The Original List!

Here's the ever-growing list of prompts for your art journaling. Newer prompts are near the top in blue. For even more, check out Page by Page.         

  • After reading Susan Wooldridge's "Foolsgold," I want to run through forest preserves, gather wild flowers and such, and tape them into my journal. Have you done that lately? Fine some packing tape and gather your journal, a pen, and perhaps a picnic, and tape something from nature into your journal. We focus so much on "art" materials that sometimes, we ned to take what fundamentally inspires us and paste it in. Gather colors, textures, shapes.
  • Go out and grab yourself a postcard, one that means something to you. Make it the center of your entry. What is special about this image/these words? What do they mean to YOU? Decorate your page and journal around the central image. You never know what doors it can help unlock!
  • Today, grab a scrap of paper -- the one nearest you right now! It could be a note, a newspaper -- anything! Create a journal entry around that scrap. Tell it's story. What was it part of? Where did its "relatives" go?    
  • I want you to CROWN yourself. Find a snapshot (or take one!) of yourself, glue it in your journal, and draw your crown. Tell us about your country, obsession, or whatever you’re the ruler of!
  • Take your journal with you. Spill something inside…water, tea, pop….close your journal, then open it. Journal around it. Explain what you were doing when you spilled it. Or why you like that drink.

  • Take some time to write your future-self a letter. Grab an envelope, decorate the back of it, and glue it in your journal. Tuck the letter inside. When you look back at where you started, or the path you’re on, you’ll have a nice little letter. Extra points if you mail the letter to yourself and THEN glue it in your journal. 
  • Have you ever played with ink? It’s tons of fun. If you don’t have any, it’s not too expensive…I even found some at Wal-Mart. Take it out and use it to paint or write or drip all over the page. Just let go!
  • I’m feeling kind of tired today. Can we just curl up with our journals and take a nap? When we wake up, let’s draw our dreams and write about them with brightly colored markers and pretty paints….

  • Everyone starts somewhere. And every piece, no matter how “bad” you think it may be, has value and beauty to it. Sharing and receiving comments helps you grow, gives you a boost to create more.

  • So often, people get into a comfortable groove…most journal artists stick with paper for their elements (along with paint, etc), but leave out the wonderful world of fabric. Today, find a scrap of fabric and use it as you would a pretty piece of paper in a collage. Not only is fabric pretty, but it’ll add another dimension of texture to your pages.

  • Today, try going through your purse/pockets and find a receipt. Glue it in your journal. Write a story about why someone bought an item on it, and what they might do with it. Use images to help fuel your story (I cut up tons of magazines… heee).

  • Here’s something I’ve been playing with that might spark something for you! I’ve been using the same image in several pieces, seeing how the mood or intent changes despite having a common theme. Try this out — it can be a small piece (like an inchie, Lia!), or a much larger one….use the same image in both and watch how, when you sit down to create, how much of your mood and state of mind influences your work.

  • Imitation can be a great teacher in addition to being flattering. Remember school, when you’d copy the cursive letters perfectly, stroke by stroke, concentrating on getting them just right (or was that just me!)? Find a painting, image, or entry and try to copy it as best you can using your own materials. See those little differences? Yeah, that’s your voice. Because no matter how hard you try, you will always be original.

  • What’s your favorite color? Do a journal entry using only shades of ONE color, and this includes the writing! Color papers, alter photos, doodle. See what can happen when you only have one color to use!

  • Draw or find symbols representative of your weekend and use them to compose an entry in your journal.