Art Journals

As I have written elsewhere, I am beginning to nurture my creative spirit, even though I have been blocked for years and years. I have made tons of excuses why I can’t write, why I can’t make art, why I can’t express myself: too tired, no time, too little space, too much to do. Forget that, it’s time to make some shit.

Art and I have a difficult relationship. I always lamented the fact that I can’t draw (even though I can create a recognizable shape, and that’s drawing, I guess. I felt I had no artistic talent, and was hesitant to make art after the age of about eight. (When I was tiny, I made art with abandon.) Even though I painted and created other things in art classes, I never had any confidence in myself until I was 17 and visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

There I was exposed to some fascinating things. A canvas painted only blue. One shade of blue. A canvas with a red circle on it, like the Japanese flag, and the journals of Joan Miró.  His journals floored me. If I had drawn those things, I thought, I would have thrown them away. Yet, he was a famed artist. It was then that I realized that art is in the heart. It is personal, it is what it is, and nothing else. What others think doesn’t matter.

And it’s therapeutic.

In that spirit, I have embarked on an Art Therapy Journal; four prompts a month until the end of the year, and then we’ll see. I would like to invite anyone who wants to join me to do so. I am posting the topics here. Feel free to start any time, do as many as you want (even more than four) any time.  Do whatever you like. Use whatever media you like.  And if you want, share with me at thefreelancedilettante@gmail.com. I’d love to see your beautiful work.

Art Journal Prompts:

Month One: (See my pages here)

  1. Create your journal: you may use a sketch book (hard or soft bound),  a notebook, or even an old, hardbound book from a thrift store.  (I saw this on a YouTube video…it’s a really cool way to re-purpose a book!) You can decorate the cover, or not, as you choose.  Just make it your own.
  2. Inside, on the first page/s write a dedication and/or blessing for your book. It can be original, or a chosen quote.
  3.  Create a page about your self.  Your qualities, your favorite things, your dreams, you interpret this anyway you choose.
  4. Free Choice: Choose a picture, quote, or topic, and center a page around that.

Month Two:

  1. What are your wounds?
  2. What inspires/heals you?
  3. Create a page about your mother, or whomever/whatever represents “mother” to you.
  4. Free Choice: Choose a picture, quote, or topic, and center a page around that.

Month Three:

  1. Take a nature walk and create a page that is a reflection on your experience.
  2. Create a page centered around movement of the body.
  3. Create a page about your father, or whomever/whatever represents “father” to you.
  4. Free Choice: Choose a picture, quote, or topic, and center a page around that.

Month Four:

  1. Create a page about the Shadow Self.
  2. Create a “Soul Collage” card. For information on soul collage, look here.
  3. Create a page about your ancestors.
  4. Free Choice: Choose a picture, quote, or topic, and center a page around that.

Month Five:

  1. Create a page about gratitude: what are you grateful or thankful for?
  2. Bake or create something from scratch. Get your hands in something. Create a page about it.
  3. Create a page about your siblings, if you have any.
  4.  Free Choice: Choose a picture, quote, or topic, and center a page around that.

Month Six:

  1. Write a reflection on the season.
  2. Light a candle. Meditate and/or reflect on light as reflected in your faith/spiritual practice (or lack thereof)
  3. Create a page about your spouse, significant other, past relationships or ideal relationship.
  4. Free Choice: Choose a picture, quote, or topic, and center a page around that.

Some of these are tough topics, but that is what therapy is about, confronting ourselves and our issues. Nothing here is required.  I’ll post my choices of topics for the following six months in December or January. Here are some additional topics I may address, but feel free to do any of them whenever you want.

  1. Have you been abused? Create a page around the abuse or your abusers.
  2. Create a page about friends/ chosen family.
  3. What does a forest mean to you?
  4. What does water mean to you?
  5. What secrets do you hold? What do “secrets” represent for you?
  6. What does being a parent mean to you? What have you “given birth” to?
  7. Create a page about innocence and/or your inner child.
  8. What does giving mean for you? What do you have to give?
  9. What does forgiveness mean to you? Is there someone you’ve forgiven or need to forgive? Is there something you wish to be forgiven for?
  10. What do blessings mean to you? In what ways are you blessed?
  11. Do you meditate or pray? Write a meditation or a prayer, and create a page for it.
  12. What do you nurture? What do you need to feel nurtured?
  13. What does trust mean to you?
  14. What are your fears or phobias? (list of phobias here)
  15. What brings you joy?
  16. What does love mean to you?
  17. What do you desire? What makes you feel desired?
  18. Create a page about sexuality (not to be confused with sex.) What does it mean for you?
  19. In what ways are you creative?
  20. What inspires you?
  21. Create a page about blockages. In what ways are you blocked? What blocks you? What are you blocked from?
  22. Create a page on anger/rage.
  23. What are your strengths? What does it mean to be strong?
  24. What are your gifts and talents?
  25. Create a page about your spirit/spirituality and/or faith (or lack thereof.)
  26. Reflect on death.
  27. Reflect on light v.s darkness. What does this represent to you?
  28. Plant something and watch it grow. Record its progress in your journal.
  29. How do you think others perceive you?
  30. Create a page around a scary incident or a trauma event.
  31. Do you have a diagnosis? What does it affect you? What does it mean to you?
  32. Create a page that is a dialogue between yourself and someone who hurt you.

I’ll list more as I think of them.  If you have any ideas, feel free to contact me.

 

I want to thank my friend Lyna Howells for helping me compile this list of topics.