My new hobby: Art Journaling

“Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.” ~ Beatrix Potter

Over the years, my inborn creativity has been rubbed off and worn down from what it was when I was a child. Maybe I can’t blame it all on my traditional education but I do lay rather big hopes on the belief that our relaxed homeschool lifestyle will help my children keep their natural inquisitiveness and creativity. As for me, I never lost the inquisitiveness, but I want my creativity back!

In analyzing myself (an INFJ thing), I’ve realized I need several key things to keep me sane: tea; quiet; time outdoors; and creative outlets. If I can combine several of these, it’s even better!

Art journaling!

I like DIY projects, home decorating, and piddling in my overgrown flower garden, but these are all sporadic hobbies. I wanted something I could make time for almost every day, and now I’ve got it: art journaling!

art journal pages

A few reasons I’m loving my new hobby:

1- No big time commitment.

I can spend as much or as little time as I want with this. Fifteen minutes a day is a good start, and even if I’m not completely done in that amount of time, I have something to show for my effort.

2- No big money investment.

Some paints, a few pens, and a journal are really all that’s needed to start, and it’s easy to experiment with cheap products until I decide which mediums I really like so I can invest in better quality later. I’m even learning to find creative uses for random household stuff that doesn’t cost a thing.

3- No pressure to create a masterpiece.

Before this, any time I tried getting artsy, I felt like I needed to produce something “wall worthy” — something as good as you’d buy to hang as art. But an art journal is just a little book, which I can show off or keep for my eyes only. Taking the pressure off allows me the freedom to experiment, with no expectations.

self portrait art journal page

{I’ve been sharing most of my pages, like this self-portait, on instagram.}

4- Happy me-time!

Usually, it’s just me, in my corner of the kitchen, with a big mug of tea nearby. And a dog or two. All of which is very much sanity-increasing. 🙂 But I still enjoy it even if I’m sitting with the kids at the school table or letting one of them paint with me in the kitchen, and it still feels like “me time” even when they’re nearby because it’s stretching rusty parts of my brain.

dog art buddy

Resources to get started with art journaling:

I’d wanted to start an art journal for a while but didn’t know how. So I almost did a happy dance when I saw that my online pal Christine Hiester had a new ebook exactly for somebody like me. I planned to buy the ebook, but in a happy turn of events, I ended up winning it along with a lovely little beginner’s art supply kit from Anna Meade Arts.

Christine’s ebook, A Year of Art Journaling, is set up so that you can do it at your own pace. For a while, I did a lesson a day, but sometimes I’ll park on one lesson for a week or more, depending on how much I want to play around. Every lesson has practical ideas and prompts to get me going even if I have zero ideas. I like to read a lesson and then think on it while I’m waiting to fall asleep at night so I can come up with possibilities for the page I’ll do the following day.

I also love the fantastic links in the ebook, like video tutorials and links to other creative artists who favor various techniques. Seriously wonderful. Her ebook would also be great for homeschooled teens; it could easily count as a full credit of high school fine arts.

A Year of Art Journaling is a great value at $20, but Christine is offering a coupon code for my readers! The first 25 readers to click on over and purchase her ebook will receive 25% off with the code Jamie25. Expires November 30th.

{Note: this post contains affiliate links.}

More resources:

I’m excited about Journal Spilling: Mixed-Media Techniques for Free Expression, which just came in the mail today, it’s one of Christine’s great book suggestions in A Year of Art Journaling.

I’ve made an art journaling Pinterest board, which will give you ideas to get going, but if you do your own Pinterest search for “art journal,” you’ll find enough ideas to make your head spin!

Follow Jamie Worley’s board create: art journal on Pinterest.

–> Have you tried art journaling? If not, are you thinking you might give it a whirl? What other sorts of creative hobbies do you enjoy?