your kiddos. Take some time out and just imagine some of these prompts and express it on paper.
Do Something Different With Your Kiddo
I have mentioned in some of the other reasons, to include your kiddo(s). Now. Before you “force” this on your kiddo, make sure it is something that they would actually want to do. Don’t just make them do it, otherwise you will turn this fun activity into work! A no one wants that! So, if you have a kiddo who loves art already, this should be easy to get them to join in with you. And remember, this is about you as an artist. So don’t make it something where you have to do it together, at a certain time everyday, on a particular day. At the beginning of the month, just let them have a list for themselves. Decide that you guys will share your art with each other by the end of the week. Or maybe you want to work on it together, choose a day. What I don’t want you to do is make it feel like it has to be a task done at certain times. Artists find inspiration when they do. Not when they are forced to. Now if you have super little kids and you want to make this part of your day for a little art time, great. But for school age kids and older, don’t put so much pressure on it. You want this to be something you guys share together in a comfortable and enjoyable way!
Reconnect with A Friend(s)
Don’t have kids?! Or don’t have kids that want to join in?! Reach out to a friend or family member that might enjoy it. Even if you all live far from each other, thanks to the internet or even your smart phone you can do these prompts and share them, no problem! Whether you share them together through social media, an email or snapping photos on your smartphone. You will be able to share and compare how you interpreted the prompt for that day!
Get Started Now!
However you are going to make use of your art journal, just get started! And remember, there are tons of ways to go about creating your art journal. If you prefer using online art tools, heck, you can make it all digital. Otherwise, here are some tools you might need to get started:
- An art journal aka sketchbook – It can be big or small, thick or thin.
- Not into having a sketchbook, stock up on paper and keep it in a folder or 3 ring binder.
- Start a small art box with pencils, pens, markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc. If you want to get more crafty pick up some glue, construction paper, magazines, paint, watercolors, oils, stickers, different textures like cardboard, string, sandpaper, etc.
And if you want to take it a step further! Share your art work with me! I love seeing other people’s art. So feel free to share it personally to my email address. Or post it on your social media using #MHABCsArtJournals.
Here are my April Prompts to get you started!
Want to get the Art Journal Prompts EVERY month sent to your email?!