Art Journaling: What’s It All About?

Reported by Taylor Usry

There is a not-so-new trend in the art/craft/hobby world, and it is not limited to just papercrafters. Have you heard about Art Journaling? Thought about it but never tried it? Bought some supplies but couldn’t figure out what to do? Or maybe you are an experienced journaler who is just looking for a little inspiration.  This article is going to share with you a little background on art journaling and share some amazing (and free!) sites that will help you on your art journaling journey.

Let’s start with the most obvious question: What is Art Journaling? One of the best, most concise definitions I’ve seen comes from this blog. Art Journaling, Tammy Garcia says, “is about the creative process of pulling together color, words and images as you wish on a page. Unlike many other forms of art, it is not about the outcome.” Sounds fun, huh?

With the definition out of the way you may be wondering, “Why should I art journal at all?” Artist Sarah Whitmire (more on her in a bit) said this in a recent interview:  “Art Journaling…has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people and has opened up an entire new online world to me. It has changed the course of my whole career and helped me through some of the darkest times in my life, lifting me up and allowing me a safe place to express all of my hopes, dreams, and fears.” Art Journaling is wonderful because it can be anything you want it to be – there is no right or wrong way to do any of it!

There are online communities built around the world of Art Journaling. One is Art Journaling, a Ning community. You must register to participate in the group and discussions, but registration is free. The community hosts a number of individual groups for challenges and techniques.

Another excellent source of information is the Milliande Art Community for Women. It too is a Ning group, but unlike the Art Journaling site, it is geared towards specifically women who create any kind of art. Here you will find resources for every type of mixed media project you can imagine (and some you probably haven’t).

In both communities you have the opportunity to share your work, get feedback from others, ask questions, and immerse yourself in the process of creating a journal.

Sarah Whitmire built a community of a slightly different kind. She calls it Soul Journaling. In the same interview I mentioned earlier she says, “My proudest achievement to date is the creation and founding of Soul Journaling, a series of guided mixed-media visual journaling workshops that has inspired a growing community of people from all walks of life and from all over the globe to come together through art and self-expression.”

On the site you will find 20+ prompts to get you started journaling – so there is no need to fret over what you should write about or where to begin. You will also find a welcoming community (it is a yahoo group that requires registration and membership approval), and the opportunity to take more advanced workshops online from Sarah (there is a fee for the advanced workshops; the first 22 prompts are completely free).

Here are a few other blogs sites that will help get you inspired! These are just a few – there are many, many more amazing artists out there!

Samantha Kira
Pam Carriker
Ingrid Dijkers
Debra Cooper
Paula Phillips
Nancy Lefko
Connie Hozvika
Teesha Moore
Dawn DeVries Sokol
Laura Lein-Svencner

Do you Art Journal? Share some of your favorite sites with us!!

Ready for the next step? I’ll discuss the basic materials you need to get started in tomorrow’s article, so be on the lookout for it!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!


11 Responses to Art Journaling: What’s It All About?

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    Gill M September 8, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    What a great introductory article 🙂 Of course I have to give a plug to my site – Journal Craft 🙂

    Art journaling can take so many forms – a visual diary (of your day to day life, your travels, your garden…), or somewhere to explore and work through emotions. I also like to think of it as a destination for my art – somewhere I can work on ideas until I get something I want to develop on a larger scale.

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    Sarah Whitmire September 8, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Thank you so much for asking me to be a part of this wonderful article! A fabulous introduction to the magical world of art journaling. 🙂


    Sarah Whitmire

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    Celeste September 8, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    no art journaling list would be complete for me without dina wakley’s blog…

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    Taylor September 8, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    Thanks for the extra links! I’m sure I missed *more* than a few awesome sites!!

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    theamplegoddess September 8, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Wonderful intro to Art journaling & great sites to point new people to!!

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    Scrapycandy September 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    Thank you…these blogs are fascinating…a whole new world!

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    Amy K September 9, 2010 at 4:10 am #

    You’ve piqued my interest…off to check out these other blogs, and looking forward to learning more with your next post!

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    Kira September 10, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Thank you so much for that wonderful post and the love via a link! I’m so glad I’ve helped inspire, and thank YOU for helping spread the word on art journaling!

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    iHanna September 10, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    I do! One of my favorite prompts and inspiration pages is the crusades at


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    Bonnie in SC September 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    OMGosh, I know one of the artist you listed here, Paula Phillips. She is an awesome artist who has videos on YouTube as Journalartista, and she does live classes on on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Come join us, we have lots of fun learning her techniques.

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    gypsy999 September 21, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    Thank you for including Daisy Yellow in your introduction! I love most of all the process of art journaling… it simply makes me happy!