How to cultivate an Artistic Journal for Infinite Inspiration



As an artist I’ve recently discovered the invaluable practice of keeping a visual/written artistic journal. I hope to find this artistic journal indispensable.

An artistic journal is such a multifaceted tool, crucial for capturing any fleeting ideas, documenting my creative journey, and experimenting in a judgment-free space.  Especially important when creating from the deepest most personal places. 

Benefit of an Artistic Journal – Jotting!

This journal is also where I jot down thoughts and sketches as they come, no matter how raw or unrefined. It acts as a repository for my creative sparks, ensuring that no idea is lost to the business of my daily life. I particularly love that these entries, over time, become a rich source of inspiration that I can revisit and evolve into more developed work.

I also plan for my journal to become a record of my growth as an artist. By looking back at previous entries, I can see my progress, identify patterns in my thoughts and artwork, and understand my evolving style and interests. I hope this reflection will offer new insights and directions for my work.

Most importantly,  the experimental nature of keeping a journal cannot be paramount. It’s a space where failure is part of the process, not the end. I try out new techniques, mix different mediums, and play with styles without the pressure of creating a masterpiece. This freedom encourages learning and innovation.

Start Simple

To other artists, I recommend adopting this practice. Start simple—a notebook will do. Remember, there’s no need to curate or polish what goes into it. The goal is to create a personal space where your ideas can flourish and your artistic journey can be documented. 

Starting a visual and written journal can be a fulfilling way to explore your creativity and document your journey. Here’s how to get started in six easy steps:

  1. Choose Your artistic Journal and Tools: Select a sturdy journal that can handle various media, like watercolour, ink, and pencil. Accompany this with whatever you have in your studio – a basic set of drawing and writing tools, such as pencils, a fine pen, and a portable watercolour kit. Your journal should be comfortable to carry, encouraging you to take it wherever you go.
  2. Make It a Routine: Dedicate a specific time each day for journaling. Whether it’s first thing in the morning or right before bed, find a time that works for you. Regularity helps to develop a habit, but also stay open to journaling whenever inspiration strikes.
  3. Mix Visuals with Words: Don’t limit yourself to just writing or drawing or painting, combine both. Sketch what you see or feel, and then add captions, thoughts, or narratives that complement your visuals. This blend enriches your journal and offers a more comprehensive glimpse into your experiences and thoughts.

Be Spontaneous

  1. Be Spontaneous and Deliberate: Let your journal entries be a mix of planned topics and impromptu inspirations. Sometimes, you’ll want to explore a specific idea or theme; other times, you’ll capture the spontaneity of the moment. Both approaches contribute to the depth of your journal.
  2. Reflect Regularly: Periodically go back through your journal. This reflection allows you to see your progress, understand your thought processes over time, and rediscover ideas or inspirations you may want to revisit or expand upon.
  3. Keep It Private (or not): Treat your journal as a safe space for honest expression. Knowing it’s just for you removes the pressure of judgment, allowing you to be more open, experimental, and vulnerable in your entries.

Want some inspiration? Take a look at my artistic journal entries in my highlights here.

About Simone

The art of ebru

Welcome to my artistic world.
I live and work in the beautiful South Downs area of West Sussex in the UK

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