Arts Journal

 Do you know what an Arts Journal is? 

Don’t panic! I didn’t either! I thought, this Sunday evening, I’ll take you through mine and hopefully inspire you to make one of your own! 

On my first term in my MA degree, we were all requested to keep an Arts Journal. Everyone seemed a little bit confused at first around the whole idea since the definition of it is quite flexible and changes from person to person. So, the main idea is that you reflect upon your experience (well, for us it was our experience of the course but it can be potentially pretty much anything) in a way that involves art. It could be poetry, painting, visual art, music or anything else. 

There are pretty much no rules since it is a very personal thing (for us though, there were some restrictions because the whole thing had to be academically framed and eventually marked) but I found out that it was a great idea. 

It was something I had never encountered before and since I am a person who has kept a diary since 2005, it wasn’t hard for me to get into the habit of exploring my everyday life in a more artistic way.  

I chose to combine text with images and I used watercolours to create them. Some of them are original ideas and some are efforts to recreate and personalize some wonderful art found on Pinterest or WeHeartIt. 

I  decided it would be interesting to share some of the pictures and take you through the process because it is something that really helped me view something very mundane and routine based, like going to university every day, from multiple perspectives and helped me to engage and analyse even more. I would be very interested in continuing the art journal process outside of an academic frame but also giving a theme to it. I discovered that it does intensify and makes you reflect on any experience rather deeply. 

So, this post is mostly a suggestion and an encouragement for you to try Art Journaling anyway you want.  It could be really about anything… travelling, moving abroad, your new job or even a new relationship. Being in contact with your feelings and expressing them in an art form will definitely make your sense of self more intense and your goals in life clearer. 

Exploring an emotion or an experience in a creative way helps you to focus on it and “digest” it more easily. In our everyday lives, we tend to ignore important things that happen around us or within us because we either do not have time to actually deal with them or we consider them too insignificant to prioritise. That is the reason we end up losing our sense of direction towards what we really want to do in life and who we really are. 

I found that sitting down with nice music or even a film playing in the background and a cup of tea as I am approaching a very simple experience in a more artistic way quite therapeutic. Or at least it made me notice more than I would have.  

There is nothing else to do now but grab a clear notebook you really like and any art supplies you feel comfortable with and get started. You may discover a lot about yourself. Don’t be afraid to make your own rules!

have a magical day, 

by Elena Ktenopoulou 

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