Image by Rachael Gorjestani
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Image by BERTRY Nicole
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Image by Noémi Macavei-Katócz
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Sketching Artist
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By Sherry McMurray

Family Violence Protection Worker,

Anishnaabe Kwewag Gamig Inc.

Art Journaling takes traditional journaling to a whole new level. Used as a visual, and sometimes verbal, record of a person’s thoughts and ideas; it is a way to express yourself by combining visual journaling and writing to create finished pages. Every imaginable style, media, and technique is used by art journalists. The focus on self-expression is where an art journal differs from a regular sketchbook.


There is no right or wrong way to art journal. There are no rules to follow. It is all about your ideas, no special artistic skill required. You can paint, colour, doodle, draw, stamp, or collage - whatever you like!  

Why would someone want to create an art journal? It offers an outlet, a way to de-stress and work through complicated emotions, resulting in self awareness and self empowerment. Art journaling can go a long way in improving mood, lowering anxiety, and fostering a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. It’s also a way to practice self care and mindfulness.  Mindfulness art journaling practice involves being aware of, and expressing, your mood, thoughts, and surroundings, as you create artwork in a safe place—a journal. Artists have long used art journals as a refuge, a place where they can express their most intimate feelings in words and images. The decision to share what’s in your journal is yours. There may be pages you want to keep to yourself, and others you would like to reveal.

Silence your inner critic and create freely, without the tyranny of perfectionism, comparison, and negative thinking. Let go of the pressure to make the most beautiful art. Try to experiment with paint and drawing techniques. If you are self-isolating, you can get creative and use different items around the house to paint. Try using string, plastic fork, sponges, sand paper, old tooth brushes, etc. Tap into your creative mind. Share your art online, or even challenge others to try.  

This is a healthy, fun outlet for stress. Try to turn off your busy mind and create just for the fun of it, find the freedom and opportunity to explore. HAVE FUN!

Image by Kai Oberhäuser