Women with depression, anxiety or other mental health issues often struggle to verbally express what they are feeling. Many women have trust issues that leave them afraid to be vulnerable, while others are unable to actually identify the emotions that are overwhelming them. Either way, using experiential therapy can help women explore their feelings without the pressure of verbalizing them.
Art journals are illustrated diaries that are similar to sketchbooks. An art journal can be a record of your daily thoughts, a travel journal, a dream journal, a place where you jot down your goals, or any record that you'd like to keep in a book or notebook. They can be focused on one specific theme or act as a container for collecting images and artwork like a scrapbook.
A visual journal becomes so with any kind of illustration or embellishment that is added to the pages. Art journaling can be fun for all ages! Anyone can do it. Above all, art journaling is about the creative process of pulling together ideas, colors, words and images onto a page. To start, get creative books to inspire and motivate you. It is very important to find a space to work that is free of distraction and does not limit your creative flow. Begin with a blank journal, notebook, and sketchpad or find an old book to alter.
Next, begin to gather art materials and images. Some people prefer to keep a written journal and use the things recorded there to inspire the work they create in their art journal. If you do not want to keep a journal of your personal thoughts, you can also use the journal as a place to collect quotes or song lyrics to enhance your artwork. It is all about how you want to create your own personal artwork. It is used as a way to express your own feelings and experiences. The pages in a visual journal are generally not structured or formulaic. However, this is your journal and you are welcome to organize it in the way that you feel is best.
After you decide on your approach to the project and begin to collect things for your journal, then you can begin to use crayons, paint, chalk, etc. to make a background. Many people use a combination of paint and mix together a wide range of art materials. This is called mix media art. You can embellish your paper journal pages and journal covers with buttons, beads, and embroidery or use gesso to support layers of paint on the pages. If there is something you feel that you need but don’t have at the time you are creating there are always other solutions to be open to. Use your Artist’s License to invent new ways to problem solve and surprise yourself with how resourceful you can be!
Once you have your background, you are welcome to use your words, lyrics, pictures and whatever else you chose to express how you feel. You may use images or words that are cut out of magazines, write your own, draw pictures, paint an image and add photographs; or whatever else inspires you as you are being creative. An art journal is a fantastic way to get your emotions out, to organize your thoughts and reduce your anxiety.