How Art Journaling Increases Happiness and Inspiration

Art Journaling Increases Happiness

by Cheryl Olmstead

To live a happier, more inspired life you must embrace the things that bring you joy in order to release your creative spirit and share your wonderful gifts and talents with the world.  Art journaling increases happiness. If you have not tried it, maybe you should.

What you share outwardly will attract those who share and appreciate your common interests and will lead to more fulfilling relationships, jobs, hobbies, and more. Art created for the pleasure of others is a gift but art journaling is a gift of happiness you give yourself.

Your artistic or creative side is unique to you.  If you want to cultivate inspiration, you must actively pursue your creative interests, which will lead to more creativity.

In other words, the act of being creative, will lead to more creative inspiration.

What is Art Journaling

Journaling is one way to nurture your creative side but not everyone enjoys the art of writing.  If you enjoy a more tangible artistic outlet, you may prefer art journaling.

Art journaling is simply creating art in a journal format.  The beauty of art journaling is that you don’t have to write, and you don’t have to be an artist, to create an amazing art journal.  But, luckily, you can be both!

Art journaling is all about creating and journaling in an artistic format. There are no boundaries or rules to follow.  Avid art journalists love the freedom of expression and the deeply personal, unique style that fills the pages of their journals.

The only limitation in art journaling is the boundaries of your pages, the paper you’ve chosen, and your imagination.

It is a space to release your inner mermaid’s bold, brave, and wild heart; a safe place to create vivid imagery and incorporate it with color and texture.  It’s a place to let your heart sing and dance and make magic.  This is one of the reasons why art journaling increases happiness and promises to leave you feeling inspired.

Art Journaling Increases Happiness

Creating art has long been attributed to greater happiness and positive feelings.  If you’ve ever cheerfully created art or watched a room full of children explode with enthusiasm over an art project, you can attest to this.  Art is often used by mental health professionals, physical therapy, and to help to aging.

You don’t have to be a tortured soul to be creative.  You can return to that place where you once created magic for the sheer enjoyment of it.  Do you remember the excitement over making a simple card, your first masterpiece hanging on the wall at school, or your art being plastered on the kitchen refrigerator?

Art journaling can increase happiness because it is relaxing, therapeutic, emotionally fulfilling, reduces stress, touches us in positive ways, and returns us to a simpler place and time.  A study at the University of London has shown that it also increases dopamine in the brain, resulting in feeling similar to those of being in love.

Art Journal Ideas

Journalists doodle, draw, sketch, color, and paint. They add texture and design by including bits of colored paper, cards, fabric, miscellaneous pictures they’ve collected.  They use brushes, finger-paints, sponges, and more to build texture and style.

You can pour out your soul, like a diary, each page filled with art that reflects your day.  Or you might create a fanciful world of fiction and fantasy. Your journal can record your thoughts, experiences, or goals. It can even be a place to vent, mourn, and heal.  It can be a eclectic combination of all.

You can create mixed media by incorporating art with words, slogans, phrases, quotes.  Or, simply draw, paint, stamp, cut out words, and paste imagery. The sky is the limit and the possibilities are as numerous as the sparkling fish in the sea.

Art journals are the physical and visual birth of your creative process. And, it is all about making your world a happier place!

Ideally, you should choose a medium that you enjoy but also expand your mind and try new things. Many art journalists keep a second journal or keepsake box to collect ideas, scraps, and bits of ephemera to save for future use.

Art journaling ideas to get you started:

  • Vintage advertising
  • Greeting cards
  • Post cards
  • Special event tickets
  • Pictures from magazines
  • Pages from books
  • Fabric
  • Lace
  • Dried plants
  • Stamps
  • Tape
  • Glitter
  • Tissue paper
  • Sheet music
  • Ribbon
  • Wallpaper
  • Photos
  • Stencils

Art journal supplies

There is a vast list of art supplies you can use in an art journal. When you purchase a journal, care should be given to choose one with pages that can hold up to the type of art you wish to create. For example, some pages are paper thin, others thick enough for paint. Others are transparent and will show bleed through from ink.

Methods you may want to try:

  • Permanent ink
  • Markers
  • Highlighters
  • Watercolors
  • Crayons/water color crayons
  • Graphite pencils
  • Colored pencils
  • Water color pencils
  • Water brush
  • Acrylic paint
  • Molding paste
  • Archival Ink
  • Pastels

This is only a basic list to inspire you. Your local art store will be packed with enough supplies to kindle your imagination.

Art journaling is supposed to be fun, inspiring, healing and relaxing. It’s meant to be a creative outlet that improves the quality of your life. Don’t let a lack of supplies or budget hold you back from making fantastic art.

A box of crayons, an old magazine, scissors, and glue can be the humble beginnings of journaling magic (the simple sound of a scissors ‘swooshing’ through fabric or paper is very cathartic for me).

Find yourself, discover what you love, and get started creating. Learn how art journaling increases happiness by trying it out for yourself.

We’d love to hear how art makes you happy, or (even better), see pictures!

Tails up, Happy Mermaids~


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