Important Guidelines for Art Journalling

I always start my art journalling classes with the same spiel: there are no rules in art journalling. That said, there are some guidelines that I do teach to, and I thought it would be helpful to share them here.

Guidelines for Art Journalling - a therapeutic arts practise

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  1. There is no right or wrong. Art Journal pages are a reflection of you in this moment - even if you make only a single mark on a page, you have made an art journal.

  2. There are no rules. By rules, I mean social norms - you do not have to add something to a page simply because it “goes” with the rest of it. Let go, and allow your brain to fill the page with whatever speaks to you.

  3. It’s not about the final piece. Therapeutic art journalling is about the journey (hence why it’s called a JOURN-ALL). It might look terrible, or it might rival the Sistine Chapel. It doesn’t matter, as long as it represents your creative journey.

  4. Be kind. This goes for others and yourself. Everyone around you is working in their own time, on their own path. Be kind to others, be kind to yourself, and most importantly - be kind to your artwork. After all, it’s a reflection of you!

  5. Don’t throw it out! This is something I feel strongly about, and encourage with all my therapeutic art students. Sometimes when we create a piece, the journey of that creation is so intense that we no longer want to have the final product as a reminder. That’s totally ok - but don’t throw it out. Your journey is too important to be considered trash. If you must destroy it - use fire, water or rip it up and bury it.

Kathleen Moir