When It Comes To Art Journaling: How Often Is Enough?

When’s the next time you plan to sit down and make some art? You may have an idea in mind, such as getting out your art journal later this week, or working on a paper art project sometime this month. But friends, when it comes to making time for ourselves, we need to get specific! Get your calendar out right now. I’ll wait for you.

Art journal inspiration - make time! | ClothPaperScissors.com

Welcome back. Take a look at what you have going on in the next week or two, and write down “me time” in a space where you have a couple of hours that aren’t booked. Protect that allocation like it’s the hair appointment you finally got with the best hard-to-book stylist in the area. Yes, it’s that important. 😉 The only thing you have to do next is commit to it. I like artist Nichole Rae’s advice for art journaling on a regular basis (see it below), and I follow her lead by creating a ritual for my creative time. I get a drink ready, put on some streaming music that sets the mood, and tell my kids not to interrupt me unless there’s blood or fire. 

This dedication will pay off, trust me. That’s one of the reasons that Jake Parker created the #InkTober challenge, where artists are encouraged to come up with a new drawing–even a quick sketch–every day throughout October and then share it on social media with the hashtag #InkTober. It’s fun, and I hope you’re participating (if not, join in!). 

To keep you inspired, here’s Nichole’s advice for art journaling on a regular basis.

Art journal ideas with Nichole Rae | ClothPaperScissors.com
Art journals by Nichole Rae

How Often to Journal by Nichole Rae (excerpt from Art Journal Art Journey: Collage and Storytelling for Honoring Your Creative Process) 

I have created a time in the morning for doing most of my journaling. I brew a cup of my favorite coffee, put on some music and sit in a comfy chair in my studio. Here I open my journal document and let the music inspire me. I find this to be a beautiful way to start the day. It’s a set time for myself to relax and focus on my vision for the day. 

Throughout the day I am often inspired to journal. If I am away from my computer I will use my smartphone’s notepad feature to create a list-style journal. I have ongoing journals in my phone and, when the journal is done, I’ll will e-mail that text to myself to then add to the main document on my computer. 

There is no rush when journaling, though it is important to try to journal a bit every day. Journaling is like any task you do–it takes time to develop a habit and for it to feel natural. Once you begin a journaling habit, you will find yourself craving the time to sit and explore your thoughts. It is up to you how often you want to journal; if you are excited to start a project you may compile more journaling in a short period of time. 

Creating Time to Journal: When beginning to journal, I have found that setting a small amount of time aside to focus on this task is helpful. When starting something new, it takes time to create a rhythm. A transition period occurs when you are starting something new. After committing to trying something new for a few weeks, the “something new” begins to feel natural and a part of your day-to-day life. I started waking up twenty to thirty minutes earlier than normal to allow time to journal. It was hard in the beginning to get up earlier than usual, though eventually I found it to be beneficial to take time for myself. I also take time in the evening before going to bed to journal.

You do not need to set aside a lot of time to journal; even ten minutes to put your thoughts down on paper will be enough. We all have random downtime in our days: waiting for an appointment, for a train or for a meeting, traveling, etc. These environments can often be inspiring if you are open to them. Music may be playing or you may be by yourself for a moment in your busy day when you can explore the thoughts you carry. ~Nichole 

You’ll find that the time is there, if you look for it. Please join us for the #InkTober challenge–we’ve even created a home for your drawings in this special gallery, and the Interweave store has an amazing offer on a beautiful sketchbook and Sakura Pigma Micron® .08 pen. 

Now that you’ve written your next "me time" appointment in your calendar, I encourage you to share it with the rest of the community in the comments on this blog post. By putting it in writing for others to see, you’ll be more likely to commit to it and stay accountable. Plus, it will inspire others to know that they’re not alone in this art journal journey, that others are also making art a priority. 

Stay inspired,

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