Art Journaling is my passion! I started incorporating art journaling into my curriculum my second year teaching and from then I was hooked. My students loved it so much that they began asking me if it was possible to have art journaling as a year long course. I jumped right on this and made it a reality the following school year. Since then it has grown so much. My students love taking art journaling, it's become a year of self discovery, stress relief and experimentation for them. And as a bonus it follows our school goal of Socio-Emotional Learning.
Last year during virtual learning, I was unsure how to connect with my students since I couldn't walk around and build relationships with them. Their cameras were off, no one talked or answered questions during class, it was lonely. So I decided that I was going to journal with them on camera during class time, I turned my webcam down to face my journal and worked for the entire time with them. I don't know if they watched, and honestly it doesn't really matter to me, but I started to realize how therapeutic this was for me. I never felt better mentally, I was working through so many emotions especially related to being in a global pandemic. So last year I learned that art journaling doesn't only help teens- it helped to heal me as well.
5 reasons why art journaling is so important for teens:
1 Art Journaling helps adolescents gain a more positive perspective on their lives by developing more awareness of events, memories and feelings that are happening in their lives. They are learning coping skills and feelings of empowerment that will help them throughout their adult lives.
2 For young people, emotions can be a rather new experience and they can be intense. Art Journaling provides a healthy outlet for their emotional highs and lows, overwhelm and confusion which are normal for teens. Emotions can be overwhelming when dealing with life changing events such as illness, death of a loved one, trauma or even the ups and downs of daily life.
3 Art Journaling can help teens better understand their emotions and help them destress or let go of really intense emotions. Creating has been proven to help teens reduce physical and emotional effects of illness and to encourage self expression, communication, social interactions and self discovery.
4 In an art journal, a child can create a safe place to explore their feelings without judgment, constraints or guidelines.
5 Art Journaling is similar to writing in a diary or a personal journal except you are not limited to just writing and you are focusing on the physical act of creating as well. You can draw, collage, color, paste, tape in items, stamp, stencils or scribble. You can use any traditional art materials while also thinking outside of the box by including things such as food labels, candy wrappers, leaves, flowers and photographs to allow a child to explore their emotions as well as allow them to use things that are comforting to them.
Art journaling is a class where:
All art is made and contained in the art journal
Learn new art techniques
You don’t need to be an artist you just need to have an open mind
You combine art and words to express yourself
Document your life
You learn to enjoy the creative process
There are no mistakes
Art Journaling is NOT about making beautiful artwork!!
So what is it about then...
It’s about self expression & self discovery
It’s about relieving stress
It's about figuring out who you really are & what you stand for
It’s about making mistakes & taking risks
It’s about learning from your mistakes
It’s about experimentation
"I love everything about Art Journaling from making the book to creating each spread. It really expanded my range of art and learning new techniques every quarter really makes it engaging. It helps me grow as a person and getting to see my art improve over time makes me feel happy."
“I love art journaling because it has pushed me to grow as an artist with prompts and new techniques, while also allowing me the freedom the create what I want and express myself. Over the two years I’ve taken the class I have seen a lot of improvement in my composition, use of color, and especially creativity. Each page pushes me do something different than the next and it is really cool to see that evolution throughout the pages of my book. I hope to keep up art journaling for the rest of my life because on top of improving my art, I have found it is something I really love.“
“Art journaling was one of my favorite parts of high school—it allowed me to express myself in more of a “messy” way, and explore the joy of creating. It made art feel both more fun and more accessible. Spending an hour every day with classmates, all working on our own journals while trading ideas made me a more creative and happier person.“