Inspirational collage, surfing, boxing, on a painted background, Art Journaling as Self Care
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Basic Art Journaling: Inspirational Collage

art journal inspirational collage vision goals motivation

Today we’re going to share an easy way to get started in art journaling.  Creating an Inspirational Collage is an activity similar to making a vision board, but it’s done in your art journal instead of on a large poster board. If you’re new to art journaling and also to Joy in the Making, you can catch up on our previous posts to get a little briefing on how to get started. Still unsure about what an art journal is?  Read this post, What is an art journal? If you need to gather a few supplies to get started, take a look here. This post, What You Need to Start an Art Journal  has tips on the basic art tools you’ll need. blank sketchbook/ art journal laid open upon a wooden table. Paint palette and paint brushes to the side.

Conquering the Blank Page

Ok, so you’re all ready to start your art journal ! You’ve got your blank journal or sketchbook. Got your paints, brushes, scissors, glue, and markers. You’ve set aside some personal time just to create. You open to the first page of your brand new art journal. Then what? You stare at the blank page. Its whiteness is screaming at you to “paint me!” “be creative!”, yet you’re feeling anything but creative at the moment. Feeling like your brain is freezing up at the sight of a blank page is perfectly normal. It can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time to try out this new hobby called ‘art journaling’! But never fear, for in the next 10 posts from Joy in the Making, we will share 10 ways to jump start your art journal. Hopefully these will trigger some ideas of your own to help you relax and enjoy the process. Remember, your goal is not to create the next Mona Lisa. This is your time to peacefully explore your creativity.  Your time to reach a state of mindfulness that allows your authentic self to be expressed through colors, patterns, images that grab you, and maybe even a few words.

What is Inspirational Collage?

An easy way to loosen up your inhibitions and jump right in, is to make an inspirational collage.   An inspirational collage is similar to a vision board, in small increments.  Instead of a large poster displaying all the areas of your personal goals, an inspirational collage on an art journal page can reflect just one of those areas in your life that is in need of inspiration and improvement. vision board art journal page start an art journal inspirational collage Example of a vision board. Personally,  I love making this kind of journal pages.  It was a great way for me to get started, as well, for I didn’t feel as pressured to make “great art” when all I had to do was cut and paste pictures on a page and arrange it in a way that felt right to me.  Making this kind of collages was something I’d always loved doing, ever since I was a teenager.  I remember the many poster boards I’d filled up with splattered images cut from my latest fashion or fitness magazines.  Usually they ran with some theme, whatever was on my heart and mind at the time. The same idea applies here!  Only reduce the size down to just one page (or two, if doing a two-page spread.  So let’s get started!
Magazines of different topics spread out on a table. Titles include Family Circle, Islands, Oprah, Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV, Vogue, Elle Decor, Running, Self, etc.
Magazines for cutting up.

What You Need:


Flip through the pages of your old magazines and cut out those images and  phrases that inspire you.  Perhaps it’s an image of people exercising that motivates you to take better care of your health. If that’s what is on your mind these days, and this is a theme you find yourself coming back to,  then go for it!  Or maybe it’s pictures of nature that are calling you to explore your nature-loving self. If the magazines you chose reflect your basic lifestyle interests, you should find plenty of images and phrases that illustrate your personal goals and intentions.  It could be a vision for your health, your career, family and relational goals, travel ideas, creative pursuits, or even home decor or fashion inspiration. Whatever images are jumping at you, the things that are really grabbing your heart today, choose this as your theme and run with it! After you have collected enough motivating images and phrases to fill either a page or a two-page spread, lay them out and play with them, moving them around on the page until you find a pleasing arrangement. You might want to edit out a few, just keep the best and save the others for another day.
Art journal page with collage images cut out and laid down. Glue stick in hand. Pictures of nature, words and phrases.
Play with your cut-out images and words till you find the right placement.
Before gluing your images down, decide whether you want to add some color to your background first, or just glue them onto the white space. It’s up to you. Neither way is right or wrong. If you choose to add color, a simple watercolor wash is a simple way to get started. Just wet your page with a few broad brush strokes of water, then dab a couple colors onto the wet page, blending and swirling them as you go.  No rules here, this is just a background to make your page pretty.  Have fun with it!  Let it dry as you trim your cut-out images and phrases.  (Or, if you can’t wait, use a hair dryer or a handheld crafter’s heat tool to speed up the process!)
Art journal with a hand painting a watercolor wash upon the pages. Blue and green paints, green brush, water jar in the background, glue stick.
Create a watercolor wash as your background, if desired.
If you prefer a dry medium, try coloring the background with colored pencils, oil pastels, or even crayons. Work in large swaths of color, keeping it abstract and simple. The details are in the images and phrases that will be on top. Trim your pictures and cut-out words/phrases as needed.
A glue stick, bottle of mod podge and a scissors sit on a black book on an art table.
Collage glue stick, Mod Podge glue, and Cutterbee crafting scissors.
Use either your glue stick or Mod Podge to adhere your pieces to the page. Take a step back and gaze at your overall composition. Does it need a personal touch with some of your own handwriting? If so, feel free to grab your colored markers and add some of your own doodling and words of inspiration.  Totally optional! Collage of four art journal pages, inspirational collage technique. Simple painted backgrounds, cut-out images and motivating words and phrases.

Your inspirational collage is complete!

Pat yourself on the back for completing your very first art journal page!  The inspirational collage is a simple, fun technique you can come back to over and over again. Congratulate yourself for taking that very important time for yourself, to block out all the noise from your busy day and head full of thoughts, and just focus on being in the moment. Creating from the heart. See you next time! Artfully Yours, Jenner author identity
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