Art Journaling: Create When You're Feeling Down

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A Great Way To Express Yourself

Getting creative is one of the best remedies for depression. I would have to say (because I believe it) that the very, very best remedy is God, but doing something creative can really help you deal with very deep hurts and problems you may be facing.

ART JOURNALING is one brilliant way to deal with pain - physical and emotional. When I was going through a particularly hard time a while ago, I couldn't sleep. I would walk the floors between panic attacks and thoughts that just would not go away. I thought I was going to die. Finally my mum suggested art journaling would be a good thing for me to do.

So I tried it. And I liked it - a lot.

What is art journaling?

To answer that just go on Pinterest and type in "Art Journaling." You will be assaulted with a huge range of images showing you what art journals are.

It is basically like a handwritten diary, except it is much more visual and the expression is more image and colour based than words.

Why should I do it?

You should only do it if you want to.  If you do then here are a few reasons why you should:
  • It uses a different part of your mind and takes your focus off your troubles
  • It's a lovely way to express memories
  • It's therapeutic. I don't know why, but for some reason, drawing things that are bothering you, writing about them and then painting over them feels amazing! Somewhere deep down inside it feels a little bit like you're letting go
  • You end up with a beautiful, rich book full of you - the good and the bad 

How do I start?

Some things you'll need to get started:

  • A cheap notebook or an artists sketchpad, A4 is easier. 

  • Some paints. I prefer acrylics. If you're on a budget just get the primary colours and some white. If you have a wad of cash - go wild!

  • Bits and pieces from your life that you want to put into your art journal: photographs (but photocopy them if you want to keep the originals), bits of material, postcards
  • Old books

8 Simple Steps To Your First Art Journal Page

1. Think of something or someone that is important to you. On a piece of separate paper, draw a picture of them or find an image that represents them for you.

2. Take an old book you really don't want to ever read again and rip out a handful of the pages. Then rip those pages into pieces, all different shapes and sizes. 

3. Glue the page pieces into the first page of your notebook, all overlapping each other and messily until the entire page is covered

4. Let it dry. Use a hairdryer if you're impatient like me

5. Take your paints and paint over the top of your page base. You're going to want the pages to show through so water your acrylic down or mix it with white so it doesn't entirely cover the base. 

6. Mix in some different colours. If you want you can let the colours dry and add more pages on top and paint over it again. Whatever floats your boat really

7. Once that second or third layer has dried, glue in the picture you originally drew or a keepsake postcard or whatever your page is about and write what it means to you next to it. 

8. Give your page a title in big bright bold letters!

There you have it! A very basic way to start your first Art Journal. You can keep adding to this page with more images or notes or little advent calendar style flaps until you're happy with it. 

I'll be coming up with more page ideas and generating ideas soon! I hope you have a whole lot of fun on your first Art Journal! 

Lots of love

Little Moose x