Kick-Start Your Art Journal (Part 5)


"Happiness belongs to those who are sufficient unto themselves. For all external sources of happiness and pleasure, are by their very nature, highly uncertain, precarious, ephemeral and subject to chance."
rthur Schopenhauer

So you don't know what on earth to do with the blank page in front of you. I've learned from years of ar journaling that you can start anywhere and wind up anywhere! Use these prompts to skip over the blank-page-phase.

<holiday greetings> Grab a stack of holiday cards and cut them into artist trading cards (ATCs) measuring 2.5" x 3.5". Any part of the card is fair game. Add stitching, doodles, glitter glue, or stamps to finish the cards.

<ask the sky> Peek outside. Paint your page the color of the sky, the horizon, a pool, pond or the ocean.

<rehearsed> While doing something that does not require your full attention, such as folding laundry, doing the dishes or sitting through a tedious meeting, write a 3-4 sentence paragraph (in your head) about what you are doing. If your memory is as poor as mine, you will have to keep repeating and refining the sentences as you perfect them. When you get to a place where you can write, get the paragraph on paper.

<magazine> Turn to page 37 or 116 in the first magazine or catalog you see sitting on your kitchen counter today and use an image from that page as your muse. Or use the image on your page.

<maplandia> Imagine having your own private island. This prompt is about the details of the island. Draw a map including the names of streets, bridges, beaches, waterfalls, ponds, rocky trails, docks, beach bars. It's your island, and you have an infinite amount of money, so you can have anything you want. 

<earthy> Paint an art journal background in watercolors, using the blues of the ocean and the browns of sand + mountains. Cut out images of blue things and brown things from a catalog or magazine and glue or staple them along a horizonatal line across the page.

<so you> Write a list of 10 things that you've loved doing for many years. Going to baseball games, reading Calvin & Hobbes books, sneaking a bit of brownie batter, ice skating, whatever. Write one sentence about each thing, describing a memory the activity evokes. For instance, "Reading C & H, I think of elementary school, passing notes to my friend Jason Tazponwollager."

<mod meditation> Put an image or word in the center of a piece of heavy white paper or the next page in your journal. Work through the remnants in your scrap paper stash by gluing narrow strips of paper onto the edges of your center image working outward until you reach the edges. As you glue and glue, let your mind wander. 

<scatter> Use the word or concept SCATTER in your art journal. Scatter glitter across a page of black gesso. Write scattered thoughts about a problem you can't resolve. Take a photo of birds before they fly away and use the image in your journal. Make a disjointed, chaotic, grunge page with no logic or order whatsoever. Ideas include picking colors at random, tearing paper, painting with your fingers.

See all of the Kick-Start Prompts.