One thing that I think can stop people from trying out art journaling is fear of the blank page. It can be hard to come up with ideas or know what to journal about when you’re just getting started, and making that first mark on a page can seem really final.
That’s why the other day I noted that I like working in a SMASH book, because there’s already a little something there for you to work with. A fancier and better version of this idea is to work with the book Art Doodle Love: A Journal of Self-Discovery by Dawn DeVries Sokol.
This book is full of prompts and ideas you can explore in a combination of doodles, writing and pasting in pictures and other ephemera. The pages are also already started for you, as if you had painted a background and maybe done a little doodling already.
That helps with the two main problems of facing a blank page: what to journal about and how to get started.
The book opens with a section on basic supplies, but you’ve probably got most everything you’ll need to get started in your house. There’s then a sort of warm up chapter with prompts such as scribbling all over the page, filling in shapes with your own doodles or drawing something on the page every day for a week.
After that the rest of the book offers prompts on your past, present, places you’d like to go and relationships. You’ll find prompts like draw the floorplan of your childhood home and describe your bedroom; exploring what you see, hear, smell, touch and taste where you are right now; describing your happy place and exploring what feeds your soul.
There are also “blank” pages, with backgrounds but no prompts, that you can use however you like.
This is a book to explore, dip into now and then, find a page that speaks to you or open at random. It’s sort of like a warmup to creativity and would be a great way to get a little creativity into your day, which you know I’m a huge fan of.
It’s a beautiful book, a great concept and a lot of fun to use. I hope if you’re on the fence about art journaling you’ll check it out and give some guided prompts like this a try.
Have you ever used a book like this? I’d love to hear your thoughts on starting without a blank page in front of you.