What is Art Journaling?

What is art journaling?

That’s a good question. And one to which I did not have a clear answer when I started my first art journal as part of #The100DayProject in February of 2022.

I’ll tell you what I’ve learned, and the type of art journal we’ll be making in the 52 weeks of 2023. An art journal is a bound collection of personal art. Although “journal” implies, at least to me, words, not all art journals have words. But they do chronicle something. Which I didn’t really think my first did. But, as well as it being the fruit of my decision to make art a regular healthful practice, it’s a record of that time. 

The art is of no particular type or style. Some of it was clearly just for fun, or clearly just determination to show up and keep my commitment to make art every day for 100 days. There are the pages on which I acknowledged, expressed, processed emotions. 

Not all of the art was “good.” While I shared at least a section of most of the art, I shared very few of the words.

And here is part of the beauty of the art journal we’ll create this year. It’s yours, and yours alone. The privacy of your art journal is an invitation to just make art, to express yourself, without concern for what anyone else will think of it. Show up. Put yourself on paper. And find the value of the process.

If you haven’t signed up to receive weekly email prompts, do so here. Or follow along on Instagram for the basics.

Creating my 100-Day Art Journal was transformative. It ushered me into a new era of my life. It allowed me to accept the fact that art is necessary. It’s self-care, and a vital part of who I am.

I knew taking the time to create art was balancing for me. But for years I refused to make time to make art. Because there was always something more important to get done. 

If you’re here, I’m sure you’ve been there. 

I needed permission, and stumbling upon #The100DayProject allowed me to give it to myself.

And I’m here to give it to you. 

We’re wired to create. When we don’t have sufficient outlets for that, life is out of balance, and we’re not as healthy as we could be. 

I needed motivation.

And your signing up for 52 weeks of art and writing can be that for you, as my committing to 100 days of art was for me. I figured weekly would be less overwhelming than daily. 

Some days I needed inspiration.

Oh, Friend, there is so much around us and inside us to put into art. God’s creation. There’s the beauty of God’s creation, man’s ingenuity, and your unique you. Sometimes we just need to take a closer look. And, because life is life, sometimes we’ll draw from things that aren’t beautiful, that aren’t pleasant, that perhaps we would rather eradicate than record. But, even there, we will find or bring beauty. 

I needed #The100DayProject. And now I need to share with others what I’ve found in art journaling.

I’m grateful for each person who decides to travel through this process with me, and for the opportunity to be a conduit of the pleasure, the joy, the clarity, the balancing, the peace, the healing, the purpose, the grace I’ve found here.

You’ll get out of it what you put into it… and, really, at least a little more. It may be messy at times, but even the messy is worthwhile.

Thank you for signing up. And thank you for each week you’re going to show up. It is a blessing to me. And I hope you find the blessings intended for you.

If you decide to share any of your work and process on social media, I would love, love, love to see it, so please tag me, @melindavanry. A good hashtag to let people know what you’re doing is #52WeekArtJournal. And, if you’d like to invite people along, #artjournalwithmelinda. I’ll be following both hashtags. 

Do you have any idea how excited I am to be putting this out there and inviting you to join me?!?