I began my healing journey in earnest in a journal, free writing my heart out every day. That eventually shifted so that I poured my heart out every day in an *on line* journal, though I still kept a written journal on and off throughout the years. Then, I started writing poetry. Then, I got a wicked case of writer’s block and I found art journaling. Somewhere over the course of the last few years, I’ve lost touch with art journaling as my primary mode of self-expression. I’ve shifted to “mixed media artist”, and that, my loves, has not served me well. It *could* serve me well *if* it were secondary to art journaling, but over the last several years, it’s been front and centre. I even stopped working in a journal just in case someone saw a painting they liked and wanted to buy it.
As soon as I started thinking about that, my whole practice changed. I stopped painting about my life and started painting more universal themes. I started censoring what I include in my paintings. I shifted focus to painting only in response to certain inputs – new moon, full moon. My practice stopped being therapeutic and became stressful. It was still fun, don’t get me wrong, but I was way less inclined to do it because I wasn’t engaging it the way my soul yearned to engage it.
I’m going back to basics. I need a journaling practice to support my healing journey. I need a place where I paint without caring about anyone’s gaze but my own. I need to paint from my guts as well as my heart. I need to paint my reality as well as my wishes.
And so, I’m going back to Book Of Days (how very Mercury Retrograde of me). Back to an art journal (simpler this time – a basic sketch book, though you will have the option to bind your own and a tutorial in that is offered). Back to the near daily habit of touching in with a bit of colour, symbolism, words. WORDS. Back to JOURNALING in my art journal.
When I made this decision and started to plan how I’d do it, what iteration I would like for it to take, I had a few revelations:
I don’t want to identify as a “mixed media artist”. Too much pressure. I want to identify as a JOURNAL ARTIST. I want art journaling to be my focus – especially the self-soothing, healing modality, “meeting myself on the page” part.
Realizing that I’d “lost my way”, or “gone off course” has been such a relief, y’all, because now I can course correct.
Anyway, if you miss *art journaling*, I welcome you to join me.