How to Start Art Journaling

Art journaling is such an easy way to have a creative release.  You can start small and even stay small or you can slowly add to what you already have.  Most people already have what they need to get started.  

First I thought we could start with some definitions.  I have a sketch journal but I mostly do a mixed media journal. 


Art Journal
1.  The combination of art and words to express yourself.
2.  A book that holds clippings and ideas that you have.
3.  Vincent vanGogh kept and art journal as well as many other artist. 
Mixed media art
1. A work of visual art that combines various traditionally distinct visual art media.

2. A piece of art that combines paint, ink, and collage.
3. Play art….find your inner eight year old and paint. –Kelly Rae Roberts
4. No Rules just self expression.


1. Something of no lasting significance —usually used in plural

2. Paper items (as posters, broadsides, and tickets) that were originally meant to be discarded after use but have since become collectibles
3.Things that are important or useful for only a short time : items that were not meant to have lasting value


1. A technique of an art production, primarily used in the visual arts, where the artwork is made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.

2. A collage may sometimes include magazine and newspaper clippings, ribbons, paint, bits of colored or handmade papers, portions of other artwork or texts, photographs and other found objects, glued to a piece of paper or canvas.


Journal, old book, notebook of any kind or art paper — for mixed media the thicker the paper the better 140lb or higher.  You can also gesso pages to make them thicker.

Glue stick or gel medium

Paint (any kind except oils) I use acrylic and watercolor

Paint brush

Old credit card type card…I use old hotel room cards. This helps to scrape the gesso on to keep it from getting too thick.  I also use it with paint to give unique scrap marks.

Ephemera (see description above)

Pens, color pencils and markers


Rubber stamps

Watercolorpencils, crayons or pastels

Let’s get started….

1. Pick a journal — there are so many to choose from but I would recommend to find one you love–if you love it, you will come back to it

2. Find a medium you would like to start with ( I started with watercolor pencils)

3. Gather supplies from what you already have 

4. Follow blogs that will inspire you

5. Join free Facebook groups for inspiration — just search art journal groups

6. Take a class

7. Always remember that art journals are low pressure.  You do not have to be an artist.  Do not look at the art as a critic.  Express yourself.  Breathe. See the beauty in each page.  Finish each page.  Do not abandon the page even if you have to step away and return to it later, finish it.  

8.  I started posting daily prompts I follow them loosely because I like to let things flow.  Sometimes I start with a word or a quote and follow that as I create but sometimes I need something more and that is why I have this list.  Every little bit helps. 

Artists I love

Basic videos

Basic supply video

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