If you know anything about me, it probably is that I'm crazy about daily art journaling. I'm its own raving fan, and I could talk about it for hours. I share small glimpses into my daily process via my Instagram Stories, and I do it for only two reasons:
1. It's my biggest dream to get as many of you into regular art journaling as possible.
2. I purely enjoy it, it's the best self-care I can think of for myself.
But it hasn't always been like that.
When I was starting out, at the point when I realised that maybe painting the realistic, oil landscapes is not my thing, I got into scrapbooking.
If you don't know much about this industry, then I have to tell you that in many cases it's very much focused on the products. We use products to embellish the photographs and to capture memories. I dived in for about a year and a half. I got involved with some manufacturers, like Prima Marketing. I would join the design team, I would later become their educator. It was all fun and very much enjoyable, but it was also all focused on allowing the products to shine, basically selling them and making things pretty.
Pretty was the ultimate goal.
At the same time, I was learning about art journaling, but at that point, a daily practice that I enjoy right now was basically impossible for me. This is because, coming from that background, I treated every spread in my art journal as a project that has to be done from start to finish, that has to be visually pleasing to the viewer, that has to be pretty.
Everything changed when Jamie got me that one special book - A Diary by Frida Kahlo. If you look inside it, you'll see that it's full of randomness, chaos, scribbles, very messy drawings, raw emotions, and some pages don't seem pretty at all.
I got obsessed with the book, I would go through it over and over again. It was also full of Frida's love letters, which also resonated with me deeply at that point. The whole book was like swimming in an emotional ocean, I could feel that something is coming.
Then I thought: If Frida Kahlo, with all her reputation, with all her talent, with her life based on making art, allows herself to have a visual diary that so full of rawness and definitely not pretty, then why the hell can't I loosen up a bit? What do I have to lose?
That's when I grabbed another book, this time it was a pretty and big notebook that I got from Jamie's sister for Christmas. I started filling it in in the same way as Frida was filling in hers. I was writing stuff down, scribbled a lot, painted loosely without worrying about making it pretty.
It took all the pressure off my shoulders and so I allowed myself to do ugly. I had nothing to lose, and deep down, I knew I need it. I was telling myself that I will never ever show it to anyone, no Instagram, no blogging. I had no idea then, how crucial that art journal is going to become, I had no idea I'll be writing a blog post about it.
I filled this book very quickly. I started art journaling daily without any pressure. I let go of my own expectations, allowed myself to be messy.
I went through so much with this book and discovered things that forever changed my art practice. I realised that I enjoy it much more than any other form of art or craft, and since then, I art journal daily in this free and fearless way.
Now my art journal spread is never a project to be completed; it's always one of my stepping stones.
And I want this for you too. I want you to dive in and discover how incredibly beneficial it is for your heart and soul. Free art journaling practice is the best-self care I know. It helps me digest all my daily feelings and express them in a way that wasn't available to me before. This is why I want everyone to try, give it a go, and fall in love with their practice.
If you would like to establish a more consistent art routine, use our 100 Small Steps offering to help you!