A personal journal or diary is an outstanding device that allows us to record and document our thoughts and feelings, as well as our activities and events of our days. With a personal journal you can explore ideas, examine beliefs, tackle challenges, and channel negative energy. By incorporating art, color, images, scribbles and doodles into our journals, we have increased the benefit of our journaling practice significantly.
The practice of keeping an “art journal” allows us to:
- Dump our negative feelings in a form of color, marks, and scribbles
- Revisit hurts and trepidation in a safe place using imagery
- Vent our frustrations with emoticon-like drawings
- Explore our beliefs intertwined in circles and other significant shapes
- Illuminate our most intimate thoughts using collage, stamps, stickers, and stencils
- Remember our dreams visually using images, signs and symbols
- Express our gratitude and count our blessings creatively
- Improve our concentration and memory by using repeating doodles and patterns
- Brainstorm ideas and solutions with illustrations and mind-mapping (concept-mapping).
The wellspring of benefits in “art journaling” is profoundly deep in which each could be detailed in its own volume. Nonetheless, let us look a few of these in a bit more detail. For instance, the process of “art journaling” allows us to revisit griefs, afflictions, and anxieties in a safe place using imagery.
When we are able to completely express ourselves with more than words, we can unearth our most hidden anguishes and fears that we entombed deeply within us, instead of liberating these negative facets and forgiving ourselves. While other forms of expression like music and dance allow us to communicate our feelings, these modalities are not documented like a journal. A journal or “art journal” can be revisited and interpreted to help us understand who we are and what is festering inside us. An “art journal” is exceptionally useful in this respect because images convey a more meaningful amount of information than words alone.
An “art journal” can also help us to connect with our imagination, creativity, and innovativeness, as we engage and experiment with various types of art materials. This practice ignites our inquisitiveness. It encourages us to try new approaches and perceive things from a fresh perspective or different viewpoint.
Another utility of an “art journal” is to collect our dreams as a visual dream journal. At the outset of our day, the moment we rise from a dream-filled sleep, we can log our dreams in our “art journal”. In addition to writing down key words or phrases, we let ourselves sketch, draw, or doodle the main elements of our dreams. This pictorial chronicle of our dreams is extremely instructive and enlightening, as it reveals more about our dreams than words alone.
If drawing is too daunting to do first thing when we wake up, let us consider pasting images down into our “art journal”. We can keep a stash of cut-out images from magazines and catalogs that we recall from past dreams. If we have no recollections, we can gather common dream element images, such as: water sources (river/lake), various buildings (school/church/café), people of various occupations (dentist/teacher), family, friends, animals, insects, modes of transportation (cars/airplanes), etc. (It’s a good idea to do an internet search on dream elements for more ideas.) We can put our images, a glue-stick and our “art journal” in a shoe box or basket at our bedside; and, voila, we are set.
The benefits of keeping an “art journal” are too numerous to develop in this one article; however, a tease of a few benefits were revealed in hopes to encourage everyone to keep an “art journal”. This topic will be revisited periodically in this blog, as will any subject or matter that encourages positive self-development, empowerment, inspiration, kindness, and compassion. I deeply appreciate the comments, feedback, and support my kind readers have contributed. Thank you very much, Dr. Angi
All rights reserved. ©2016 by A.K. Orobko