Art Journaling: Exploring Your Emotions

Love Light art journal page Art Journaling: Exploring Your Emotions

Love-Light by editorialdragon (Michelle Huegel)

What comes to mind when you think of "art journaling"? This form of artistic expression has surged in popularity among digital scrapbookers lately, but it's nearly impossible to pin down an all-encompassing definition. I'm not going to even try here - you can Google it and find probably thousands of different interpretations of what art journaling is. Today I want to present a take on art journaling from my perspective as the "traditional digital scrapbooker." How can you and I, the average digital scrappers, incorporate art journaling into our creative repertoire, and why might we choose to do so? Personally, I turn to art journaling to convey a deeper level of emotion than I am capable of on a regular layout. I feel more freedom to use color, perspective, images, text, and other tools to express my feelings on an art journaling layout. Some subjects seem to need that "raw" feel. If you're accustomed to "memory" or "event" scrapping and aren't sure how to get started art journaling, here's a few ways to ease into an art journaling layout.
  • Try looking at the elements in a kit as representations of feelings and emotions, rather than purely decorative. For example, in my layout Love-Light (shown above), I used a cloud to represent heaven, skulls and crows to represent my fears and worries, and yellow paint to represent the "love light" of God encircling me. Of course, a cloud might also stand for rain or sadness, and skulls often represent death. Images mean many different things to each person. You can use this technique with any kit, but often art journaling-style kits will include a broad range of elements specifically chosen to embody various feelings and emotions.
  • Allow for (and dare I say create?) "imperfections" in your process. Often you will find that these perceived imperfections reveal the true heart and soul in your art. Art journaling is usually very free-form. I didn't allow myself to spend much time fussing with my element placement. Instead of thinking about the "rule of 3s" or creating a "design triangle," I let my feelings guide my fingers and stuck the bits down wherever it "felt right." Yes, I know it sounds wonky and a bit new-age-y, but just try it!
  • Be prepared for the process to take much longer than a "normal" layout. The process of working through your emotions in a visual way may take a long time, especially if it's a new experience. Don't rush it. The Love-Light layout took me several days to finish. Much of that time was simply letting it "sit" and coming back with fresh eyes.
  • Use a pre-made background. Or try scrapping in a different size to bust out of your comfort zone. I used a beautiful 8.5x11 collage background from Nancie Rowe Janitz and Fiddlette Designs' Journal Your Art Out 1 kit. The page already included the heart and "soul food" tag, which perfectly meshed with the emotions I was trying to convey.
Journal Your Art 4f15a0307f4bf Art Journaling: Exploring Your Emotions What I love most about art journaling is the freedom. There are no wrong ways, no "bad" pages, no pressure to properly capture a memory. Enjoy the process, and try art journaling the next time you need a little scrap therapy! To inspire you, I rounded up a few beautiful, emotional art journal-style pages from the DST gallery.
mask6 Art Journaling: Exploring Your Emotions

Mask by ValerieGail

OTBDS sns sbpoet metamorphosis 600 WEB Art Journaling: Exploring Your Emotions

Metamorphosis by sbpoet

vault2 fixed Art Journaling: Exploring Your Emotions

Vault by maggiebean

7Days2012 Day1web Art Journaling: Exploring Your Emotions

Find Joy by latz    Send article as PDF   
  • anna

    I am an art journaling addict! I love to paper art journal, but digi is relatively less expensive , and much less messy! Love the Sissy Sparrow art journal kits like the one in the 1st layout featured.

    • Michelle Huegel

      I am in AWE of you paper art journalers!! I really want to try, but just dont have the money to invest in the “proper” supplies. And… it just seems so MESSY LOL!!! But I LOVE looking at paper pages, and trying to recreate that look digitally.

  • Sissy Sparrows

    Thoroughly enjoyed your article Michelle. Loved reading your process and the tips. Love-Light is an amazing art journal page and it was really nice to see some of our elements you used were able to help pull through all your emotions.

    • Michelle Huegel

      aww thanks! I just gobble up everything you two make. Well, except the moose LOL – I will admit to not (yet!) finding a use for the moose on a page. But anyway, thanks for creating such fun, artsy products!

  • naughtsncrosses

    Fabulous pages – art journaling is so freeing – no right, no wrong, just PLAY and EXPRESSION. LOVE the pages here, especially big thank you to Ani/maggiebean for her amazing art journal page!!!

  • QuinnCreative

    Art journaling does something very interesting for our souls: it allows us to discover that we don’t FIND meaning in life, we MAKE meaning in life. It’s transformative.

    • Michelle Huegel

      So true! I find that art journaling, and scrapbooking as a whole, help me make meaning out of some of the harder parts of life and work through those not-so-fun feelings. Of course, I also enjoy journaling about the happy moments :)

  • Courtenay Gueta

    It’s freeing and HEALING!!

  • maggiebean

    For me art journaling is not just about art therapy but also the freedom of letting yourself and your art go. As you say there is no right and wrong.

    Thank you for choosing one of my favorite pieces. All the pieces featured are beautiful inspiration and I’ve enjoyed reading your take on this art form.

    • Michelle Huegel

      Thanks! I’ve truly enjoyed the freedom inherent in art journaling, it has allowed me to expand my creativity in my “normal” scrapbooking and delve deeper into my creative soul. Your page was haunting, beautiful, and touching all at the same time – amazing.

  • Johanna

    I love your article! Wonderful pages, too! I dabble at paper art journaling as well…I haven’t got much into the painting – messy aspect, more the inky – messy part. I love it. But to me it’s almost a different feeling doing digi art journal pages. I can’t describe it. The processes are both beautiful in their own way. I am definitely loving making digi art journal pages.