Mindful art journaling is a practice that can be a life-changer. Yes, I can boldly say this! Because it’s helped me discover myself. It has made me think about my inner needs, wishes, and cravings.
Above all, it’s helped me understand myself better. But, it can become addictive. Oh, yes! But, wow, putting yourself first should be an addiction.
How does this all work?
First of all, let me ask you a few ticklish questions.
Do you sometimes feel like you’re not completely present? Is your mind running a thought marathon? One moment you’re planning lunch, the next you’re already worried about work.
Suddenly, something else pops up in your mind. And it’s completely unrelatable to your lunch or work. In the end, your mind feels like a gazillion people stuck in a bus shouting and gasping for air. All at the same time.
In all that mess, where are you? You are stuck in no man’s land. Do you feel like this? What’s inside besides the people on the bus? What triggers you? Is there anything that gives you butterflies in the stomach? What are your silliest dreams or your Oscars?
In order to empty the bus, you need to become more self-aware. That’s why you should welcome some self-love in your life! If you set time for mindful art journaling, you will start improving what’s important: self-care!
Practice self-care through mindful art journaling
Self-care is the most important thing you can do for yourself. You should raise your self-awareness, so you can ultimately change things. Discover what you really want your life to be. In addition, find out what’s on your low-priority list and set meaningful goals.
Sadly, some people believe that self-care is a bit selfish. Think about myself first?! Can I say that out loud? Is it legal? Moral? Oooooh, blah-blah-blah. It’s not literally me, myself, and I kind of love. Even if it’s selfish, be the most selfish person there is.
Taking care of yourself first can only lead to more fulfilling experiences. I’m telling you this because, not so long ago, I lived as if self-care was selfish. And, I was truly unhappy.
So how can art journaling help you to do this?
I’m sharing 5 awesome mindful art journaling ideas with you. Use them to practice more self-care and grow artistically. Learn to put yourself first. First, I’ll explain the importance of each practice. Then, I’ll show you how you can use them.
You can practice mindful art journaling by using these:
- Positive affirmations
- Bucket list
- Travel notes
1. Mindful art journaling with positive affirmations
Why should you use positive affirmations?
Words are extremely powerful. Positive affirmations are sentences with positive tone and words. You create them carefully for the desired situation.
But, it’s easier to believe the negative words we hear. However, if negative words can influence us, then imagine what the positive ones can do!
Positive affirmations are meant for your subconscious jungle. (Behind the scenes, where the magic happens.) We want to influence that.
Repeat these words with deep intention and believe in them. As a result, you’ll change your mindset. It takes practice to make it a daily thing. But, it’s worth your while.
How to use positive affirmations for self-care?
Prepare an art journal and some supplies. Be sure to be alone so that nobody can disturb you. Next, take deep breaths and think about what you want to accomplish.
How do you want to feel in a specific situation? What outcomes do you want to see?
Imagine the desired situation. Bring in a positive vibe. Then describe the situation in one sentence.
To help you, try to answer these questions: What is going on? Why are you happy in that imagined situation? For example, here are some positive affirmations:
I’m peaceful and satisfied with my job.
My creativity is growing every day.
I’m self-confident in everything I do.
My relationship with (name) is light and fulfilling.
Create your affirmation and write it down in the journal. Try out different fonts. Make it stand out by doodling, or painting the page. During that time, try to experience those words while creating. Who knows what you’ll make?
Enjoy the positive energy of your affirmation. Let it stick to your mind like a song you can’t get out of your head. Also, say it before bedtime, as many times as you feel the need.
If you fall asleep while saying it, it travels to your subconscious level. There, it makes a strong impression coming in like a star on a red carpet. In other words:
You push yourself to believe what you want. This way, you influence the king of all beliefs, the great subconscious.
Dedicate a whole journal to positive affirmations. You can always go through the journal and remind yourself of them. One day you’ll see that an affirmation you needed in the past is the literal description of how you feel in the present. Magic, right?
2. Show gratitude with mindful art journaling
Why should you include gratitude in your art?
Gratitude is important. Being aware of the blessings in your life sets a positive mood. Also, showing gratitude makes us appreciate even the little things. However trivial they seem at first.
When you show gratitude, you also change your mindset. It makes you become more aware of your life. You figure out what has value for you and what is just meaningless horse crap.
How to use gratitude for mindfulness?
Being thankful is not that different from positive affirmations. The outcome is the same. You just do it in a slightly different way.
Think about all the things you’re grateful for. Is it your good health? Or the love you get from the people around you? Maybe a skill you’re proud of.
It can be a small thing like I’m thankful for my boyfriend who does the vacuuming so I don’t hurt my back. Or something deeper and greater like being grateful for the fulfilling balance and understanding you two have in your relationship.
Fill your art journal with gratitude. Decorate each page with special care and often remind yourself of them.
Also, if you need more inspiration, check out these gratitude art journal prompts.
3. Mindful art journaling with quotes
Why should you use quotes?
Who doesn’t love a good quote? They are inspiring and can move us deeply. Also, they tend to stick. Quotes can have a meaningful message that resonates with you. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
How can you use quotes to express yourself?
