Feeling burnt out? Do some Art Journaling!

Are you feeling burnt out? Tired from that side hustle (or that day job)? Do you have social media fatigue? Feeling a loss of creativity? 

I am feeling that so hard right now! I've been hustling, hustling, hustling - I love it, but sometimes I need a creative break! I bet you do too.

How about some Art Journaling to refresh your mind and sooth your soul! 

Not sure what Art Journaling is? Well, it's really easy. No special skills or equipment required - whatever you have on hand will do.

Some pages from one of my Art Journals. They are all ongoing works in progress.

Some pages from one of my Art Journals. They are all ongoing works in progress.

Art Journaling is a method for doing visual journaling. There are no real rules to it - you can make one any old way you want. The only thing Art Journals have in common is pictures+words. 

You can make one that's mostly writing with doodles in between, one that's like a collage scrapbook, or one that's more like a real sketchbook. You can put poems, journal entries, or just one word if that's what you want! There are really NO wrong ways to make an Art Journal.

I like to think of Art Journaling as kindergarten art for adults. The whole goal is to make something that's just for you - with no attachment to the outcome. You're not trying to make it perfect, or even pretty - you're just expressing yourself in the moment. The process is the point.  If you hate what you made, just paint or collage over it!

You can make an Art Journal out of anything - line notebooks, sketch pads, graph paper, watercolor pads, or by tying random pieces of paper together. I personally like to use Canson Mixed Media pads, because the paper is kind of heavy and takes watercolor and acrylic paint well. 

Art Journaling is soothing and relaxing because there's no goal in mind. You can write down whatever you want, and just draw, paint, glue, or put stickers on paper. 

For me, Art Journaling is the complete opposite of what I do for a living - graphic and visual design. I spend every day making detailed and pixel perfect layouts, user interface design, and web ads. around 8-12 hours of every day is spent thinking critically about design decisions. Taking a break from that to create something silly, messy, and trivial is a great way to restart my creativity.

And it's fun!

I've got Art Journals from several years back!

I've got Art Journals from several years back!

Most of my Art Journals are unfinished - I just work on them as I like over the years. I actually had several more, but I burned them last year in our Burning Man art project, The Catacomb of Veils. That was pretty cathartic - letting go of all of the events that I had journalled about for years before!

If you've never done any Art Journaling, it's quite easy to get started. All you need is paper and whatever art or craft supplies you have laying around.

Here are some options for art supplies you can use -

  • Paint of any kind - acrylic, watercolor, house paint, spray paint!
  • Pens, pencils and markers
  • Old hang tags, makeup packaging, scraps of paper, cut up magazines
  • fabric scraps
  • stickers
  • glitter and glitter pens
  • rhinestones and little bits of broken jewelry
  • colored pencils
  • chalk or pastels
  • gel pens
  • inks
  • scrapbooking supplies
This Art Journal is yoga related!

This Art Journal is yoga related!

Worried and insecure because you don't have any art skills? I hear this one a lot. Never fear! It totally doesn't matter. Print some stuff from the internet. Rip it out of books. Collage things from your favorite magazines and draw over it. This is not a drawing contest. No one will see these but you, unless you want to share them!

This is one of my Burning Man journals. I am super lucky to camp with David Silverman, the producer of The Simpsons. He always makes amazing stickers to give out as gifts! He also plays the Flaming Tuba (for reals!)

This is one of my Burning Man journals. I am super lucky to camp with David Silverman, the producer of The Simpsons. He always makes amazing stickers to give out as gifts! He also plays the Flaming Tuba (for reals!)

I don't always create masterpieces myself. Sometimes I'm just slapping stuff down on paper. But, I always feel more refreshed after doing some Art Journaling.

There are also lots of great tutorials, tips, and inspo photos on Pinterest! All you have to do is search for Art Journaling. However, if the thought of keeping up with Pinterest stresses you out, skip it! Just make up your own stuff.

One of my favorite things about Art Journaling is that it gives me an instant memory of what I was feeling and doing when I made the page.

One of my favorite things about Art Journaling is that it gives me an instant memory of what I was feeling and doing when I made the page.

I've never been a consistent "regular" diary keeper- I keep lots of note pads and sketchbooks, but I've never taken to writing pages and pages about my day. Art Journaling comes more naturally to me. When I flip back over the pages, I can remember what I was doing and feeling when I made the picture. In that way, it's a really nice visual journal of my memories.

You should totally start an Art Journal! I think you will find it as relaxing and fun as I do. I've encouraged several friends, including my girlfriend Annie to start, and everyone loves it. 

Annie has been visiting me from Australia, where here startup is based. She is flying back today, and as a goodbye present, she made us both matching Art Journals. So now I have a new Art Journal to write about my business ventures, startup life, and side hustle in! It really is perfect timing. So, I'm going to sign off and make my first page in my new Art Journal!

Magical Art Journals to record our dreams and manifestations!

Magical Art Journals to record our dreams and manifestations!

What are your thoughts? Have you already been Art Journaling? Are you intrigued and want to give it a shot! Let me know in comments and I can give you some tips and pointers!