10 Ideas for your Art Journal

I do a lot of things in my Art Journal… I paint, collage, draw, collect, save, experiment, try out new materials, document, write… Today I’m sharing a few ideas of what I do in my Art Journal! Most of all I avoid rules as much as I can, others and self imposed rules alike. I love the chronology of my Art Journals, and I love to start and I love to finish a new book. And hence that is the way I work, because I like it. If you are of a different opinion probably your process if different than mine. Wanna know what I mostly do on all those white pages?

10 awesome ideas by iHanna, to try in your own Art Journal (with lots of examples on her blog www.ihanna.nu)

Let me give a few examples (like 10 art journaling ideas or so…) as I share my own pages and close-ups of the fun stuff.

Art Journal Spread: Doodles on acrylics

On the above page for example, I did a lot of different things. I painted big waterdrops, using acrylic paint, and then outlined them with a black marker:

Detail: Doodled rain
I love repeating a pattern over and over again!

I drew a big, full-page mandala on top of an already painted page. It turned out a bit too busy, but that’s fine with me. I added some white acrylic paint to make it stand out more.

Detail: Mandala Flower

Then, as I felt the page was finished, I found this vellum paper and added, with tape (because vellum crumbles too much if you use a glue stick):

Detail: Art Journal Love

Here is a quicker, simpler page. Quicker to finish because the pages was already painted as I made the book though.

Art Journal Spread: Metta

Below the Buddha image (found on the internet) I wrote:

Breath in. Breath out.

It’s been my personal mantra for the past 15 years or so, even before I knew about meditation and the Buddhist teachings!

Buddha image in yellow

I also decided to tape in this postcard, because it’s a keeper:

Postcard: Ett brev betyder s mycket

Ett brev betyder så mycket is Swedish for: A letter means so much. And isn’t that true. :-) Let look closer at yet another page of this and that…

Art Journal Spread: Farm animals and Giraffe girl
Art Journal Spread: Farm animals and Giraffe girl.

Detail: Party at the Farm

The left page itself is from a altered book project, and the images of farm animals charmed me, so I just kept the page as is. Well, I added some collage images.

Detail: Drawing of a giraffe girl

Then I sketched out a fantasy animal, who became a giraffe with long eye-lashes! Maybe she was inspired (subconsciously) by the previous collage page, where you can spot an image of someone else’s giraffe painting as well:

Art Journal Spread: this and that

Again, collage to the left (including scrapbook paper, washi tape, Mary Ann Moss label, and map background) and my illustrations to the right (because I bind my own books I get a wonderful mix of papers I like). What I like most about the messy right page is the flower envelope, that you can open:

Detail: Envelope Flower open

It doesn’t matter how the paint is put on, as long as something is said.
Jackson Pollock

10 Ideas for your Art Journal

  1. Draw a mandala that fills up the entire page
  2. Doodle a pattern on top of acrylic paint and outline your design with a black marker
  3. Add items in by using transparent tape
  4. Overcrowd and fill some pages, while leaving others almost blank or very white – variety is fun!
  5. Dedicate a page to a pretty postcard that you want to save
  6. Write down your own mantra or saying
  7. Mix in both your own drawings and others (collage elements) on the same spread
  8. Use printed or bought labels as journaling spots on busy pages
  9. Print beautiful images from the internet and incorporate them in your journal as inspiration
  10. Fold a flower envelope (download the template here)


10 awesome art journal ideas from iHanna - try 'em all this week

I hope you feel inspired to go play and experiment on your own. I’d love to know what you create… And my question for you today: What do you love most of all to do in your Art Journal? I couldn’t pick one myself, so just give me one of the many…

PS: If you like this post, please check out my extensive archive of art journaling posts – there are hundreds of ideas to dig through there!

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7 Responses to 10 Ideas for your Art Journal

  1. Thanks for sharing your ideas and art journal. I love it. It is so playful. I like to play with no expectations of a “finished” piece. Especially when I’m blocked. It is very freeing and leads me down new paths.

    • iHanna says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog Kerry! I love that the best habit for an artist is to play and explore without the finished piece in mind, like you say – it’s how we evolve, right?

  2. Kathryn says:

    Thank you for sharing your pages and your ideas! It’s nice to sometimes wander creatively. :)

    • iHanna says:

      To wander creatively – that is well put, thanks Kathryn. I haven’t thought of it like that but it’s true, it’s a stroll with no end place/result in mind. Let’s wander!

  3. What a pretty and exuberant collection of pages! I love how colorful your journal is and I think your giraffe winked at me :) I have several journals and I use them as a place to visually think and relax. Sometimes I just want to play in them with pretty colors, no “finished” art required. Thank you for sharing your pages with us.

  4. zouzou says:

    As usual your post is really fascinating, principally now for me because I am angry with
    inspiration. Thank you to help me with your art!

    • iHanna says:

      Zouzou, what’s up with you being angry at inspiration? That’s crazy girl, are you not finding inspiration in your life? :-( I hope you two will work it out and become friends again soon.

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