The power of art journaling

Butterfly page
Butterfly page

I'm not sure why it took so long for it to occur to me how deeply I respond to the visual and the tactile.  In art. in nature. In day to day living.

Yet when it came to expressing myself - I relied on words. I never for a moment considered that I could express in image. Only artists do that!

When I discovered art journaling, I knew I found my way around words into image. And then often back to words.

I am learning what so many others before me know — that the method of journaling through image making rather than word making is both satisfying (fun!) AND useful.  Like its counterpart in words, expressing with image heals.

Art journaling has allowed me to “think” in a different right-side-of-the-brain way. As I play with line, form, color, texture, images arrive and then these gifts of thoughts—insights and ideas—come up too.

As a relatively new art-maker, my first encounters are with myself.  More and more, I see how I approach life just like I do the page—too often with resistance and fear, but with joy, too. I have come up against control issues, for sure (who, me?), and there’s this thing I do, this rushing…what’s that all about, anyway?

In short, through art journaling I think I’ve entered a personal creative recovery. I've blasted through the steel ceiling of my own fear — pushed off the shore into completely unknown visual art-making territory — and I’m ready to explore more...

...To learn what it means to commit to creating every day…how will what I create change? How will I change?

...To see what happens when I give myself permission to create without judgment or even a practical plan to “do” something with it—just create.

...To dive into the cosmic sea of imagery and ideas and come out with..well, with whatever I come out with — and to be okay with that (no control issues here, uh uh).

...To examine, finally, what some of those big blocks I threw in the road to myself all those years really mean.

...To see – finally — where art takes me.

And I do hope what I share and learn helps others who might also need some creative recovery too.