For the past few years, I’ve been intrigued by the thought of starting an art journal. However, the idea always intimidated me. It sounded like a big time commitment that would take more artistic talent, ideas and supplies than I could handle.

But at the beginning of the year, I “accidentally” started an art journal — or creative journal, as I call it — and it has become a refuge for me on these cold, dark, dreary winter days.

Five reasons I love my art journal

I wanted to buy a new journal as I began my devotional for the year, 100 Days to Brave. I was scrolling through Pinterest, looking for something else, when I saw an idea to purchase a blank journal with a canvas cover that you could paint. I got excited immediately because I had recently seen these journals at Michael’s, and I realized it would allow me to paint my word of the year, “brave,” on the cover of my journal.

When I returned home with the journal, my table was still covered with the watercolors and Sharpie markers that we had used when my friends came over to paint our word of the year. I opened up my journal, and my mind started racing with ideas for those blank pages.

I’ve been spending about 30 minutes to an hour each day creating new pages in my journal. I’ve found that it’s a great way to focus my thoughts, release creative energy and also reduce some of the stress in my life.

Here are five things I love about my creative (art) journal:

THERE ARE NO RULES

I can practice my handwriting. I can doodle. I can use acrylic paints. I can use watercolors.

I can create a picture. I can write my thoughts or simply copy a verse. It doesn’t matter what I do that day. All of the answers are correct.

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT

I’m the only one who sees it (unless, of course, I post photos of my pages on the Internet!). My first page was really, terribly awful. I just tore it out and started over. But for the most part, I don’t feel like it has to be perfect, or even artistic. (That’s why I choose to call mine a “creative” journal, rather than an “art” journal.)

IT’S ALL IN ONE PLACE

I love to doodle on a sheet of paper, paint a canvas or paint a rock. But I get overwhelmed with all of the random projects in various places in my house. I like having each day’s creative project packed away neatly in one book.

IT ALLOWS ME TO PRACTICE

I really don’t know any of the correct ways to use watercolors, acrylics or any of the other more advanced art journal techniques. It’s fun to look for ideas on Pinterest and then try something new in my journal. I also love to practice my handwriting. This gives me a great place to do that.

IT DOESN’T TAKE A LOT OF TIME

I usually spend a few minutes with my journal in the morning. Then, throughout the day, I get excited about ideas to make that page look better. I’ve been painting, writing and doodling for a short or longer amount of time in the evening, just depending on what’s going on. It’s really up to me to decide how much time I want to spend.

So, what do I include in my art journal? I wrote about that here.

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What do you think? Have you ever tried to art journal? What did you like about it? Does it seem intimidating? Leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you!

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