4 Art Journal Ideas for Creatives

What are the best art journal ideas for creatives?

An art journal is a great way to maintain your level of inspiration and creativity, even when you’re not working on a larger or more defined project. This type of journal can take any form you want: you can draw notable events or objects from your day, take notes on something that inspired you, work on techniques, or paint small pictures.

While this level of freedom is great, it can leave you feeling overwhelmed, not knowing where to start. Receiving ideas from art journals can help creatives solidify their ideas and provide a starting point for further exploration.

Create a self portrait

A self-portrait is a great way to “introduce” yourself if you’ve just started your art journal. You can create anything – from a hyper-realistic painting to an anime-style drawing to a multimedia collage – to represent yourself. Not everyone enjoys taking selfies, but it’s a great way to look within and reflect on how you see yourself, whether literally or figuratively.

Combine drawing and writing

Unlike a conventional journal, an art journal does not need to contain words, but some people like to use words in their art journal. You can find many ways to do this, such as creating journal entries about your day and illustrating them, exploring past events, writing about your inner feelings or experiences, or even writing poems or short pieces of prose with drawings to accompany them.

Think of your favorite place

Use a favorite location as a starting point for an entry in your art journal. This could be a favorite city you’ve visited, your childhood home, your favorite street, or a more general type of favorite place, like the beach or the forest. You can take this prompt literally and draw or paint your favorite place, or you can think of how your favorite place makes you feel and create a piece based on that. You can also choose to combine a short text about your favorite place with visual art.

Diary your day

If you want to take a more literal approach to journaling in your art journal, you can use it to draw things or people you encounter during your day. Take it with you and make quick sketches of the people you see on your morning commute, what you ate for lunch, your coworkers, or interesting plants, animals, or buildings. If you like comics or graphic novels, you can choose to make a comic journal of your day in your art journal.

Try one line drawing

Sometimes giving yourself strict parameters can increase creativity. Try dedicating a page in your art journal to one-line drawings, that is, drawings that you create without ever removing your pen or pencil from the page. You can choose to create a random shape or try to represent a person or an object with a single line. It’s also a great technique for anyone with minimal art supplies, as all you need is your notepad and a simple pencil or pen.

Make a speed sketch

Forcing yourself to draw quickly can make you think about what’s important about your subject: which details are absolutely necessary for what you’re drawing to be clear and which can be left out. Focusing on making your art as technically perfect as possible can sometimes stifle your creativity, because you’ll be focusing on making art that you know you can excel at and won’t take any risks. A speed sketch, on the other hand, shouldn’t be perfect, freeing you up to explore.

make a collage

Don’t feel like putting pen to paper or getting your paints out? Try a collage. All you need is a pair of scissors, a glue stick, and a magazine or something else you can cut out. A collage can serve as inspiration for a painting or drawing, or it can be a complete work of art in its own right.

Use poems, lyrics or quotes

If you’re looking for inspiration, dive into the world of poetry or lyrics. Write a line or two of a song or poem you love and create art to go along with it, whether it’s a literal interpretation of the words or a concept piece. Quotes can also work if there are no poems or lyrics you want to explore.

Try different mediums

An art journal is a great place to experiment with using different art media that you might not be quite comfortable with yet. If you usually use acrylic paints, for example, you can try using watercolors in your art journal. For more information on this particular medium, check out the complete guide to watercolor paint sets on BestReviews.

What you need to buy for an art journal

Bachmore Premium Mixed Media Block

If you want to start an art journal, you’ll need a pad to draw, paint, or write on. This mixed media pad is perfect as it’s heavy enough for wet media, such as watercolors, but also works brilliantly for simple sketches and notes. -socket.

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Winsor &  Newton Studio Collection Artist Pencils

Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Artist Pencils

If drawing is your forte, this collection of artist pencils is ideal for sketching in your art journal. In addition to the standard graphite pencils, it includes a standard charcoal pencil, a white charcoal pencil, a sepia pencil and a Pierre Noire pencil.

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Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

Colored pencils are great for art journals because they’re easy to use and won’t bleed through the page, even if you’re working on a pad without thick paper. These soft core colored pencils have great coverage and they blend and shade beautifully.

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Arteza Watercolor Paint Set

Arteza Watercolor Paint Set

These mid-range watercolors are great for use in art journals if you want to save your more expensive paintings for larger pieces. You get 36 shades in this set, along with a blending palette and a water brush pen.

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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