Why Art Journal?

Whether you are traveling, exploring, or just adventuring through your daily life, many good things happen inside you when you keep a journal. Journaling has been shown to lower stress, improve your mind and even help your body to heal faster. But why journal with drawings, watercolors, collage or other artistic activities? Is there some specific benefit to this?

Recording your life in a journal helps you to slow down and experience the world around you in new and creative ways.  Drawing and painting, like writing, tends to engage the right side of your brain, and when you combine techniques, you greatly enrich your journaling experience. When you sketch what you see and write about you hear, smell, taste or touch, you begin to really notice the small details of your surroundings.  It allows you to take a breather from life – you can easily lose track of time while you capture in pictures those special little moments you might otherwise overlook.

Watercolor is especially suited to art journaling, and has been used since Victorian times to document nature and the man-made environment. This inexpensive and portable medium lends itself to "happy accidents" and quick sketches. Colored pencils are another popular way to add life and variety to simple drawings, and the water-soluble brands produce results similar to traditional paints.

If you believe that keeping an illustrated journal is only for the artistically talented or inclined, you couldn’t be more mistaken.  Browse any bookstore and of course you can find many famous examples of beautifully painted and articulately written diaries that bring pleasure to others. But the real value is primarily for the journalist. Your art journal is a visual record of your life, or some parts of it, that you may choose to show to your family, your children or your friends. On the other hand, it’s easy to close the page of your book and keep it to yourself! So don’t hesitate to experiment with combining art and words in your journal - you will create a precious record that can guide and enrich your life in amazing ways.

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