While reading a book, do some words strike you as a revelation? Don’t lose them. Write them down in your art journal.
Next, think about why they moved you. Why do these particular words create ocean waves inside you? Is it because they describe how you feel? Or how you felt some time ago? Do they inspire you to think about things more deeply and mindfully? Or are those words just aesthetically pleasing?
After that, decorate your quote and write down how it inspired you. You can write only the words that the quote has triggered. Or even better, describe the overall feeling or opinion you have on the subject.
Spend some time making the page and the quote beautiful. Enjoy the artistic process. And be mindful of the quote’s influence on you.
4. Create a bucket list art journal
Why it’s a good idea to have a bucket list in your journal?
Imagine you are a happy 65-year-old. You’re sitting on your terrace and thinking to yourself: what a fulfilling life I’ve had. You’ve done most of the things you wanted.
That realization makes you peaceful and happy. We all want this scenario for ourselves. Dreams coming true, wow. It’s fulfilling just to think about this.
What are your dreams? Have you always wanted your own art studio? Do you dream of renting a glass igloo in Finland to sleep under the northern lights?
We all have a bucket list, even if it’s just in our heads, where we daydream about having different experiences.
Daydreaming is healthy because it sets goals. When people have no desires or wishes, they become empty and lose their life spark. So, when you have the end goal in mind, you can make small steps to fulfill your dreams.
Imagine the feeling when you cross some things off your bucket list. It’s priceless. And then you wanna add more to the list!
How can you use a bucket list for more self-awareness?
Jot down even the unimaginable scenarios! Why not? When you let your imagination flow, you lay the red carpet for your creativity. So, daydream about your life! Daydreaming doesn’t make you childish in a way that you don’t know what you’re doing.
Look at the world’s best authors! Have you watched the last season of Game of Thrones while biting your nails? I have! So, what captivated millions of people to read the books and lurk on HBO like crazy? Vivid and endless imagination of the author.
Use your imagination. Think about what you’d like to do, see, or experience. Listen to the inside voice. Next, write those in your art journal and make art out of them.
Maybe these prompts can help you:
Places you want to visit.
Is there anything you think is magical and would like to see? (For me, it’s Aurora Borealis.)
Any food you’d like to try?
Is there a skill you’d like to perfect? Drawing or painting skills?
Where would you like to live? A flat? A house? What does that look like?
Would you like to have a pet?
The bottom line is to feel at peace while sitting on your porch being all grey hair and wrinkles. First, set your goals and then do small steps to get there. You’ll discover what your hopes and dreams are so you can go down that road.
And combining the bucket list with positive affirmations is practically a perfect match!
Play with those and be mindful of what the process reveals about you.
5. Travel art journaling
When you travel, you completely invest yourself in new places and new cultures. You become overwhelmed by the beauty of a square in Rome or a spiritual shop in Barcelona.
Above all, it’s a time when you’re not preoccupied with your daily life. You enjoy your time to the fullest.
Why not use this vibe and translate it into an art journal? Keeping a travel art journal makes you mindful of what you see and experience rather than just letting the experience of the journey pass.
As a traveler, you look at architecture differently and observe people and culture with more insight. You notice details that you might miss otherwise.
How to connect traveling and mindfulness?
While filling up your suitcase, be sure to pack a journal. Choose the one that’s light and easy to handle. Bring a pen, a small stick of glue and maybe a colored pencil. Pack a pouch for this that you’ll easily take with you.
While you travel, write down anything that sticks. Describe a building, the street atmosphere, or the vivid colors of the city. What astonishes you in that place? Is there something you’ve never seen before? Make a sketch of shapes, lines, or colors.
I’m sure you take your camera on trips. So, take a lot of pictures. Later, put them in your travel art journal. Not only photos of you and your company. Take photos of details, streets, lamps, bridge fences, and architectural details. Shoot all the extraordinary things you never see in your city.
Collect ephemera on your trip, like tickets, receipts, flyers, maps, etc. It’s great to use them in your journal to tell the whole story.
I could write tons of words about visiting Paris. The city is an artistic feast. I took notes and photos of their chocolateries, and I wrote about the colors and smells of the Latin neighborhood. Every little thing about Paris is captivating. The experience inspired my art and made me enjoy it more.
Mindful art journaling lets you grow personally and artistically
Making these journals, or even just one of them, helps you dig deep into who you are. Creating in an art journal gives you the opportunity to have some quality alone time.
You need that. We all do. So, reserve time only for yourself. I can’t stress this enough. This habit can be a life-changer.
Give in to daydreaming, and be mindful of yourself. You’ll be surprised at how small things like this can make a huge impact.
Above all, what you get is time to create art, and practice mindfulness while becoming more self-aware. You need to get to know you!
Search your deepest halls and dungeons. Explore the towers of your mind and the oceans of your emotions. While you grow as a person, your artistic growth comes with a yummy bonus.
Make unique & meaningful art without the burden of making it pretty but actually enjoy art as self-care
You’ll get a list of mindful art journal prompts in a pdf (with examples) that will help you express yourself more easily & freely without the burden of “my art needs to be pretty (or perfect)”.