What’s the difference between a ‘creative journal’ and a regular journal? While your good old-fashioned journal comes with lined paper for a more traditional pen-to-paper approach, creative journals are usually composed of blank pages that are suitable for other creative media, such as illustrations, process-sketches, figurative or surreal paintings, and so much more.
There is also an unwritten difference between the more traditional journal format and a creative journal. When it comes to the latter, you’re not necessarily sitting down every day to record what happened. It’s more about self-expression and letting your creativity guide you. The idea is to express yourself freely, without worrying about what people will think of your results. While it might sound liberating to abandon the tried-and-tested journal form for the more unbounded, exploratory potential offered by the creative journal, many people find those blank pages a little overwhelming at first. If you’re keen to try your hand at creative journaling, here are some tips to get you started.
Image Source: Pexels
Pick a Journal That Suits You
The type of journal you select is going to depend on the medium you want to work in, as the paper needs to be suitable. If you’re already a painter or a drawer, then you know what you need, but don’t limit yourself. Starting your creative journal is a perfect opportunity to explore other mediums in a completely unpressured way. A standard Art journal or sketchbook is a good bet if you’re the type of person who likes to try a range of mediums, and if you really can’t settle on a single type of paper, you could try a ring-bound planner. These come A5 sized pads and offer a mix of paper options all-in-one, as you can add your own sheets, choosing the type of paper that you need that day. An important thing to bear in mind when choosing a creative journal is that it’s going to be a fairly long-term relationship (depending on how prolific you are, of course!) so don’t just buy the first one you see. Make sure you choose a notebook that you simply like as an object because you’re going to be friends for a while.
Creating a beautiful creative journal should not require pricey supplies, especially at first, when you’re just settling into the ritual. Invest in some good journaling pens, and a few other art supplies, depending on your chosen medium. If you’re a sucker for craft supplies, limiting yourself might be hard at first, but save your money until you know more definitively what items are going to enhance your creative flow. Once your creative journal has a life of its own, then you’ll know what direction to take your art supply stash.
When you’re just starting out, the best way to get your creativity flowing is to set aside a time and a place to do your journaling. Make sure it’s a place you feel comfortable and you won’t be disturbed. This solitude will give you the headspace you need to start opening up creatively. Once you’ve established your journaling habit, you’ll be unstoppable. Whether you’re riding public transport or waiting in line at the bank, make sure you have your journal with you at all times because you never know when inspiration will strike.
Whether you’re a diligent journal keeper wanting to enhance your writing with visual elements, or you’re new to journaling and are interested in this expressive art form, these tips will lay the groundwork for your first creative journal.