20+ Easy Art Journal Ideas To Get You Started!

Jun 7, 2021 | 1 comment

Our post for today is going to be all about art journals. What it is, how to start one, and some easy art journal ideas if you already have one and are stuck staring at a blank page.

Keeping an art journal is a great way to express your most inner thoughts and being creative at the same time. It’s also an inexpensive hobby contrary to popular belief because all you really need to start are the basic tools like a notebook, a pen, and your favorite coloring materials. All the other paraphernalia are optional and you can add them on your own time and capability.

Table of Contents


What is an Art Journal?

Journaling is often analogous to writing because when you own a journal, it automatically means that you record your thoughts and emotions by writing them down. A typical journal only involves writing, but for those who are more visually inclined, art journaling is more preferred.

Art Journal is a visual diary where you record both your art and your words. It’s a combination of writing, drawing, collage-making, painting, coloring, scrapbooking, and more. An art journal is like a diary where you can place all your art ideas. You can write quotes, doodle, make paintings, create collages, compile your photographs, add dried flowers, and so many more as long as you create something out of your creativity.

Purpose of An Art Journal

Why do people keep art journals? What is its purpose?

Maybe you’d think that an art journal is only for artists, for people who are good in drawing and painting and in making things. I’m here to tell you that keeping an art journal is for everyone, whether you are artistically inclined or not.

Many people think twice when starting an art journal thinking that they are not good enough and that they would rather not mess up a perfectly blank notebook because they are afraid of making mistakes.

As we always say in this blog, art is not perfect and an art journal is all about expressing your creativity. No matter what the outcome, you are sure that you just get better every time you finish a page.

Starting an Art Journal

Starting an art journal is just like starting anything else. After gathering your materials like your pen, notebook, and your preferred art materials, the first step is to actually start.

There’s no one-size-fits-all in art journaling, it’s as customizable as you want it to be and the contents will depend upon your skills and interests. One piece of advice I’d like to share is that you pick the right notebook. Most people use mixed media for their art journals and considering the size of the notebook and the thickness of its leaves are important.

Here are some supplies that are great for art journaling:

  • Colored Brush Pens
  • Colored Pencils
  • Watercolor Paints
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Old Magazines & Books
  • Scissors
  • Glue Sticks
  • Stickers, washi tapes, decals, etc

Here are Easy Art Journal Ideas to Get You Started!

Quote Pages

These are one of the most popular pages done in art journals. Add your favorite quotes in your journal and be as creative as you want. You can use any art materials, you can even add in pressed flowers and torn-up pages of old books. You can do a quote of the day if that’s what you prefer or you can mix it up with other kinds of art journal ideas.

Create a collage of your day

Journaling is a practice of self-care and putting your thoughts and emotions in the pages are highly recommended. Journaling can be cathartic and you can be as open and free as you want. By creating pages inspired by how your day went, you will be able to record your unique experiences and when you look back to it one day, you’ll be amazed at how your seemingly ordinary day can become an inspiration for your future self.

Abstract Painting

There are times when we want to create something in our art journals, we just don’t have the inspiration to make something. In these moments, we resort to doing something else instead. When this happens to you, there’s one thing you can do – Abstract Painting. The thing with abstract painting is that there are no expectations whatsoever.

Make a Galaxy Page

Painting a galaxy or even making a collage inspired by the galaxy is a relaxing challenge to create in your journal.

Pressed/Dried Flowers

Want to experiment with natural things? Press flowers and leaves on your art journal. Make it as quirky and as creative as you want or as simple and direct. Remember, there are no rules in art journaling. Your imagination is the limit.

Themed Pages

You can plan themes for your art journals. For example, on October, you can doodle autumn-related things. On April, you can have a spring theme. And so on.

Take Sketchnotes

Sketchnotes are a visual way of capturing ideas in your journal. They are a combination of headings, bubbles, arrows, and of course doodles! (Like these in our “Simple things to draw” post.)

If you want to go deep on sketchnoting in your journal, there is a great in-depth of “how to” at YourVisualJournal.com. Here are some examples:

visual-journal-spread-Marisa-Peer
Hutchison-sketchnotes-superbrain
Hutchison-Sketchnotes-simple

Dedicate a page for your Role Model

I’m sure you have role models and music idols. Make a page or two dedicated for your fangirl/boy-ing moments. Just look at this gorgeous Taylor Swift spread!

Replicate your favorite book

Have you just read a really good book? Draw it on your journal and relive your favorite moments by writing your favorite lines from it.

Paint or Draw the interior of your house

Find inspiration on the things near you. Maybe you can draw or paint your living room, your kitchen, or even your bedroom.

Take inspiration from the nature around you

You can also go outside for some fresh air and nature inspiration. Paint the grasses and trees, paint how the sunset looks like in your area. You only need to look up and look around.

Collage and more collage!

Be inspired by vintage things. Crumple pages from old books and make a collage out of them.

Express your views

Instead of shouting out on your social media accounts, why not channel your anger and frustration in your journal?

What Makes You Happy?

Here another easy and fun art journal idea. Jot down or draw the things that makes you happy. This should be no brainer!

A Fashion Adventure

If you are into clothes, this is a perfect journal prompt for you! Draw your favorite clothing pieces and outfits with your favorite color palette!

Your Favorite Food

What’s your favorite food? Your guilty pleasures? Sushi? Cake? Chocolate? Draw them in your art journal!

Poetry

An art journal does not have to be fancy if you’re not feeling it. It can be as simple as a single doodle and some words of poetry that either you wrote yourself or taken from somewhere else.

Travel-Themed Journal Page

We are all itching for a little wanderlust but since the pandemic is still very much present, creating a travel-themed page on your journal can be an alternative to curb our want to explore new places.

Go Floral

Florals are a pretty addition to your journal pages. Make sure to include at least one!

Check this out: Simple Flower Drawings

Gratitude Page

Among other art journal ideas, this could be just one of my favorites. Practicing gratitude is a mindful act you can do every day to keep yourself in check. Make a gratitude page on your journal and fill it up with things you are grateful for everyday.

Doodles!

Now, don’t underestimate the power of doodles. They may be cute and dainty, but they can add spice to your blank pages! If you don’t have any ideas on what to doodle, be sure to check out our easy doodles list.

Anything Goes

An art journal is your tangible platform for self-expression so literally anything can go in it. Again, your imagination and creativity are your limits! Don’t limit yourself to what you just read here or on other websites. If you have a great idea, do it!

I hope these art journal ideas help you out on your art journey. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because nobody is perfect. The mistakes are actually what makes us learn.

Always remember that art is messy. It does not have to be perfect. All you really need is to start and that’s what makes you an artist!

Have fun on your art journal activities!

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Renee Alexis

20-something Filipina, an introvert who loves young adult fiction, brush pens, Taylor Swift, and Mobile Legends. Coffee runs in my bloodstream.
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1 Comment

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