I have always done journaling, starting when I was a preteen writing all my angst down. I used a mixture of art and writing, and writing “ghost” letters to people I imagined I knew. As I grew up and started thinking about going to art school and then art therapy, I continued my journaling and began both larger visual art journals as well as smaller combination journals of art and writing. I have about one large journal a year or so and smaller ones as well. I even title them at times as to how my year went. The use of imagery in journaling is like the cliche – a picture is worth a thousand words – and it also give a person an option for creative expression if they feel they can’t write. As an art therapist I have used art journaling with many of my clients as well, to help re-engage the creative inner voice to dialogue with in therapy sessions and therapeutic growth, as a narrative tool especially with trauma victims, and to quote Katherine Williams, one of my favorite professors and former director of the art therapy program at George Washington University, “it gives you more grist for the mill”
Art journaling can be using collage in a blank book, or drawing and painting. There is also altering already printed books and adding your piece to them. A future post will show you more on altered book art and how to use that for communication and expression tools.
I am including a few of my images: